Appledore Quay looking towards Instow, North Devon
Appledore is not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 (though it mentions two other, smaller, Appledores in Devon). Its earliest recorded name, in 1335, is le Apildore in the manor of Northam. There was a Saxon settlement but the Devon historian WG Hoskins says of the local legend that it was the site of a Viking raid in 878 AD, ‘there is no authority for this identification’ The settlement prospered as a port in the Elizabethan period, and some cottages date from this period. The construction of a quay in 1845 further developed the port, and as a result Appledore has a rich maritime heritage from the second half of the 19th century. The painter Edward Calvert was born there in 1799.Shipowner Sir William Reardon Smith was born in Appledore and went to the Wesleyan school there.
The Richmond Dry Dock was built in 1856 by William Yeo and named after Richmond Bay in Prince Edward Island, where the Yeo family‘s shipping fleet was based. From 1882 until the 1930s it was owned by Robert Cook, and continued in use until the 1960s. It is a Grade II* listed building. There is a maritime museum in the village chronicling the history of shipbuilding and seafaring in the village