Roll of Honour Project-ABBPAST
"THE ABBOTSKERSWELL VILLAGE HISTORY SERIES"
This series of four themed booklets telling the village's 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 were added to the series during in 2018/19.
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
steady decline of the village’s farms, the Aller industrial area, Henley's Cyder Works, quarrying and the 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
the important houses, 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 creation of the various religious buildings and their activities in the
village 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 existed in the
parish, before going on to relate the social cackground 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 telling the stories of some of
the people 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 beginnings of 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" - World_War_1.pdf
Production Date: 2014
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 nationallaunch of the HLF 'WW1 Then & Now
Fund' as an example of what might be possible with the funds support.
**This volume is now out of print**
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 Orchard 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.
"CHURCH HOUSE ABBOTSKERSWELL 1919 - 2019"
Production Date 2019
Once again AbbPast has joined a village organisation to create a booklet telling its story. The trustees of Church House, and AbbPast, have jointly produced this publication which is available for the cost of £1 from the Orchard Cafe or at Town Farm.
In 1919 the daughters of Mrs Marcus Hare, who had lived at Court Grange, gave Church House to the village for it to be
used for village events. In this way this 16th century church house continued to be at the centre of the village's social life.
The background to Church House and the uses of it in the last 100 years are told in our publication.
"ROSE COTTAGES, AN OUTLINE HISTORY"
Production Date: 2019 Story_of_Rose_Cottages_2.pdf Rose_Cottages_Plans_3.pdf
On 22 July 2019 AbbPast held an Open Day at No. 3 Rose Cottages to allow villagers to look at its recent renovation but more
importantly to see it as the four cottages that it had been since at least 1839. We were indeed fortunate that its owner granted us
this fantastic opportunity to hold the Open Day, which around 200 people took trhe opportunity to attend. We produced a short
history of the site and a plan of No. 3 as the four cottages, which are available as the pdfs shown above.