Northam () is a small town,
civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their combined form, the unitary authorit ...
and electoral ward in
Devon Devon (, also known as Devonshire) is a Counties of England, county of England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is part of South West England, bounded by Cornwall to the west, Somerset to ...
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. En ...
, lying north of
. The civil parish also includes the villages of
Westward Ho!
Westward Ho!
, Appledore, West Appledore, Diddywell, Buckleigh and Silford, and the residential areas of Orchard Hill and Raleigh Estate. The population at the 2011 census was 5,427.


Northam is thought to have been the site of an
Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group who inhabited England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea ...
castle in East Sussex East Sussex is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern na ...

, and the area between Northam and Appledore is said to have been where the Danish Viking Ubba (or Hubba) was repelled (perhaps by
Alfred the Great Alfred the Great (848/49 – 26 October 899) was king of the West Saxons from 871 to and king of the Anglo-Saxons from to 899. He was the youngest son of King Æthelwulf, who died when Alfred was young. Three of Alfred's brothers, Æthelba ...

Alfred the Great
or by the
Earl of Devon Powderham Castle, Devon, the ancient seat of the family of Courtenay of Powderham, which successfully claimed the dormant Earldom of Devon in the 19th century. Here seen from the south west, flying the heraldic standard of Courtenay The title of ...
). This is commemorated in local place names like Bloody Corner and Hubba's Rock (or Hubbleston), which is supposed to be the site where Ubba was killed. It was also the site of the Battle of Northam in 1069 where the sons of Harold Godwinson were defeated. Church of St Margaret of Antioch, Northam, St Margaret's church is the Anglicanism, Anglican parish church for the town and has been a Grade I listed building since 1951. In 1832 a meeting was held in Northam to protest an attempt by Augustus Saltren-Willett, lord of the manor, to take ownership of the commons of Northam Burrows. Royal North Devon Golf Club was formed at Northam Burrows in 1864; its course is the oldest on its original site in England. Between 1901 and 1917, the town and golf course were served by Northam (North Devon) railway station, Northam railway station.

Northam Burrows

A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Northam Burrows is a saltmarsh and dune landscape, adjacent to the Torridge Estuary. It is part of the North Devon Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and sits within North Devon's Biosphere Reserve. It is also home to the oldest golf course in England, the Royal North Devon Golf Club.

Sport and recreation

Northam has a List of King George V Playing Fields (Devon), King George's Field as a memorial to George V of the United Kingdom, King George V. Torridge Pool, off Churchill Way, has lane and learner pools but despite the name, it has a wider role as a leisure centre with gym and sauna.


Northam has a public library. This burned down in 2005 destroying the building and 90% of the books, in a fire believed to have been caused by the action of a hands-free magnifier on a pile of leaflets. The public library was threatened with closure in 2014 due to cuts in the County's budget.


The Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore Railway (B,WH&A,R) was most unusual amongst British railways in that although it was built as a standard gauge line it was not joined to the rest of the railway network, despite the London and South Western Railway having a station at Bideford, East-the-Water, meaning on the other side of the River Torridge from the main town. The line was wholly situated on the peninsula made up of Westward Ho!, Northam and Appledore, North Devon, Appledore with extensive sand dunes the Torridge and Taw estuary. Northam railway station (North Devon), Northam station and the line closed in 1917 having been requisitioned by the War Office, and is now used as part of the Tarka Trail cycle route which forms part of the South West Coast Path.

Bus services

*Stagecoach 21= ilfracombe to Westward Ho! *Stagecoach 21A= ilfracombe to Appledore *stagecoach 16 = bideford - westward ho! - appledore W.Ho! Buses serve the Square, Sandymere Rd and Atlantic Way. Appledore buses serve Lenards Rd and Churchill Way. 16 bus service serves morwenna park road, sea view road, Windsor road and JH taylor drive

Notable residents

*Rosemary West - serial killer



Stuckey, Douglas (1962). The Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore Railway 1901-1917. Pub. West Country Publications.

External links

Northam Town Council

Torridge District Council

North Devon AONB website
{{authority control Towns in Devon Torridge District