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In the Domesday Book Abbotskerswell was called Carsuella and was held by the abbot of Horton, Dorset. The name kerswell means cress spring. In 1086 it had a population of less than one hundred. By 1901 the population had risen to 451 and to 1,515 by 2001.

The village church, dedicated to St Mary, was affected by the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII. Old treasures, particularly a large badly damaged medieval statue assumed to be of the Virgin and Child, have been found within the church, and work has been undertaken to restore them. The north aisle is of the Perpendicular period and the western tower has diagonal buttresses and a stair turret in the centre of one side.

Abbotskerswell developed around the growing of apples and oranges for cider making. Henley's Devonshire Cider was made by a company based in nearby Newton Abbot from apples grown in the extensive orchards around the village, and their presses were here too.

In 1850, according to White's Devonshire Directory:

"ABBOTSKERSWELL, or Abbot's Carswell, is a pleasant village, two miles S. of Newton Abbot, and has in its parish 433 souls and 1600 acres of land, including several scattered houses and the hamlet of Aller, where there is a paper mill, on a rivulet 1 ½ mile from the church. The soil is all freehold, and belongs to Sir W.P. Carew, Bart., the Hon. Mrs. Hare, W. Hole, Esq., Wm. and John Creed, and a few smaller owners. The Church (St. Mary,) is an ancient fabric in the perpendicular style, with a tower and three bells. It is about to be thoroughly repaired and beautified. The old pews are to give way to open benches, and the finely carved oak screen is to be restored and opened. . . . A cottage has been converted into a Baptist Chapel; and in the parish is a Quaker's Burial Ground, which was reserved for that purpose by a Mr. Tucket, when he sold Court Barton estate. Here is a small National School."

Abbpast is our history society studying local and other history.

 

ABBOTSKERSWELL’S SPLENDID HERITAGE

As recorded by Historic England

Statutory Data

The National Heritage List for England 30 results
Title Type Location Grade
TOWN FARMHOUSE Listing TOWN FARMHOUSE, MAIN STREET, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
CHURCH HOUSE Listing CHURCH HOUSE, MAIN STREET, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
WILLOW DENE AND WILLOW GROVE Listing WILLOW DENE AND WILLOW GROVE, MAIN STREET, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
MOTE COTTAGE Listing MOTE COTTAGE, MAIN STREET, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
MOTE HOUSE Listing MOTE HOUSE, MAIN STREET, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
THATCHES AND PARK VIEW Listing THATCHES AND PARK VIEW, PRIORY ROAD, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
ROSE COTTAGES Listing ROSE COTTAGES, SLADE LANE, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
CORNER COTTAGE AND CROSS VIEW Listing CORNER COTTAGE AND CROSS VIEW, SLADE LANE, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
LANGFORD BRIDGE Listing LANGFORD BRIDGE, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
TWO MILE OAK INN Listing TWO MILE OAK INN, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
HEADSTONE APPROXIMATELY 1 1/2 METRES SOUTH-WEST OF CHURCH OF ST MARY Listing HEADSTONE APPROXIMATELY 1 1/2 METRES SOUTH-WEST OF CHURCH OF ST MARY, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
CHEST TOMB APPROXIMATELY 2 METRES SOUTH-EAST OF CHANCEL OF CHURCH OF ST MARY Listing CHEST TOMB APPROXIMATELY 2 METRES SOUTH-EAST OF CHANCEL OF CHURCH OF ST MARY, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
THOMAS HENLEY HEADSTONE APPROXIMATELY 3 METRES SOUTH-WEST OF CHURCH OF ST MARY Listing THOMAS HENLEY HEADSTONE APPROXIMATELY 3 METRES SOUTH-WEST OF CHURCH OF ST MARY, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
COURT FARM INN Listing COURT FARM INN, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
ROCK COTTAGE Listing ROCK COTTAGE, MAIN STREET, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
YEOMAN'S COTTAGE Listing YEOMAN'S COTTAGE, MAIN STREET, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
MODEL COTTAGE AND THE QUEST Listing MODEL COTTAGE AND THE QUEST, MAIN STREET, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
ABBOTSFORD Listing ABBOTSFORD, MAIN STREET, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
ELM COTTAGE Listing ELM COTTAGE, MAIN STREET, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
ODLE HILL COTTAGE Listing ODLE HILL COTTAGE, MAIN STREET, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
PROSPECT COTTAGE Listing PROSPECT COTTAGE, MAIN STREET, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
ALL'S WELL COTTAGE Listing ALL'S WELL COTTAGE, MAIN STREET, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
CHURCH OF ST MARY Listing CHURCH OF ST MARY, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II*
HENLEY HEADSTONE APPROXIMATELY 2 METRES WEST OF CHURCH OF ST MARY Listing HENLEY HEADSTONE APPROXIMATELY 2 METRES WEST OF CHURCH OF ST MARY, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
LYCH GATE APPROXIMATELY 5 METRES TO SOUTH-WEST OF CHURCH OF ST MARY Listing LYCH GATE APPROXIMATELY 5 METRES TO SOUTH-WEST OF CHURCH OF ST MARY, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
CHURCH COTTAGES Listing CHURCH COTTAGES, 1 AND 2, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
MONK'S THATCH Listing MONK'S THATCH, MAIN STREET, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
TOWN FARM COTTAGE Listing TOWN FARM COTTAGE, 1, MAIN STREET, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II*
TOWN FARM COTTAGE Listing TOWN FARM COTTAGE, 2, MAIN STREET, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II
ROSE COTTAGES* Listing ROSE COTTAGES*, 3, SLADE LANE, ABBOTSKERSWELL, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon II

