ABOUT & Contact

The Appledore Historical Society was formed in the Autumn of 1995 by a group of Born-and-Bred Appledorians concerned that their village had changed so much in the previous twenty years that memories of their childhood and their parents' and grandparents' would soon be forgotten. So it was decided that a group would meet on the second Wednesday of each month to record memories and document the Appledore of Yesteryear.

Appledore has a wonderfully unique history going back centuries. The village is situated at the mouth of the rivers Torridge and Taw in North Devon, England. Its name appears to be first documented in 1335 under the variation of "Apildare". Through the centuries the settlement has also been recorded as "Apelder", "Apuldore", "Applethurre", "Appelldore", "Appledoore" and "Apwldwr".

Yet, it is the supposed events of 878AD which still attract the schoolchildren's attention. This was when Hubba the Dane, as tradition has it, landed at Appledore and marched inland to attack Kenwith Castle. Though he barely reached what is now the next village of Northam before he was defeated in a mighty battle at a place which is still known today as Bloody Corner. His grave is said to be nearby, at Hubbastone.

Placed on the estuaries of two rivers which lead into the Bristol Channel, it seems only natural that Appledore has a distinguished maritime history. Whether it was as a port for fishing trawlers, ship builders or a home for sailors. It was supposedly in recognition of the courage of Appledore sailors and ships against the Spanish Armada of 1588 that Queen Elizabeth I made Appledore a free port; a status which remains today.

It is not now the working port that members of our group remember from their childhood, as it is rapidly becoming a tourist haven, with many of our quaint cottages owned by second home owners. Our large undercover shipyard which was once the envy of many, is not now as busy as we would like it to be and the workforce has been more than halved since the seventies and eighties, when their order book was always full. Our salmon boat licenses have been reduced to one, which is perhaps the saddest fact of all, as this occupation was probably the reason why there was a settlement here originally. Our members feel that those who have gone before deserve to be remembered, not only because of the poverty and the hard times they endured, but for their strength of character and their unfailing wit during hard times.



Joan Dixon

ahs @iwasthere.org.uk

Interested persons can use the contact details on the left <<


Committee Members

John Bowden - Anne Davis - Betty Piper - Ron Slade - Joan Dixon - Peter Dixon - Jo Braund - David Hooper -

Alan Braund (Technical Adviser}



1) To get together local people interested in local history to collect, collate and share information from the community to provide a repository of information for future generations.

3) Appledore Heritage goes back centuries and belongs to the people of Appledore, it helps and supports tourism, informs people about Appledores' long history and brings the community together in a local ongoing project.

4) To build up an extensive archive that might be developed into a local Appledore Heritage Centre.

5) To establish heritage trails.

7) To meet new people and enjoy the heritage of Appledore history.