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"BERRYNARBOR is a pleasant village, on an eminence near the sea coast, overlooking Combemartin Cove, 3 miles E. of Ilfracombe. Its parish contains 899 inhabitants, and 4958A. 1R. 27P. of land, including many scattered farm-houses, &c., and a range of hills in which lime and other stone is got. Westcote says it was originally called Bury, and afterwards Bury Nerbert, from the family who held it some centuries ago, but we find it was held by the Berry family till 1708. A.D. Bassett, Esq., who has a pleasant seat here, called Watermouth, owns a great part of the parish, and is lord of the manor, which was purchased by J.D. Bassett, Esq., in 1712. Sir P.B. Chichester, Sir P.F. Palmer Acland, and the Executors of the late Charles Cutcliffe, have estates here. Mr. Bassett is also lord of the manors of East Haggington and Woolscott. The parish has its annual feast or revel on the first Sunday in July, and was the birthplace of the celebrated Bishop Jewel. The Church is an ancient structure, with some monuments of the Berry family." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Braunton Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple, and the Diocese of Exeter.


Le Bas, Charles Webb. Life of Bishop [John] Jewel [1522- ], London, J.G & F.Rivington (1835) 345 pp. [Westcountry Studies Library: s920/JEW]


MIs for this parish are included in the Incledon index - see under Cemeteries on the main Devon page.


Snetzler, M.F. North Devon Surname Index to the Census. Microfiche: M.F. Snetzler, Barcott, Buckland Brewer, Bideford, Devon EX39 5LN. [Covers 1841, 1861, 1871 and 1881 census records for this parish]

Church History

Chanter, John Frederick. The parish and church of St. Peter Berrynarbor, Exeter, Townsend (1910) 12p: ill. [North Devon Athenaeum: D900BRA/CHA]

Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1540 are held in the Devon Record Office - for details see Parish Registers in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1540, and of the Bishops' Transcripts going back to 1682, are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library - for details see Parish Registers in the Devon & Cornwall Record Society's Collection.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837 - for details see their book list.

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1550-1812 and Marriages 1540-1812.

Granville, Roger & Mugford, W.E. (eds.) Berrynarbor, 1599-1641. Abstracts of the Existing Transcripts of the Lost Parish-Registers of Devon, 1596-1644, and short notes on the extant pre-reformation registers of all the parishes in the county, from particulars furnished by the several incumbents thereof. Vol. 1 A-Bra. Exeter: W. Pollard (1908). [Full text]
Plomer. Transcript of the marriage register of Berrynarbor, Cornwall [i.e.Devon] 1540-1783 by Mr. Plomer for Phillimore & Co. (MSS). (1913) 40 pp. [Westcountry Studies Library sx929.3/BER/1540]
The Miscellaneous Series of IHGS Parish Registers, The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, 79-82 Northgate, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 1BA.: CD-ROM (n.d.). [The Devon section of contains: Marriages: Berrynarber 1540-1783, Bridgerule 1702-1753, Chardstock 1597-1837, Challacombe 1599-1621 and 1673-1837, Farringdon 1620-1788, Lynton 1591-1837, Pinhoe 1687-1837, Plymouth 1653-1674, Plymstock 1591-1812, Rewe 1686-1836, Witheridge 1646-1837.] [Also LDS Film 90711]

Description and Travel

Berrynarbor News website - desripton, history, links, newsletters.


Transcript of complete entry in White's Devonshire Directory of 1850.


The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.


General historical and descriptive information, area map from 1765, details about administrative boundaries, etc., about Berrynarbor from the Devon Library's Local Studies Service.

Blake, A.J.A. Berrynarbor: A short history and introduction to the village. (1964) [Westcountry Studies Library, Plymouth Central Library]
Palmer, Mervyn G. Watermouth Castle near Ilfracombe, Devon: a short description illustrated with photographs, Ilfracombe, Chronicle Press (1951) 20 pp. [Barnstaple Library: BN:BER 5/1951/PAL]

Land and Property

Hawker, Rev. Treasurer. The Manor House Berry Narbor. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 11, (1879), pp. 493-496. [Index]

Military History

Names from the Berrynarbor War Memorial, transcribed by Peter Heal.

Names, Personal

Berrynarbor contributors to a 1678 brief for the rebuilding of St Paul's Cathedral.

Name listing from Kelly's Post Office Directory of Devonshire and Cornwall of 1856.

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Last updated: 12 Jul 2015 - Brian Randell

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