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"A pleasant village on the Eastern activity of the Bray valley, 6 miles NW of South Molton has in its parish 314 souls and 4259 acres of land, including part of Brayford hamlet & a number of scattered farms. Sir P.F. Acland, Bart, is lord of the manor and patron of the rectory valued in KB at £14. 6s. 8d and in 1831 at £300, & now in the incumbency of the Rev Charles Melhuish, who has a neat small residence & nearly 64A of glebe. The tithes were commuted in 1842 for £360 per annum.The church is an ancient structure in the perpendicular style with a tower & 4 bells. The Rev J.W.Bryan, R Harding Esq. & a few smaller owners have estates in the parish." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Shirlwell Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple, and Diocese of Exeter, which includes part of Brayford, the rest of which is in Charles parish.


MIs for this parish are included in the Incledon and NDA North Devon indexes - 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 1881 census records for this parish]

Church History

Jones, Winslow. High Bray and its rectors. Notes and Gleanings vol. 5, (30th April 1892). 7p.

Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1605 are held in the Devon Record Office - for details see Parish Registers in the Devon Record Office.

Sue Budlong offers lookups of High Bray PRs.

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

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

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

Description and Travel

Brayford Parish Council website.


Transcript of 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.


The Online Parish Clerk for this parish is Sue Budlong, who invites queries and lookup requests. (Resources: Baptisms.)


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

Land and Property

Sue Budlong offers lookups of High Bray Land Tax Assessments.

Kain, Roger J.P. Landscape and Farming in the Mid-Nineteenth Century: extracts from the Tithe Files of two Moorland Edge Parishes - Holne (Dartmoor) and High Bray (Exmoor). In Devon Documents (ed. T. Gray). Tiverton: Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, Special Issue (1996) [ISBN 0925836203] pp.108-110.

Names, Personal

Ryall, David. Lest We Forget, War memorials around South Molton. South Molton Archive, 68pp. [ISBN 0 951236 1 4] [Provides an indexed list of names]


High Bray Apprentice Register 1817-1845. [Devon]: Devon Family History Society (2013). [Foreword]

Probate Records

Transcription of the will of Margaret Gibbons (1658) provided by Christine Gibbins.

Transcription of the will of Thomas Pasmore (1529) provided by Desmond Painter.

Transcriptions of the wills of Henry Hearder (1568) and William Hearder (1592) provided by Ian Hearder.


South Molton and District Archive Local History Society web-site (archived copy) - provides details of archive holdings for the twenty-eight parishes in what used to be the South Molton Rural District, lists of publications, etc.

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Last updated: 16 Jul 2015 - Brian Randell

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