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The Area

The Warren Care Home is situated in the small town of Northam near the historic “Little White Town” of Bideford (as coined by Charles Kingsley in his 1855 novel “Westward Ho!” ) which lies on the River Torridge and is spanned by the 13th century Long Bridge. The bridge has 24 arches all of different sizes.

Northam, with the layout of a very ancient village which probably dates back to early Anglo-Saxon times is one of the oldest settlements in the District. It has been suggested that there may have been a castle at the top end of the village, near to the entrance to Goats Hill. The name of Castle Street somewhat supports this theory, being reinforced by the layout of the other main thoroughfares of Fore Street, Burrough Road, Lenards Road, Cross Street and North Street.

The entry in the Doomsday Book states that Northam lies in the Shebbear Hundred, and is identifiable in the Tax Return for Merton (Shebbear) Hundred. St Stephen’s Church was granted to Northam by Matilda of Flanders, wife of the Duke of Normandy (William the Conqueror). It is listed as being held by King Brictric prior to 1066.