St Thomas à Becket Church, Widcombe

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St Thomas à Beckett Church
St Thomas à Becket Church, Widcombe is located in Somerset
St Thomas à Becket Church, Widcombe
Location within Somerset
General information
Town or city Bath, Somerset
Country England
Coordinates 51°22′24″N 2°20′48″W / 51.373425°N 2.346556°W / 51.373425; -2.346556
Construction started 1490
Completed 1498

St Thomas à Becket Church is a parish church of Widcombe in Bath, Somerset southwest England, and is one of a number of churches named after Thomas Becket. It is a Grade II* listed building.[1]

The church was built between 1490 and 1498 by John Cantlow, Prior of Bath Abbey and took the place of an older Norman church.[2] However, there was a common tradition that a weaver was the founder of the church, and an escutcheon bearing a weaver's shuttle can be seen[nb 1] on the outside of one of the north battlements of the tower.[3] It is believed that there was originally a Saxon chapel on the site. The church was commonly called Old Widcombe Church and used to be the principal church of the parishes of Widcombe and Lyncombe. The Domesday survey of 1086 shows a small settlement around the church although no trace of it remains.[4]

In 1847 a much large church, St Matthews, was built in Widcombe parish. On 22 April 1847, it was announced that the church bells, which had for centuries been in the tower of St. Thomas à Becket, were to be removed and installed in the new St. Matthew's.[5] Legend has it that the bells were seized by force from the wardens of St Thomas's.



  1. ^ as of 1791


  1. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Thomas a Becket (1394116)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "Widcombe Benefice Churches". Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  3. ^ Reverend John Collinson (1791). The History and Antiquities of the County of Somerset, Collected from Authentick Records, and an Actual Survey Made by the Late Mr Edmund Rack Adorned with a Map of the County and Engravings of Roman and other Reliques, Town-seals, Baths, Churches and Gentleman's Seats. 1. pp. 171–172. ISBN 978-1-171-40217-6. 
  4. ^ Maurice Scott (1984). Discovering Widcombe and Lyncombe. ISBN 0-9520876-0-X. 
  5. ^ Peach, R. E. M (1893). Street-lore of Bath. A Record of Chianges in the Highways and Byways of the City. Simpkin, Marshall, & Co., Lmtd. Bath. ISBN 978-1-4097-1457-6.