Sourton Village and Parish is centred on the A386 SW of Okehampton includes the hamlets of Boasley, Thorndon, Bowerland, Prewley, Week, Lake and Southerly.Sourton can be reached by a 20 min walk from your Accommodation.
In 970 it was recorded as Swuren-Tune meaning the farm by the col (or neck) and in 1086 it was known as Suritona. In 1851 it was described as a "township, scattered village and parish with a population of 615 and an acreage of 5018"
Mainly a farming area the most exciting event in Sourton's history was the battle of Sourton Down in 1642 when a Royalist Army under General Hopton encountered a Roundhead force on a stormy night in April. The Royalists were forced to fall back to Bridestowe losing much equipment on the way.
In September 1874 a Mr. James Henderson approached the Duchy of Cornwall with a view to leasing Sourton hill for the purpose of collecting naturally produced ice throughout the winter months. This particular spot was ideal in so much as the nearby railway station at Bridestowe provided ideal access to both Plymouth and Exeter. Plymouth at this time had a thriving fish market supplying by rail and boat the cities of London, Bath, Manchester and Bristol and it was this industry that used large quantities of ice to preserve the fish during transit. In addition there was the household market in both the Plymouth and Exeter areas.
Henderson produced and sold ice between 1875 and 1886 reaching a peak of 300 tons in one year. Eventually a combination of mild winters and competition from a company making artificial ice meant that the business had to be wound up.
The ponds were filled in although if you climb to the top of Sourton Tor you can still make out where they once were.
Little since has disturbed the tranquillity of Sourton leaving its inhabitants to live and work in peace among the tors and valleys of their beautiful parish.
From Bearslake Inn Accommodation Sourton is a 20 min walk.
For further information on visitng Sourton from your Accommodation please contact us