Abbotsham (St. Helen)

ABBOTSHAM (St. Helen), a parish, in the union of Bideford, hundred of Shebbear, Great Torrington and N. divisions of Devon, 2 miles (W.) from Bideford; containing, with the hamlets of Shepperton and Littleham, 414 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the shore of Barnstaple bay, is distinguished for a memorable victory over the Danes, who besieged the fortress called Kenwith or Kenwic Castle, towards the close of the ninth century: their main western army was routed; 1200 of them, including their leader, were slain, and their consecrated standard was captured. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £16. 4. 7.; it is in the patronage of the Crown, and the owners and occupiers of land are the impropriators. The great tithes have been commuted for £32. 10., and the vicarial for £120; there are nearly 34 acres of glebe.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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