 

National Designation Decisions

Designation Decision Records (De-listed entries) No records
Designation Decision Records (Non-designated entries) 2 results
Designation Decision Records (Non-designated entries)
Recommendations not to add a building, monument or wreck site to the National Heritage List for England (NHLE) are made by Historic England. The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport will then make a decision. For parks, gardens and battlefields Historic England makes the decision on whether or not to add it to the NHLE. These decisions are detailed in this section.

 

Designation Decision Records (Non-designated entries)

returned 2 records matching your search.

 

Title Type Location Grade
Toll House, Langford bri... Listing Kingskerswell Road, Langford Bridge, Abbotskerswell, Newton Abbot, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon NL
The Butchers' Arms, Abbo... Listing Butchers Arms, Abbotskerswell, Newton Abbot, TQ12 5PE, Abbotskerswell, Teignbridge, Devon NL


 

National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE).

The information within PastScape is taken directly from the National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE). The NRHE contains over 410,000 records on the archaeology and buildings of England and its territorial waters.
Title Location Description
MONUMENT NO. 446375 Devon Alleged sites for two round barrows....
MONUMENT NO. 446202 Devon C16 church house....
MONUMENT NO. 446205 Devon Ladewell...
MONUMENT NO. 1231448 Devon Medieval stocks (not in situ). The stocks were recorded in the south porch of the church during an ...
MONUMENT NO. 446162 Devon Lych gate built in 1603 and extensively restored in 1899. Built of rendered rubble with a hipped sl...
MONUMENT NO. 446201 Devon C18 Toll house....
MONUMENT NO. 446222 Devon No 1 Town Farm Cottage late 15thc farmhouse with 16th/17thc alterations...
ST MARYS CHURCH Devon Parish Church. 13th century fabric to chancel; nave, aisle and tower 15th century, restored by But...
MONUMENT NO. 446169 Devon There was probably a Mediaeval oratory at Abbotskerswell....


