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                               LATEST NEWS FROM ABBPAST


Supported by the HLF our illustrated history of Abbotskerswell in four volumes will become available during 2016 & 2017.

  • Industry & Commerce Book      *** now available at The Model Stores ***
  • Houses and Housing        *** now available at The Model Stores ***
  • Religion and Education    *** now available at The Model Stores ***
  • Pubs, Clubs and Governance     *** now at the printers ***

We will be giving talks to village group and talking to villagers to seek any material, photographs, reminiscences, newspaper pieces etc to help with our research, especially on more modern times. If you can help please contact us.

Book Launches
As each book is released we will have a launch event.

Houses & Families - this time we chose to have the launch at the Tuesday Coffee Morning in Church House, and incorporated the unveiling of the 'Public Baths' replica commemoration plaques.

Industry & Commerce - we choose Babbinis as the venue since it began life as a Co-operative shop. The day long event attractive a good deal of interest with former shop owner Mrs Holmes being the guest of honour. On display were Mr & Mrs Holmes' salver given to them by the cricket club and the original post office post box front from 1872.

Religion & Education - the launch for the third book was at the Village School, which is still housed in the original, if radically amended, 1875 Board School whose story is told in our publication. We are very greatful to the children and the staff at the school for their fantastic support with this project.  


We are trying to put together a complete set of ABBTALKS and are a number missing, can anybody help? We are missing the following editions.

105, 131, 136-7, 160, 178 246

Please contact any Committee member if you can help.


The members who went on the August visit to Cotehele House were blessed with glorious weather for looking round the gardens and Cotehele Quay, with the Tamar Barge Shamrock, built in 1899 moored there. Looking around the house first, in the Great Hall was the "Look Sharp" event, where you could handle several enormous swords and battle weapons. Perspiration tarnishes and actually erodes the metal of these old artefacts, which is why now you have to wear gloves. One surprising thing was an iron arm, dating from the 17th Century, that could be bolted on to armour as an artificial lower arm, and with various studs and slots, the fingers could be locked in position allowing the wearer to hold reins or maybe even a weapon!


The House belonged to the Edgcumbe family, and from the mid 1700s they developed it as an antiquarian repository for many of their possessions, which they would then take visitors to their main seat, Mount Edgcumbe to admire.


Our project is to be featured on the HLF website as an example of the kind of project that can completed with their funding.


We have been reviewing the AbbPast membership and for 2016 have made a few changes. It still only costs 7 for a year's membership, saving a 1 for each meeting attended. However, we have now added a membership card containing a list of the meetings during the year and also 'The AbbPast Chronicle', our newsletter that will contain various historical pieces of information; you really must join.


At the bottom of Priory Lane where it meets the Kingskerswell Road was an old toll-house, which was built in 1765 by the Keyberry Park to Kingswear Turnpike Trust. These trusts took over poorly maintained roads, improved and the charged a fee or a toll for using the road. Our toll-house, at Langford Bridge, has been dis-used since the late 1970s and is in a poor state of repair. As part of the Kingskerswell Relief Road the road from Decoy to Kingskerswell is being widened and the toll-house demolished.

AbbPast and the Parish Council were working to try to prevent this and the PC  were trying to get the toll-house listed by English Heritage; interesting the actual Langford Bridge is listed. Sadly all our efforts failed as it appeared that Teignbridge DC were determined to go ahead with the scheme at any price, and English Heritage were inept in their reviewing of the house using inaccurate old maps and failing to visit the site.


4th August - 100th Anniversary of the Declaration of World War 1
On this auspicious day we launched our research booklet "Abbotskerswell During World War 1" and the renovated graves were rededicated in a moving Church Service in which the tolling bell was rung 18 times, 1 for each of the men who died from the village. At our exhibition/book launch and in the weeks since we have distributed nearly 500 copies of the book, which is free thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund. We are very grateful for the hard work of Lynn and her assistants in the Model Stores in the distribution process.
It is exciting to note that we have been approached by the families of a number of the men who we had not contacted before who were keen to learn about their family member. One lady was so enthused that she has gone over to France to visit the grave.

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