Abbotskerswell

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Coordinates: 50°30′33″N 3°36′55″W / 50.5092°N 3.6152°W / 50.5092; -3.6152

Abbotskerswell
Abbotskerswell.jpg
The village of Abbotskerswell is surrounded by fields
Abbotskerswell is located in Devon
Abbotskerswell
Abbotskerswell
 Abbotskerswell shown within Devon
Population 1,515 (2001 UK Census)
OS grid reference SX855690
District Teignbridge
Shire county Devon
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town NEWTON ABBOT
Postcode district TQ12
Dialling code 01626
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Devon and Somerset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Teignbridge
List of places
UK
England
Devon

Abbotskerswell is a village and civil parish in the English county of Devon. The village is in the north part of the parish and is located two miles (3 km) south of the town of Newton Abbot, 7 miles (11 km) from the seaside resort of Torquay and 32 miles (51 km) from the city of Plymouth. The A381 road between Newton Abbot and Totnes runs down the western side of the parish and the main railway line between these two towns forms part of its eastern boundary.

History[edit]

In the Domesday Book Abbotskerswell was called Carsuella and was held by the abbot of Horton, Dorset. The name kerswell means cress spring.[1] 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.[2]

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,[3] have been found within the church, and work has been undertaken to restore them.

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.[4]

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."

Today[edit]

The village has several listed buildings, a small shop, (with a hair salon (residents only) on the upper floor) and one pub. The Court Farm Inn was previously a farm, and was converted to a pub in the 20th century when the old Tradesmans Arms closed. The other pub was the older Butchers Arms, which was originally a smithy. The village post office was closed by Royal Mail in 2008,[5] it is now an emporium and coffee house. Abbotskerswell Priory, just north of the parish boundary, was home to an Order of Augustinian nuns from 1861 to 1983 and was then converted into apartments and cottages for elderly people.[3][6]

The village hosts the annual "Abbfest" Beer and Food Festival which celebrates Devon food and drink. Sometimes beer. Well, mainly beer. A joyful occasion for the local residents to get right up the jacksie.[7]

As of 2010, the village has two teams in the South Devon Football League: the main team is in the Premier Division, and the Reserves in Division Four. Their ground is at Abbots Park.[8] Abbotskerswell Cricket Club has two adult teams, the first team playing at A division in the Devon Cricket League and the second team playing at B division in the second team league. The plan for 2011 is to have a third team. There is a Sunday side and four youth teams. The grounds are situated on the main A381 Totnes Road outside the village.

Twin cities/towns[edit]

Notable people[edit]

  • John 'Babbacombe' Lee, known as "The Man They Couldn't Hang" was born in the village in 1864.
  • Arthur Judd, first-class cricketer, died here in 1988.
  • Jack Davey, ran the Court Farm public house in the village.
  • Asa Doktor (Inventor) Created the little known, Antus Wheelius. A delightful contraption concerning the production of lemonade using ants and ant alone, power and juice.
  • Lenny Henry (Comedian) Lenny wasn't born here, in fact I'm not sure he ever came to Abbotskerswell, but to be fair he used to be shacked up with the vicar of Dibley on Dartmoor so that's something I suppose.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eilert Ekwall (1981). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names. Oxford [Eng.]: OUP. ISBN 0-19-869103-3. 
  2. ^ Devon County Council census statistics Retrieved 7 February 2007
  3. ^ a b Pevsner, Nikolaus; Cherry, Bridget (revision) (1989) [1952]. The Buildings of England: Devon. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 124–125. ISBN 0-14-071050-7. 
  4. ^ Newton Abbot Chamber of Commerce and Urban District Council (c. 1930). Official Guide to Newton Abbot. Gloucester: The British Publishing Co Ltd. p. 19. 
  5. ^ "Village post office is to close". BBC News Online. 11 November 2008. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Retire in style at The Priory - A unique concept in retirement". Clennon Management Ltd. Retrieved 2010-07-08. 
  7. ^ Dale, Laura. "Ale and music are sell-out success". This is South Devon. Retrieved 2010-12-24. 
  8. ^ "Clubzone". The WBW South Devon Football League. Retrieved 2010-12-24.