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"COLEBROOKE, a pleasant village, on an acclivity near a tributary stream of the river Yew, four miles W. of Crediton, has in its parish 878 inhabitants, and 4990 acres of land, including the hamlet of Coleford, part of Coplestone, and many scattered farm houses, &c. A. Coryton, Esq., is lord of the manor, which was anciently held under the Bishop of Exeter. The other principal owners are J. Sillifant, Esq., J.H. Hippisley, Esq., S. Hamlyn, Esq., the Dean and Chapter of Exeter, S. Norrish, Esq., and Mr. R. Madge. . . . The Church (St. Mary,) is a large limestone structure, with a handsome tower, containing five bells. The south transept belongs to S. Norrish, Esq., and the beautiful north aisle to S. Hamlyn, Esq. There were formerly small chapels at Coplestone, Landsend, Horwell, Hooke, and Wolmerstone, in this parish. . . . The Rev. Thomas Drosier, A.B. is the incumbent, and has 14A. of glebe, and a good residence." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Hayridge Hundred, under the Peculiar jurisdiction of the Dean and Chapter of Exeter. Peskett: Coplestone is at the meeting point of the parishes of Colebrooke, Crediton and Down St. Mary.


Abe Cann: Champion of England - well-illustrated account of Abe Cann, the Devon wrestler, b. abt 1794, Colebrooke, from the Heard Family History website.


Partial surname list, from gravestones in St Andrew's churchyard (archived copy).
Colebrooke Memorial Inscriptions Index. G.M. Project. C.C.C. Community Programme (1986). [SoG Library DE/M17]

Church History

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

Harding, William. The church of Colebrooke. Exeter Diocesan Architectural Soc. Trans. 1 ser, v. 5, (1856) pp.6-21. [Index]
Oliver, G. Colebrooke in the Deanery of Cadbury. Notes and Gleanings - Devon and Cornwall 5 (1892) pp.13-17.
Reson. M. The Coplestone Independents. Devon Family Historian 38 (1986) pp.15-17.
Thorne, Roger F.S. Methodism in three parishes: the story of Copplestone Methodist Chapel, 1831-1981, Copplestone, [The Author] (1981) 45 pp. [Westcountry Studies Library p287.1/COP/THO]

Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1558 are held in the Devon Record Office - for details see Parish Registers in the Devon Record Office.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Baptisms 1813-1829, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837 - for details see their book list.

Nothing entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993).

Deanery Of Cadbury - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837 And Burials 1813-1837, CD060, Exeter, Devon FHS (2014). [Brampford Speke Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1840; Cadbury Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Cadeleigh Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1810-1837; Cheriton Fitzpaine Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Colebrooke Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Crediton Presbyterian Chapel Bur: 1826-1837; Crediton Bapt: 1813-1843 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Down St Mary Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1770-1837; Kennerleigh Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Morchard Bishop Bapt: 1813-1837 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Nether Exe Bapt: 1814-1851 Mar: 1773-1807 Bur: 1813-1856; Newton St. Cyres Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1840; Poughill Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1838 Bur: 1770-1837; Sandford Bapt: 1813-1838 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Shobrooke Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Stockleigh English Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Stockleigh Pomeroy Bapt: 1813-1843 Mar: 1752-1837 Bur: 1813-1851; Thorverton Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1839 Bur: 1813-1837; Upton Hellions Bapt: 1813-1842 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1678-1929; Upton Pyne Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1838 Bur: 1800-1837.]

Description and Travel

Shirley Turner has provided a brief descriptions and photographs, together with transcriptions of the entries in the 1873 Post Office Directory listing a number of the inhabitants, for Colebrooke, Coleford and Copplestone (archived copies).


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


The Online Parish Clerk for this parish is Neville Enderson, who invites queries and lookup requests. (Resources: 1841-1901 censuses, Bapt. 1558-1939; Marr. 1558-1850; Banns 1772-1986; Burials 1558- present, wills, some pedigrees.)

Copleston Family History website.

Reson, Muriel. Copleston of Copleston in Colebrooke, Devon: Family History 15 (126); (New Series), 102, 1992, pp. 261-75. See also 15 (127); N.S, 103, 1992, pp. 130-32.


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

Daimpre, Isidore. A Short Account of the Church and Parish of St Andrew, Colebrooke. Exeter: Elands (1903) 19p.
Hope, V. The Church and Parish of St Andrew, Colebrooke, Devon. James Townsend & Sons: Exeter, [1952.] pp. 23. BL 07822.g.53. e/
King, R.J. Coplestone Cross and a Charter of Eadgar, AD 974, Trans. Devon Assoc. vol. 8 (1876), pp. 351-359. [Index]
Morris, Percy. Colebrooke Parish Accounts 1618-1737. (1943) 400p. [Westcountry Studies Library - sB/COL 5/1618/MOR]
Williams, H. Fulford. Notes on the Parish of Colebrooke, Devon. Typescript (1961) 11 leaves. [Westcountry Studies Library]

Names, Personal

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

Probate Records

Summaries of the wills of William Wreford (1727) and Simon Wreford (1796) provided by John Moore.

Transcript of the Estate Duty Office will of Robert Cann (1843), provided by Roy Drew.

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Last updated: 13 Jul 2015 - Brian Randell

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