Abbotsham, a parish in Devon, between Torridge and Barnstaple Bay, 2½ miles W of Bideford station on the L. & S.W.R. It contains the hamlets of Riccards, Down, and Buckleigh, and has a post office; money order and telegraph office, Bideford. Acreage, 1878; population, 528. Odun, Earl of Devon, in 878 vanquished and slew the Danish invader Hubba at Kenwith Castle. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter; net value, £233. The church is a fine structure with a square tower, and was restored in 1870. Abbotsham Cliffs are a favourite resort in summer for sea-bathing. There is a small Baptist chapel.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Abbotsham St. Helen|
|Poor Law union||Bideford|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register dates from the year 1653.
Church of England
St. Helen (parish church)
The parish church of St. Helen is an ancient edifice of stone in the Early English style, restored and reseated in 1870, and consists of chancel, nave, south porch and an embattled western tower containing 6 bells; the bells were re-hung in an iron frame in 1912: there are several stained windows: the ends of then benches are finely carved, and exhibit numerous shields with the emblems of Our Lord's Passion, figures of saints, the Bourchier knot and various initials: in 1912 a screen was constructed from oak taken from the belfry: there are sittings for 300 persons. In the churchyard is a granite cross, erected in memory of the men of the parish who fell in the Great War, 1914-18.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Directories & Gazetteers
The Description of Abbotsham from White's Directory and topography of Devonshire, 1878.
We have transcribed the entry for Abbotsham from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Abbotsham (St. Helen))
Online maps of Abbotsham are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering Devon online:
Villages, Hamlets, &cShepperton
The Visitation of the County of Devon in the year 1564, with additions from the earlier visitation of 1531, is online.
The Visitations of the County of Devon, comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564, & 1620, with additions by Lieutant-Colonel J.L. Vivian, published for the author by Henry S. Eland, Exeter 1895 is online.