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CHURCH OF ST THOMAS A BECKET

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St Thomas a Becket’s Church was built in the 11th century, early and late 13th-14th century, 17th century and restored circa 1854. Coursed limestone rubble with ashlar quoins and dressings. Collyweston slate roof with stone coped gables.
Nave, chancel, south porch and tower, north chapel, vestry.The church is situated in the ecclesiastical parish of Greatford and is currently (2012) one of the seven parishes which form the Uffington Group of Churches. It is not known to whom the church was dedicated prior to the murder of Thomas Becket in 1170. The building features traces of Norman work in the north wall. In the north transept of the interior of the building there is a memorial to Dr Willis which refers to him curing King George III. As of 2012 the church is still in use as a place of worship and forms an active part of the local community.

Dr Francis Willis (1718-1807) was a physician who specialised in treating people with psychiatric problems. He is most famous for treating King George III who suffered from a psychiatric illness most likely to have been porphyria. Dr Willis moved to Dunston, Lincolnshire with his wife and set up a sanatorium in Greatford Hall. The sanatorium later moved to the nearby Shillingthorpe Hall which was built in 1833, Greatford Hall was destroyed by fire in 1930 and was rebuilt afterwards as private residences. Shillingthorpe Hall was demolished in 1949.
The memorial bust to Dr Francis Willis in St Thomas a Becket Church was carved by Joseph Nollekens.

The church lies in a Conservation Area.

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