map of parish

The Parish

Occupying a stunning part of the beautiful North Devon Heritage coast, the Parish of Alwington covers an area stretching from Peppercombe to Babbacombe and Cockington, towards Greencliffe on the Abbotsham Parish border, then moving inland from Bideford Bay, it includes such quaintly named spots as Knotty Corner as well as the villages or hamlets of Fairy Cross, Ford, Alwington and Woodtown, before moving on down to the boundary at Yeo Vale. Reference to the appropriate Ordinance Survey map will give the reader a clearer picture of the boundaries.

History

The historical heart of the Parish is Portledge House, originally it's believed, to be the home of the Lord of the Manor, and of the Pine-Coffin family for many years until the estate was sold off in 1998. This family were landlords of most of the cottages and land on the eastern side of the village of Bucks Mills, including the lime kiln "East Kiln", but these were sold off in 1982.

Parish church & Old Schoolroom

The local parish church, St Andrew's in Alwington, goes back to the 13th Century, and stands in a picturesque environment, with magnificant views across the Yeo Valley. It is the Pine-Coffin family place of worship, with various members of the family having been Patrons of this church over the centuries, and naturally many of them have been interred there over the years.

Immediately adjacent to the church is a small building affectionately known as "The Old Schoolroom" - indeed that it exactly what it was . Constructed in 1836, it served as a school for many local families until it was closed in 1956 and tuition was combined with St Helen' School in Abbotsham. A recent reunion held within this building resulted in nearly 90 people including former pupils and their families and friends attending, and the building is regularly used today for craft meetings, private parties, and the like. Renovation of the building is ongoing, with a new roof and windows already sympathetically replaced.

Social

The Alwington Village Hall is a larger venue, constructed in 1933, and whilst not so attractive in appearance or location, it is more functional for larger events, including skittles, dancing classes, concerts, quiz evenings, horticultural shows and the like.  The hall is also available to hire to the general public.

 

Methodist Chapel

Methodist Chapel regularly used today, in neighbouring village of Ford (see the Gallery page).

The chapel is believed to have been built by one William Bailey of Alwington, who converted two houses in the early 19th century into the place of worship seen today. The Alms Houses were founded in 1894 by James Colmer JP (of Bath), on the site where he was born in 1830.