Roll of Honour Project-ABBPAST
"THE ABBOTSKERSWELL VILLAGE HISTORY SERIES"
This series of four themed booklets telling the villages story was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, meaning that the booklets are free to villagers. The year long project in 2016/17 was successfully completed and all are available in the village, or you can download the pdfs below. Two more volumes will be available in 2018/19.
Production Dates 2016/17
1. Industry & Commerce - Book_1_Industry_and_Commerce.pdf
This is the story of Abbotskerswell's industrial development from its farming roots to industrialisation. It includes a study of the Aller industrial area, Henley's Cyder Works, quarrying and modern industries.
**This volume is now out of print**
2. Houses & Families - Book_2_Houses_and_Families.pdf
This volume is the story of Abbotskerswell's houses and the people who lived in them, from the old thatched cottages through to the new estates. We explain the importance to village of the Hares and Dences at Court Grange, the Creeds at The Manor House and the Henleys at Mallands House.
3. Religion & Education - Book_3_Religion_and_Education.pdf
Our third volume relates the events surrounding the various religious buildings and activities that the village has seen over the centuries, with stories of assaults on Vicars and secretive religious organisations. The history of village education is told from the early 19th century to the present day, with the first proper school buildings of 1875 still being used.
4. Pubs Clubs & Governance - Book_4_Pubs,_Clubs_and_Governace.pdf
This volume completes the initial four booklets in the series. It tells the story of the five public houses that have been in the parish, before going on to relate the social background to the clubs and events that provided the entertainment in a working community. The story of the original Parish Council comes next, and then the volume ends by the telling the story of some of the men who lived in the village, both important and infamous; yes the story of John 'Babbacombe' Lee is told here.
5. The Era of World War II - WW2_BOOK__v6_spd.pdf
This volume is the first of the final two in the series and covers the period from the 1930s until 1959. Abbotskerswell returned to a quiet rural village after the horrors of The Great War, but all too soon was preparing for a second major war. We follow the village, and its men and women who were the armed forces, relating their stories. The story continues into the post WW2 world of austerity and rationing but by the end of the 1950s the beginning sof the modern village are emerging.
6. Abbotsleigh Priory - Vol_6_Abbotsleigh_Priory.pdf
This last booklet in the Series tells the story of the creation of Abbotsleigh and the lives of the Sisters who lived there from 1861 until 1983. The role of Sister Mary Benedict in this story is both crucial and remarkable and possibly unique in the history of British convents. Using stunning glass negatives taken by a Sister in the early 20th century and the Archives of the Bishop of Plymouth and Abbotsleigh the story unfolds.
"ABBOTSKERSWELL DURING WORLD WAR 1"
Production Date: 2014 World_War_1.pdf
This was our first publication created when in 2012 we formed a research group to look into the history of Abbotskerswell during the period of World War 1. Our intention was to conduct in-depth research into the servicemen who are listed on the village's Roll of Honour, but ended up by also looking at life in the village during the 1910s. Our Heritage Lottery Fund grant funded the booklet and the renovation of the graves in village churchyard. As a memorial to the men who gave their lives we fully renovated the graves of the three men buried in the churchyard and cleaned the six family gravestones that carry memorials to men buried abroad. We were also honoured to be featured in the national launch of the HLF 'WW1 Then & Now Fund' as an example of what might be possible with the funds support.
This publication became AbbPast's first venture into the history of a village organisation to help raise funds; this booklet can be purchased in the Church, from the village Cafe or at Town Farm.
In 2018 the clock in the church seized up and to repair it over £5 000 was required. Since the clock had been paid for by Mrs Hare, from Court Grange, in 1908 AbbPast felt that history was calling and it was time to help out. The creation of a new history of the church, paid for by an AbbPast member, was the solution. All the proceeds of the sales will initially go to the clock fund, and later to church funds.
AbbPast produced this booklet as a limited print run to commemorate the 58 year history of the village branch following its closure in 2017. Using the Meetings Record and Committee Minute books, plus photographs and artefacts gathered over the years, this is a tribute to the members, and their activities during its history.