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"BRAUNTON, the large ancient village which gives name to this Hundred and Petty Sessional Division, is situated on the banks of a rivulet about 2 miles from the sea coast and the Taw estuary, and 5 miles W.N.W. of Barnstaple. Its extensive parish contains 2274 inhabitants, and 9951 acres of land, extending to the sea coast and the estuary of the Taw, and including the scattered hamlets of Saunton, Lobb, Nethercott, Knoll, Winsham, Halsinger, Pipppacot, and Boode. Near the sea is a large tract of land covered with sand, called Braunton Borrow, abounding in rabbits and having two lighthouses for the security of mariners navigating the Bristol Channel, or crossing Barnstaple bar. The principal manors in the parish, and their owners are, Braunton Abbots, the Earl of Devon; Braunton Arundell and Gorges, A.D. Bassett, Esq.; Bere Charters, Sir B.P. Wrey; Buckland, C.H. Webber, Esq., of Buckland House; and Saunton, the heirs of the late Col. Cleveland; but a great part of the parish belongs to the Executors of the late Lord Rolle, the Dean and Chapter of Exeter, Richard Dyer, Esq., and several smaller owners. Braunton was an ancient demense of the Crown, and was given by Richard I. to Odo, ancestor of the Carews. Henry III. gave two-thirds of it to Clive Abbey, in Somersetshire. In the reign of Chas. I. it belonged to Sir Richard Reynell, from whom it passed to the Courtenays. The Church (St. Brannock,) is a large antique structure, remarkable for having no pillars. Its tower contains six bells, and is crowned by a spire." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Braunton Hundred, under the Peculiar jurisdiction of the Dean of Exeter.

Archives and Libraries

Information about the Braunton & District Museum can be found at the Devon Museums web-site.


Bouquet, Michael. The papers of a north Devon mariner. Devon Historian 16, (1978) pp.7-13: ill. [Thomas Arthur Slee, 1890-1970]
Hems, Harry. Stanzas on the death of the noted Slack, Butcher and stage boxer. Devon Notes & Queries vol. I, pt. III (1900) p. 54. [Transcript]
Wilson, Terry. Upsettery and Harbour Grace, Devon Family Historian, vol. 133, (2010) p.11. [John Gorvin, b. 1820, Braunton]


MIs for Braunton Congregational Chapel are included in the Devon FHS index - see under Cemeteries on the main Devon page.
Palmer, Mervyn G. (ed.) A Diarist in Devon, Part 3. Trans. Devon Assoc. 77 (1945) pp.199-223. [Includes MIs.]


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

Braunton - from J. Stabb. Some Old Devon Churches (London: 1908-16).

Chanter, J.F., The Church of St. Brannock, Braunton. James Townsend, Exeter (1908).
Owen, T.R., St. Brannock's Church, Braunton. [SoG Library]

Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1538 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 1538 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.

Other churches and chapels (with pre-1840 records):

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1538-1812 and Marriages 1538-1812, Braunton Independent Chapel Christenings 1808-1837
Brock, Bob and Ann. From Cradle to Grave 1850-1919: ... Braunton births, marriages and deaths from the 'North Devon Journal' (5 vols.) Braunton Museum, The Bakehouse Centre, Caen Street, Braunton, N. Devon EX33 1AA (2000?) [Devon FHS Library - p 929.34235] [Vol. 1 1850-74, vol. 2 1876-99, vol. 3 1900-09, vol. 4 1910-14, vol. 5 1915-19]
Brock, Bob and Ann. From Cradle to Grave 1850-1919: ... Braunton births, marriages and deaths from the 'North Devon Journal' (Vol 6: 1920-1924) Braunton Museum, The Bakehouse Centre, Caen Street, Braunton, N. Devon EX33 1AA (2002?) 72p.

Court Records

Register of Freeholders - Braunton, Cliston, & Coleridge c1816, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D126). [Foreword]

Description and Travel Community Portal.

Bowen, David. Portrait of a village - Braunton. Devon Life vol. 5 no. 32, (1968) pp.22-26; ill.
Davis, Bob. Picture postcard Braunton - 2nd rev ed. Swimbridge: Robert Young (1993) 80p: chiefly ill.


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.


Lobb, D.H.V. Lobbery - 20,000 Lobbs Around the World. (2 vols.) Douglas V. Lobb, Moresk House, Truro, Cornwall (1997) 80, 144p. [ISBN 09520019-0-X]
Kelly, Mary. The Langdon family of Georgeham, Braunton, Northam and Heanton Punchardon, North Devon, England, Moggill, Queensland, M. Kelly (1994?) 1 vol: ill, maps. [Westcountry Studies Library px929.2/LAN]
Kelly, Mary. The Dyer family of Braunton, Devon, England, who farmed Ash Barton, Luscott and Fairlinch. Moggill, Queensland: M. Kelly [1997] 1 vol: ill, maps, gen tab. [Westcountry Studies Library - sx929.2/DYE]
Long, Gwyn. The Lobb Family and Their Saxon Origins and History, Devon Family Historian, vol. 141, (2012) pp.29-32.
Roberts, John. A note on the family of Wyatt of Braunton, Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 29, 1962-64, pp. 282-85. [16th c.]


Tomkins, H A C. Arms of the Family of Manningford. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 9:2, (1916) p. 54. [Index]


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

Ellacott, Samuel E. Here is Braunton. South Molton: Quest (Western) (1979) 102p: ill, map. [ISBN 090529713x]
Gaydon, Tina. Braunton. Badger Books (1989) 125p. [ISBN 0946-290-20-2]
Hoskins, W.G. and H.P.R. Finberg. Devonshire Studies, London, Jonathan Cape (1952) 470 pp.(See pp. 265-271.)
Reichel, O.J. The Hundreds of Braunton, Shirwell and Fremington in Early Times, Trans. Devonshire Association, Extra volume, (1935) 136pp.
Slee, Arthur H. Victorian days in a Devon village. Braunton: A.H.Slee (1966) 68p,plates: ill. [Extracts and Name Index by John Lerwill.]

Land and Property

Elliot, John. Homes and gardens - Buckland, Braunton. Devon Life vol. 10 no. 84 (1973) pp.22-23; ill.


Dymond, R. The Customs of the Manor of Braunton. Trans. Devon Assoc. 20 (1888), pp. 254-303. [Raymond: Includes names of tenants, 16th-18th c.] [Index]
Slee, A.H. Braunton: and its manor. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 73, (1941) pp.195-201.

Merchant Marine

List of seamen born in the Braunton area (from PRO BT98 records of Barnstaple & Bideford sailings, 1840 and 1845.
Ellacott, Samuel E. Braunton ships and seamen. South Molton: Quest Publs (1980) 72p: ill, map.

Probate Records

Will of Robert Gamon (1855), transcribed by Christine Stables.

Transcript of the will of Richard Allen (1562), provided by Kathleen Noye.

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Last updated: 13 Jul 2015 - Brian Randell

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