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Abbotsham, Devon

Historical Description

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.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyDevon 
Ecclesiastical parishAbbotsham St. Helen 
Poor Law unionBideford 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1653.

Findmypast, in association with the South West Heritage Trust, Parochial Church Council, and Devon Family History Society have the Baptisms, Banns, Marriages, and Burials online for Abbotsham


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.

St. Helen, Abbotsham

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Abbotsham from the following:


Online maps of Abbotsham are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering Devon online:

Villages, Hamlets, &c


Visitations Heraldic

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.

RegionSouth West
Postal districtEX39
Post TownBideford