In 1066 William of Normandy defeated the English under King Harold at the Battle of Hastings, Harold was killed and William was crowned King.  Most of the land owned by the English nobles was confiscated and granted by King William to his followers. The social life of England at this time revolved around the Manor. This was the basic farming unit and could be a sub-division of a parish or could spread over two parishes. The Manor was held by a Lord who might farm it himself or, more likely, let it to tenants. The Lord or his tenant would then sub-divide the land into that for his own farm and that for his villagers. The villagers would then farm their land and provide labour for the farming of the Lord's land. In 1085 William, whilst at Gloucester, sent Commissioners to all parts of the country to find out what each landowner held in land and livestock and what it was worth. To check this survey a second set of Commissioners were sent to report on the first. The Commissioners were major land owners and included Bishops and Knights; they presided over areas unfamiliar to them. The Commissioners were told to ask the following:

  • The name of the place, who held it before 1066 and now?
  • How many hides (a land unit roughly 120 acres)?
  • How many plough teams owned by the Lord and his men?
  • How many villagers, cottagers, slaves?
  • How many woodland, pasture, mills and fishponds?
  • The presence of a church?
  • How much the revenue to the King was worth?

Once the Commissioners had obtained relevant information a rough draft was written by the clerks who accompanied them. This draft is now in the Cathedral Library at Exeter. The final draft was prepared by the Exchequer officials at Winchester and was written down in abbreviated Latin and Roman numerals. When this was carried out the work was compiled into two volumes known as the 'descriptio' meaning a 'writing down'. Later it was called the Book of Winchester, because it was kept in the Royal Treasury there. By 1170 it was popularly being called the Domesday Book because like the Day of Judgement - Domesday - there could be no appeal against what it contained. The survey was presented to William in Salisbury on 1 August 1086 and his acceptance of it was his last act as King of England for he returned to Normandy and died the following year. The Domesday Book, therefore, is a unique historical document and from it we can get an accurate impression of life in Norman England. The Domesday Book is now in the Public Records Office in Chancery Lane where it may be viewed.

Glossary

To understand the entries in the survey it is important to understand various terms, these are as follows:

Hundred
A division of a shire especially important in Saxon and Norman times.
Sulung
A Kent term, this was a variable measure depending on the soil quality and was the amount of land that could be cultivated using an 8 ox plough team. This was approximately 120 acres.
Acre
Originally a stretch of land of no particular size or nature, came to mean land cleared for cultivation or grazing. In open-field farming it then came to mean as large a strip as could be ploughed by a yoke of oxen in a day.
Meadow
A piece of grassland especially used for growing hay.
Pasture
Land used to provide herbage for cattle very similar to meadow.
Woodland
Often the area of woodland was defined by the number of pigs it would support. The pigs would be allowed to roam the woodlands foraging for food.
Ploughs
Literally the number of plough teams that worked the land divided into those owned by the Lord and those by the tenant. Where there is a team it is presumed that the tenants shared a team with a neighbouring settlement.
Villagers or villeins
A medieval peasant cultivating land in the village fields in return for labour service on the manorial farm.
Smallholder
Men who held land which was not strictly part of the manor, they owed their Lord (often the Lord of the nearest manor) certain dues in the form of money and services.
Cottagers or cottars
Unfree peasants with either a garden or up to five acres of land, probably living in a cottage away from the village.
Slave
Labourer who did most of the work on the manorial farm. They did not normally have any land of their own, and had to be housed and fed at the Lord's expense. It must be remembered that only the heads of households are included in the survey. To obtain a rough population figure the total should be multiplied by four.


 

 

 

Please visit the links below for information about things to do within seven miles of Abbotskerswell 

Babbacombe Model Village

Canonteign Falls

Castle at Compton

Cockington Country Park, Torquay

Cockington Country Park, Torquay

Shopping, dog walking, getting lost in the trees or enjoying one of the best cream teas in Devon (remember it's cream first in Devon)

Read more

Cockling at low tide

Cockling at low tide

Always check the tide tables and have your escape route planed, but there is something exquisitely wonderful about foraging for your own food. You can tell where the cockles are when they squirt sea water at you. see this link for more info about collecting your cockles http://www.worldseafishing.com/fishing-bait/bait-tactics/cockles/. Personally I prefer to keep my cockles for 48 hours in a bucket of clean water (changing it a couple of times) and sprinkle wholemeal flour for them to eat - this takes the crunch out of eating them!!

