ABBOTSKERSWELL IN WHITE'S DIRECTORY & GAZETTEER OF 1878
The ancient well lies behind the little door and
cress still gows along the banks of this stream
© Richard J. Brine
ABBOTSKERSWELL, or Abbot's Carswell, a parish and pleasant village, 13 miles S.W. of Newton Abbot, is in Newton Abbot union and county court district, Teignbridge petty sessional division, Newton Abbot polling district of East Devon, Haytor hundred, Totnes archdeaconry, and Moreton rural deanery. The parish, which includes the hamlet of Aller,had 453 inhabitants (231 males, 222 females) in 1871, living in 109 houses, on 1401 acres of land. It had formerly within it two manors, namely, that of Abbots-kerswell proper, belonging to the Abbey of Sherborne, in Dorsetshire, and that of Aller; parts of the ancient manor-houses still remain.
William Creed, Esq., is lord of the manor, and the principal owners of the soil are the heirs of the late Captain Marcus Hare, R.N., Messrs. John and William Creed, Richard Ford, John Vicary and — Nickels. Some of the smaller holdings have been in the families of their present proprietors for many generations. Kerswell is a corruption of Carsewell, the more ancient way of writing the name, Carse being Saxon for cress, for which the stream running through the village was formerly noted. It was called Abbot's Carsewell to distinguish it from the neighbouring parish of King's Carsewell, the manor of which belonged to the king. There are many springs and wells in the village, one of the latter on the Court Estate, belonging to the late Captain Hare, being called Ladewell, evidently a corruption of Our Lady's Well : its water was formerly supposed to be efficacious in the cure of eye diseases, and it is still occasionally resorted to by the inhabitants for that purpose.
The Church (Virgin Mary) is a very ancient structure, exhibiting specimens of Norman, Decorated and Perpendicular work. It is divided into two aisles, the pillars supporting the arches being of granite. It has a handsome screen in a tolerable state of preservation. The church is seated with unsightly pews. The tower contains three bells, but they are in a very imperfect condition. The Register dates from 1608, but there is notice of the parish accounts as early as 1573 ; both of these are, however, imperfect. The living is a vicarge, valued in the King's Book. at £1 11s 5d., in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor, and incumbency of the Rev. Vesey G. Hine, who has a vicarage-house, built in 1837, with money borrowed from Q.A.B. The vicarial tithes are commuted at £204 a year, and there are 60 acres of glebe ; the impropriate rent-charge, amounting to £116 a year, is payable to the vicar of Cornworthy. In the churchyard is a dilapidated old sarcophagus tomb, and near it is a plain marble cross enclosed by iron railings, in memory of the Hon. Mrs. Marcus Hare, as stated in ' Memorials of a Quiet Life.' The Baptists and Wesleyans have chapels here. The School Board was formed in March 27, 1875, and consists of Messrs. John Creed (chairman and clerk), William Creed (vice), Richard Ford, William Venning, Thomas Maddicott. The Board School was erected in 1876, at a cost of £600 (including £100 paid for the site), and has accommodation for 75 children. The Abbot of Sherborne in 1524 gave a certain house in the parish, the rent of which is applied to church expenses. Post Office at Mr. George Jeffery's.
Letters are received at 6.40 a.m. from, and despatched at 6.50 to Newton Abbot, which is the nearest Money Order Office and Railway Station.
Cornish Miss Emma, Board schoolmistress
Creed Mr John, Whiddon
Creed William, solicitor at Newton;Burrow Park
Dyer William, cowkeeper & victualler, Tradesman's Arms
Elliott Samuel, farmer
Ferries William, veterinary surgeon, Myrtle cottage
Ford Mr Ki chard, Abbotsford
Hannaford Mrs Hare Mrs Marcus, Court Grange
Henley AVilliam Codner, cider merchant, Mallands
Hine Rev Vesey Germain, B.A. vicar, The Vicarage
Jeffery George, postmaster
Lake Mr William Maye Richard, farmer. Court Farm
Mudge Thomas, farmer, Manor farm
Norton John, beerhouse
Paddon William, poulterer, &c.
Palk Edward, butcher and farmer Partridge John, wheelwrght. & blacksmith
Phillips John & Co. architectural pottery, sanitary pipe and terra-cotta manufacturers ; Moor park
Pickard Job, farmer, Whiddon farm
Prowse Frederick, blacksmith
Roworth Mr Job Skinner John, farmer, Cross farm
Smith Thomas, shoemaker
Stockman George, jun. fellmonger, artificial manure manufacturer, Aller Bone and Manure Works
White George, farmer, Aller farm