Abbotsham (pronounced Abbotsam) is a village and civil parish in the
English county of Devon. In 2001 its population was 434 increasing at
the 2011 census to 489.
Abbotsham Road Station
6 See also
8 External links
Abbotsham no longer has a Post Office and General Store but remains a
vibrant community. There is a primary school, a Pre-School, a church a
Chapel and a pub. There is also a village hall where a large range of
activities take place. One bus service serves Abbotsham; the
Stagecoach 319 from
Barnstaple to Hartland. From May to October 2007,
Devon ran a commercial service, the 21B, from
Westward Ho! via Abbotsham. However, this service was later withdrawn.
The Big Sheep
The Big Sheep amusement farm park located in Abbotsham.
The village has a community website (http://abbotshamdevon.weebly.com/
) which contains a wealth of past and present information about the
The area was called Hama in the Domesday Book. The village formed part
of the original endowment of
Tavistock Abbey in the late tenth
century, from which it takes its name. St. Helen parish church,
originally built by the Normans, was rebuilt in the thirteenth century
and features many carved statues and bench-ends. A more detailed
account of the links with
Tavistock Abbey can be found on the village
A mile to the north of the village is Kenwith Castle, built c1760 in
the Georgian Gothic style and now part of a retirement complex with 31
stand alone bungalows and sheltered accommodation.
The local village school St Helen's C of E Primary School
(www.abbotsham-sthelens.devon.sch.uk) has been in existence for over
150 years. There is a wealth of information on the School's past
available in the
Abbotsham Archives including the School Register back
to 1894 and many pictures of pupils, staff and villagers. An
increasing amount of this information is available on the village
There are a number of valuable sources for family historians on the
Village Website looking for references to particular families. These
include the School Register from 1894 to 1997 listing pupils in
alphabetic order, a transcription of the 1842 Tithe Register and a
complete collection of press cuttings referring to the village from
1860 to 1978.
Thomas Arthur VC (real name McArthur), 1835–1902, recipient of the
Victoria Cross during the Crimean War, was born in Abbotsham.
Abbotsham Road Station
Abbotsham once had its own railway station at
Abbotsham Road on the
Westward Ho! and Appledore Railway, which was built entirely
on this peninsula with no direct connection across the River Torridge
to the British railway network. The locomotives were furnished with
skirts to protect pedestrians as at one point the line ran along the
quay at Bideford. The line had eleven halts which largely served
visitors visiting the coast or travelling to swim off the beaches
around Westward Ho!. The railway, authorised in 1896, was opened as
far as Northam by 1901 and to Appledore in 1908. It closed in 1917.
^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 8 April 2015.
^ "Kenwith Castle". britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. Retrieved
^ Thomas Arthur Archived September 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
^ Stuckey, Douglas (1962). The Bideford,
Westward Ho! and Appledore
Railway 1901-1917. Pub. West Country Publications.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Abbotsham.
Devon Local Studies -
Abbotsham community page
Abbotsham in the Domesday Book
Coordinates: 51°01′N 4°15′W / 51.017°N 4.250°W /
The community website is http://abbotsha