"ABBOTSKERSWELL, or Abbot's Carswell, is a pleasant village, two miles S. of Newton Abbot, and has in its parish 433 souls and 1600 acres of land, including several scattered houses and the hamlet of Aller, where there is a paper mill, on a rivulet 1 ½ mile from the church. The soil is all freehold, and belongs to Sir W.P. Carew, Bart., the Hon. Mrs. Hare, W. Hole, Esq., Wm. and John Creed, and a few smaller owners. The Church (St. Mary,) is an ancient fabric in the perpendicular style, with a tower and three bells. It is about to be thoroughly repaired and beautified. The old pews are to give way to open benches, and the finely carved oak screen is to be restored and opened. . . . A cottage has been converted into a Baptist Chapel; and in the parish is a Quaker's Burial Ground, which was reserved for that purpose by a Mr. Tucket, when he sold Court Barton estate. Here is a small National School." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Haytor Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Totnes and the Diocese of Exeter.



The Abbotskerswell Village History Series - by Abbfast Publications - publication listing.

Smith, Lorna. Hundred of Haytor (revised by John R. Pike), (1986) 9p. [Westcountry Studies Library]

The hundred of Heytor 1973: a guide to the printed sources ..., Torquay, Torbay Library Services (1973) 39p. [ISBN 0901842184] [Westcountry Studies Library 016/HEY/TOR]



Harpley, W. John Creed [Obituary]. Trans. Devon. Assoc., 1879, Vol. XI, p. 54. [transaction]



MIs for this parish are included in the Devon FHS index - see under Cemeteries on the main Devon page.


Church History

Abbotskerswell - from J. Stabb. Some Old Devon Churches (London: 1908-16).

J.V.S.C. St Mary the Virgin, Abbotskerswell, (1989). [Index]

Watts, Geoffrey E. St. Augustine's Priory, Abbotskerswell: A short history of the priory and other buildings on the site, Typescript (1998) 31 pp. [Westcountry Studies Library: px726.7/ABB/WAT]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1607 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1607 are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

The members' area of the Devon FHS website makes available online images, not at present (Jan 2016) available elsewhere, of the Parish Registers covering Abbotskerswell Baptisms, Marriages and Burials: 1607-1683, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials: 1654-1698, Baptisms: 1689-1813, Baptisms: 1813-1876, Baptisms and Burials: 1699-1813, Marriages and Banns: 1754-1813, Marriages: 1813-1842, Marriages: 1838-1906, Banns: 1824-1859.

Other churches and chapels (with pre-1840 records):

  • Wesleyan: Registers for 1811-1837 in PRO RG 4/842, 1220 (with Brixham Circuit; Teignmouth)

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1607-1837, Marriages 1607-1679, 1699-1837.

Deanery of Ipplepen: Photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Devonshire Directory 1850. CD - Devon FHS (2012). [An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of: Abbotskerswell Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1756-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Berry Pomeroy Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Brixham All Saints Baptisms (1826-1839), Marriages (1826-1837), Burials (1831-1832); Brixham St Mary Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Broadhempston Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1681-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Churston Ferrers Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1835), Burials (1800-1837); Cockington Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1780-1834); Coffinswell Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1857); Denbury Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1800-1837); Ipplepen Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1843), Burials (1813-1837); Kingskerswell Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Kingswear Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1755-1837), Burials (1780-1837); Littlehempston Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1731-1837), Burials (1813-1840); Marldon Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Paignton Baptisms (1813-1841), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Paignton Independent Burials (1826-1836); Staverton Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Stoke Gabriel Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Torbryan Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1838), Burials (1813-1854); Tormohun Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Torquay St Marychurch Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Wolborough Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1839), Burials (1813-1837); Woodland Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1755-1835), Burials (1813-1838).]


Williams, H. Fulford. S. Mary the Virgin, Abbotskerswell, Devon. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 26 (1954-5) pp.165-168. [Incl. list of vicars]



Court Records

Register of Freeholders - Haytor & Hemyock c1816, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D130). [Foreword]


Description & Travel

Abbotskerwell village website.

Section on Abbotskerswell from Samuel Lewis: A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831), provided by Mel Lockie.

Conservation Area Appraisal for Abbotskerswell - an interesting account of the area, with numerous photographs and maps.

Chard, Judy. Along the Lemon: the life story of a Devon river from Haytor to Newton Abbot, Chudleigh, Orchard Publns (1993) 79p: ill. [ISBN 0951902741] [Westcountry Studies Library sB/LEM/1979/CHA]

You can see pictures of Abbotskerswell which are provided by:



Transcription provided by Val Henderson of the entry (description and names) in Morris and Co's Commercial Directory and Gazetteer of Devonshire 1870.



The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.



The Story of the Lee Family of Abbotskerswell - by Alan Elliott. (See also under Biography in St Marychurch.)



ABBPAST - The Abbotskerswell History Group website.

Cocks, John Somers. Abbotskerswell, Devon. (1995) 42p. [Available from the Parish Church] [Contains many incidental references to names of people and places. Appendices: people paying Poor Rate 1613; tenants of the Manor c 1700; and names from Harrods Directory 1878.] [Index]

Reichel, O J. The hundred of Haytor in the time of Testa de Nevil, 1244, with notes and an index. Trans. Dev. Assoc. 40 (1908). [Index]

A short history of Abbotskerswell. Denbury Press, (November 1978) [12]p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - pB/ABB 7/0001/SHO] [Index]

Abbotskerswell Cricket Club Centenary 1898 - 1998: with a list of Officers of the Club, committees & players etc., Kingfisher Print   Design Ltd, Will Road, Totnes, Devon TQ9 5XN (1998?). [Index]


Land & Property

Index of heads of Households in Devonshire: Abbotskerswell, P.O. Box 339, Blackburn, Victoria, Australia 3130, Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies (2000). [As recorded in Land Tax records 1780-1831]



View a map of the boundaries of this town/parish.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX856687 (Lat/Lon: 50.506886, -3.614646), Abbotskerswell which are provided by:


Names, Personal

Name listing transcribed from the Abbotskerswell section of Kelly's Devon 1893 Directory by Jonathan Frayne.


Poor Houses, Poor Law

The Devon FHS Library holds material related to Settlement Papers for this parish.

Wheeleker, S. and Wyles, S. Poor Relief in Devon: Two Studies [Abbotskerswell and Totnes], (1991) [ISBN 0852140487] [Devon FHS Library p942.35/ABB]



ABBPAST - The Abbotskerswell History Group website.

Abbotskerswell History Group, Devon Family Historian, no. 187, (2023) pp.12-14. [Includes lengthy publications list.]