Landkey - Church Dedication


Although Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of England (1844) and White's Devonshire Directory (1850) both state that the Landkey Parish Church is dedicated to the Holy Trinity, this is incorrect - the Church was and is dedicated to St Paul.

An article (archived copy) about Street, in Somerset, states that the original settlement was named Lantokay, after St Kea, and that Landkey, Devon, is another place linked to St Kay. The confusion over the dedication of Landkey Parish Church might have arisen from the fact that Street Parish Church is dedicated to Holy Trinity.

The Revd. Peter Bowers, Rural Dean of Shirwell, and the Incumbent at Landkey, has provided the following comments:

"I confirm that the parish church of Landkey is St. Paul. This dedication is confirmed from many sources, mainly wills and bequests which name the church and these date back to the thirteenth century; thus your directory source has obviously made a mistake. I would imagine that it has been caused by the confusion you suggest.

The name of the village, Landkey, is, according to one etymologist derived from Kea's Llan, 'Llan' as in the Welsh an area of ground which in this case pertains to Kea's hermitage. Kea and a brother Celtic monk, Filia, are known to have worked together in the evangelisation of these parts possibly ninth century or earlier. The coming of the Saxon's often caused the changing of Celtic church dedications to those of more universally accepted and known saints. However, place names are more difficult to change. Thus St. Kea's name persists in the village name of 'Landkey' and some 6 milies away Filia's name is contained in the village of 'Filleigh'. The dedication of the parish church at Filleigh is also to St. Paul."

Brian Randell, 22 Dec 2009