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Crabbing

Crabbing

This is just the most formative way to entertain the kids (big ones and small ones). Just grab yourselves a bucket, some bacon and some crabbing nets on lines and away you go. How many can you catch?

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Dartington Cider Press Centre

Dartington Cider Press Centre

Gifts and collectables galore!!

Read more

Dartington Hall

Dining in South Devon

Dining in South Devon

As well as our much loved pub The Court Farm Inn, you are spoiled for choice of places to eat with a wide range of superb culinary treats

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Golf Courses

Greenway House, Galmpton

Hill House Nursery and Gardens

Kents Cavern at Torquay

Market Town of Newton Abbot

Museums

Newton Abbot Race Course

Orchid Paradise

Paignton Zoo

Plant World

Plant World

Plant World Garden Centre describes itself as one of the floral delights of Devon and that's a big claim as Devon has many floral delights - including our own gardens which are featured in the National Garden Scheme.

Read more

Prickly Ball Farm (Hedgehog Hospital)

Seaside Resort of Torquay

Shopping

Shopping

What's best on a rainy day? Well for one thing, there is a wide range of shopping experiences!

Read more

Stover Park

Stover Park

Whether it's warm or wet, this country park will always delight and surprise you whether you are young or not so young!

Read more

The Historic Town of Totnes

Torre Abbey

Torre Abbey

This wonderful visitor experience is a MUST DO when you are in the area, spooky things for the kids and lots of interactive learning for the others

Read more

Tuckers Maltings

plaque crown

Welcome to Abbotskerswell, a picturesque and ancient Devon parish full of history and character. Its position on a map can be deceptive. It is in a quiet valley, well away from the hustle and bustle of the larger towns and their roads, but is also very convenient for the seaside and all the major facilities and stores that one would expect of much more highly populated places.

Our history constantly surprises us, with accounts being unearthed by our history group AbbPast. According to the Domesday book, apparently two households were slave households in Domesday times! According to the 2011 census there are around 676 homes with about 1560 individuals in an area of 503 hectares (see ONS data here), and the history group are concentrating on the people of the parish over the years.

The Parish comprises Abbotskerswell village and the hamlets of Stoneyhill, The Priory, Two Mile Oak and Whiddon. It also includes dwellings and businesses in the countryside but within the Parish Boundary.

The Parish and surrounds have many amenities including a primary school, our much loved pub, the Court Farm Inn, a village shop, cricket club, a hair salon, veterinary centre, a House Vetcafé, parish church and sports facilities including a recreation ground with football field and multi sports all-weather pitch, allotments, children's play ground and skateboard park.

may pole dancingThere are three public meeting places; the Village Hall, Church House and the Parish Rooms. There are also many interesting historical features including a dozen thatched cottages, an original well, and a Quaker burial ground.

There are two homes for gentle folk - a residential care home at Mallands and a retirement village at the ancient Priory overlooking the village.

To book the Tennis Courts / multisports site, please contact  Central @ Model Stores, tel Abbots 333387;  to book the Village Hall or Parish Rooms, please contact Lynn Howard on Abbots 351564.

If you want to know more about the Parish, there is further information in our section on the Neighbourhood Plan. Useful times and telephone numbers are in our 'Who do you need' section and our contacts page contains details of Councillors and other PC contacts. For ideas on places to visit in the area, you can visit our interactive local links page.

Each year a number of Parishioners work tirelessly to raise funds for local community and charity concerns through running our local Beer and Food Festival Abbfest. This is a seriously enjoyable event for all the family attracting more than 6000 people each year. Over £200,000 has been raised so far.

 

 

 


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