"BRIDGERULE, a village and parish on both sides of the Tamar valley, 5½ miles W. by S. of Holsworthy, has 497 souls, and upwards of 3000 acres of land, of which 221 souls and about 2000 acres are in Devon, and the rest are in Cornwall, being on the west side of the river, near the Bude canal. It was anciently called Bridge Reginald, from Reginald Adobed, who held it at the Domesday Survey. The Church and the hamlets of Tines and Dux are in Devon. Sir Wm. Molesworth is lord of the manor, but most of the soil belongs to Mrs. E. Usherwood, T.H. Kingdon, and a number of smaller owners. The Church is an antique structure, with a tower and five bells. The vicarage, valued in K.B. at £14, and in 1831 at £152, is in the gift of the Rev. T.H. Kingdon, B.D., and incumbency of the Rev. S.N. Kingdon, B.D. who has 33A. of glebe, and a good residence, erected in 1842. The Church House, built in the reign of Henry VIII., is partly occupied as a school and partly by paupers." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]
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A parish in Black Torrington and Stratton Hundreds, the Archdeaconry of Totnes, and the Diocese of Exeter. The western half of this parish, West Bridgerule, lay in Cornwall until it was transferred to Devon in 1844. (West Bridgerule is bounded on the north by Launcells, on the south by Whitstone, on the west by Marhamchurch and on the east by the River Tamar which separates it from the larger of the Devon portions.) Villages in the parish are: Bridgerule Bridge, Burrow, Knowle, Little Bridge and Merrifield.
Whitmore, J.B. Devonshire Monumental Inscriptions, MS at Society of Genealogists (1951). [Extracts]
Census records for Bridgerule in 1841 (HO107/151 Enumeration District 2), 1851 (HO107/1896 Enumeration District 4b) and 1861 (RG9/1511 Enumeration District 5) are available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project. The 1841 Census of both Bridgerule East and Bridgerule West is also available from the Cornwall Family History Society.
A search facility for a transcription of the 1871 Census of Cornwall, including Bridgerule, is available.
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]
Bridgerule - from J. Stabb. Some Old Devon Churches (London: 1908-16).
The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SS2803, and is dedicated to St Bridget.
BTs - CMB 1608. 1614, 1618?, 1644, 1664, 1666, 1669-81, 1688, 1692, 1695, 1697, 1699 (1700-1812?): C 1813-15, 1818, 1820, 1822-26, 1828, 1836-34; M 1813-16, 1818, 1820, 1822-26, 1828, 1830, 1832-34; B 1813-14, 1816, 1818, 1820, 1822-26, 1828, 1830-34 are held at the Devon Record Office.
According to Peskett a register volume 1561-1701 was lost before 1888, but selected extracts from this are preserved in the Baring-Gould Collection at Plymouth Central Library.
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):
There are copies of the registers (christenings 1702-1812, and burials 1702-1812) at the Society of Genealogists.
Bridgerule Baptisms 1692-1911, Marriages 1702-1911, and Burials 1702-1925, transcribed by Judith Upton.
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]
The parish of West Bridgerule was originally in the Broadwoodwidger sub-district, in the Holesworthy Registration District of Devon. (GRO volumes : X (1837-51); 5b (1852-1930)). In 1853, the parish moved under the control of the St Stephen-by Launceston sub-district of the Launceston Registration District of Cornwall, where it remained until 1901 when it became part of the North Petherwin sub-distrct. In 1936, it moved back to the Holsworthy Registration district of Devon. In 1998, Holsworthy became subsumed into the Torridge Registration District of Devon.
Bridgerule community information website.
Kelly' Directory of Bridgerule in 1856, from the Cornish-L Archives.
The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.
The Online Parish Clerk scheme's representative for this parish is Judith Upton (of the Cornwall OPC scheme), who invites queries and lookup requests.
Williams, H. Fulford. Notes on the Parish of Bridgerule, Devon. Typescript (1964) 8 leaves. [Westcountry Studies Library]
The manor of Tacabre (Takkebere, Tacabeara, Tackbeare) or, as it is called in the Domesday survey of 1086, Tacabere, was given in the year 1330 to the abbot and convent of St Mary de Graces, by the feoffees of its founder, Edward III, but it was afterwards granted (as having been the property of James, Lord Audley) to John Holland, Earl of Huntingdon. Towards the end of the 15th century, it was seized by Richard III as having been the property of the Duchess of Exeter, the sister of Edward IV. This manor is of considerable dimensions, extending into the parishes of Whitstone, Tamerton and St Stephens-by-Launceston in Cornwall, and into the parish of Sowrton in Devon.
By the mid-19th century it was commonly called 'Merrifield', supposidly a corruption of Mary-Field, probably from its belonging to the convent of St Mary de Graces.
Glubb, A. de C. Tackbear manor. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 14:1, (1926) pp.25-30, plates: ill.
Bridgerule parish was part of the Stratton Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
The population of Bridgerule East in 1841 was 221 persons; in Bridgerule West there were 276 persons.
Shaw, Thomas. Methodism in Bridgerule, 1800-1953. [The Author:] Bridgerule, [1953.] pp. 40. 8o. [Westcountry Studies Library - 287.1/BRI/SHA]Find help, report problems, and contribute information.
Last updated: 19 Dec 2011 - Brian Randell
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