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The Parish of Shebbear

Shebbear was formally called Sepeeberie and afterwards Shaftebeare or Shafttebeare, whence it became Shebbeare, Shebbear. It is frequently mentioned in Doomsday Book as furnishing grants of money for the Crusades. The Parish Church is a large and beautiful edifice, capable of accommodating about 500 persons. It was consecrated by Bishop Grandison in November 1358, and dedicated to St.Michael. The bells are six in number, and of fine musical tone. A beautiful Norman arch is the first feature of interest and meets the eye on entering the church, and the pillars and arches of the nave are said to be magnificent specimens of early art. The pulpit is, without doubt, one of the oldest and best in the Diocese; the carved oak being simply unique, and has been most carefully preserved. A handsome stained glass window has recently been placed over the alter, the funds for which were collected by Mrs Earle of Lovercott.....

The manor of Durpley contains an ancient stronghold called Durpley Castle, which is supposed to have been the purpose of defence during the Danish inroads. Doubtless some sanguinary encounters took place in the neighbourhood as the names and positions of Battle Down and Battle Hill remain to this day.

Ladford has some interesting associations. It appears that this estate was formally in possession of Dame Prengergast, a pious lady, who built the "south aisle of the church and covered it with lead." ...The old old Manorial House has long disappeared, having been destroyed by fire, and is now replaced by a modern farmhouse owned and occupied by Mr Chamberlain. A curious story is told by some aged people respecting an underground chamber or cell that is said to have been discovered in the garden by a former occupant about 50 years ago, when a large amount of treasure trove was unearthed.

Lovacott, the residence of Alfred Earl Esq., is also a very ancient estate. It is mentioned in Doomsday Book in the year 1086, and was then held by a Saxon named Rudd. Allacot takes its name from Johannes Alvethot who held the land subject to condition of holding the king's stirrup whenever his Majesty came to Shebbear. ...WILLIAM WALLACE Vicar 1889


The council now have a dedicated website

For archived minutes, click here.


Famous faces associated with Shebbear More...

  Shebbear at war, the Home Guard and the fallen.
  Bible Christian Baptisms of Shebbear and Buckland Filleigh residents from 1818 through to 1837    
  Shebbear Parish Plan. Surveyed in 2003 and published in 2005, this spells out a vision for the future of the parish.This is a big file and will take some time to download. more...  

Shebbear Village hall is available to hire and here is the website with full up to date contact details etc.

Images of the area
Images of Shebbear Past & Present
Could there be somebody in here that you know? more...
Turning of the Stone

Turning of the Stone
Mentioned in the Doomsday book as a ceremony that the origin had long been forgotten, the 'Devils' Stone' is turned every 5th November.
2006, 2007 2013 Media clips

  Shebbear businesses 1871
A comprehensive list of businesses as listed operating in Shebbear in 1871 with addresses. more...
Reflecting Shebbear
An inspired title for a magazine that serves the current and exiled Shebbear community more...
  Shebbear in Bloom
Just who are the green fingered folk of Shebbear? See the link to find out 2008
  Shebbear Community Appraisal 1998
A survey of the residents of the community offering a fascinating snapshot into lives and views of the time.
Flower Show
This is an important date in the calendar with most of the community getting involved with either organising or displaying or both. More than just a flower show. 2006 report 2007 report 2008 report 2010 results

Torridge District Council 'Local Plan' for Shebbear 1997-2011
Here is the plan in detail as announced by the council.

Shebbear Census information 1831


Shebbear, par. and vil., Devon, 8 miles NE. of Holsworthy, 5827 ac., pop. 913; p.p. (John Bartholomew, Gazetteer of the British Isles (1887))


Highlighted gazetteer entry In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Shebbear like this:

"SHEBBEAR, a village, a parish, a sub-district, and a hundred, in Devon. The village stands near the river Torridge, 12 miles S by W of Bideford r. station; and has a post-office under Highampton, North Devon.

The parish comprises 5, 827 acres. Real property, 4, 363. Pop., 1, 109. Houses, 219. The property is much sub-divided. The manor was anciently called Shepesbear; belonged early to the Barons of Okehampton; passed to the Nevilles, the Rolles, and Lord Clinton; and belongs now to P. A. Kingdon, Esq. The living is a vicarage-united with Sheepwash, in the diocese of Exeter. Value, 334.* Patron, the Lord Chancellor. The church ischiefly later English. There are three dis-senting chapels, a national school, and charities 104.

The sub-district contains 5 parishes, and is in Torrington district. Acres, 17, 666. Pop., 3,063. Houses, 600. The hundred contains 26 parishes. Acres, 73, 250. Pop. in 1851, 16,064; in 1861, 15, 726. Houses, 3, 194."


Shebbear had a recorded population of 946 in 2001. Source: FHSA 2001