"BRADNINCH is a decayed borough and market town, upon a pleasant eminence, on the western side of Culm valley, 3 miles S.S.W. of Collumpton, 9 miles N.N.E. of Exeter, and about a mile W. of the Hele Station on the Bristol and Exeter Railway, near the small river Culm. Its parish, which is co-extensive with the borough, comprises 4212A. 1R. 15P. of land, and had 1714 inhabitants in 1841, but they have now increased to about 2000. . . . The town consists chiefly of one long, irregular street, and has suffered several times by large fires, arising from the thatched roofs of its houses, most of which have lately judiciously been abandoned for slated roofs. In 1665, the Guildhall, the prison, the borough charters, and a great number of houses, were destroyed by fire. The town has been much improved during the present century; and a new Guildhall, with a prison under it, was built in 1835. . . . The Church (St. Dionysius,) is a fine structure, in the later perpendicular style, and has recently been repaired and beautified, at the cost of about £1100. . . . The Particular Baptists and the Wesleyans have chapels here; and the town has a National School, for children of both sexes. . . ." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

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



Holdsworth, Christopher. A Confession of his Drunkeness by George Boone of Bradninch, 1717. In Devon Documents (ed. T. Gray). Tiverton: Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, Special Issue (1996) [ISBN 0925836203] pp.102-107.

Troup, Frances B. A cavalier's notebook: Continued by his son, with notes by the late Robert Dymond, FSA. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 21, 1889, pp. 395-418. [Peter Sainthill 1593-1648] [Index]



Monumental Inscriptions, Sainthill Family, Gent. Mag., vol. II, (1825) pp.499-501.


Church History

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

Griffin, Richard C. The History of Bradninch Baptist Church. Exeter: W.T.Beeden [1951?] 24p, [3] pls: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - s286/BRA/GRI]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1559 are held in the Devon Record Office.

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

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

  • Wesleyan Chapel: Registers for c1806-37 - see Cullompton, Tiverton (PRO RG 4/958, 342)

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

Bradninch Parish Register Baptisms 1785-1790, provided by Elizabeth Howard

Evans, J.R. Bradninch Rate. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries 20, 7 (1939) pp.334-337. [Contains listing of approx. ninety inhabitants]

Parish registers 1557-1840. Typescript (1930) 570p.[Westcountry Studies Library sx929.3/BRA/1557]

An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Bradninch, Broadhembury, Buckerell, Butterleigh, Clyst Hydon, Clyst St. Lawrence, Cullompton, Feniton, Kentisbeare, Payhembury, Plymtree, Rewe, Silverton and Talaton. With photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Devonshire Directory 1850 and Kelly's Directory of Devonshire 1902. CD-ROM, Exeter, Devon FHS (2009). [Bradninch Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Broadhembury Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1838; Buckerell Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1841; Butterleigh Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Clyst Hydon Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1790-1837; Clyst St. Lawrence Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1814-1851; Cullompton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Feniton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1790-1837; Kentisbeare Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1839, Bur: 1813-1837; Payhembury Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1838, Bur: 1800-1837; Plymtree Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1541-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Rewe Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1780-1837; Silverton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Talaton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1755-1836, Bur: 1800-1837].


Description & Travel

Bradninch Town Council's website Welcome to Bradninch - general information.</[>

Conservation Area Appraisal for Bradninch - an interesting account of the area, with numerous photographs and maps.

Section on Bradninch  from Samuel Lewis: A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831), provided by Mel Lockie.

You can see pictures of Bradninch which are provided by:



The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson, and the section on the hamlet of Hele, provided by Rosemary Lockie.



Clowes, R.L. Harcourt of Bradninch, near Exeter, Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 16, 1930-31, pp. 12-13.

M., J. Sainthill family, The Gentleman's Magazine, vol. 94, no. 1, (1825) pp.215-216.

Geare, Ralph Holwell. Holwells of Bampton, Tiverton, Sampford Peverell and Bradninch. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries 26, 1954-55, pp. 8-10.

Murray, O.A.R. Hele Family. Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VII, (1912-1913), Exeter: James G. Commin. 1913, p. 21. [Transcript]

Radford, A.L. Portraits of the Sainthill family formerly in Bradninch manor house. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 50, 1918, pp. 405-410.

Rowland, Anthony Bavin. The Rowland journal: a pilgrimage through some references to the surname with particular reference to those ... in Bradninch .. Dawlish: The Author (1996) 1 vol. [17-20th c.] [Westcountry Studies Library sx929.2/ROW]

St. Hill, A. Sainthill family of Bradninch. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries 10, 1918, p.90.

St. Hill, Annabel. The History of the Sainthill Family, Mitchell Hughes and Clarke (1938) pp. x + 79. [Includes pedigrees, 13-19th c.]

Troup, Frances B. The Sainthills of Bradninch, Devon: being a pedigree of the family, with notes thereon, and copies of documents relating to the family history, Trans. Devon. Assoc. 21, 1889, pp. 383-394. [Index]

Were, F. and Jackson, Percival. Hele Family - Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VII, (1912-1913), Exeter: James G. Commin. 1913, pp. 62-63, Notes 34 and 35. [Transcript]



Crosleigh, C. Bradninch: Being a Short Historical Sketch of the Honor, the Manor, the Borough, the Liberties and the Parish. De La More Press (1911) [Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter Cathedral Library, Devon & Exeter Inst., Exeter University Library, Plymouth Central Library]

Gentry, F.D. Take Care of your Fire and Candle [11 fires in Devon towns]. Devon Books (1985) 138p. [ISBN 0861147596] [Devon FHS Library 929.35]

Taylor, AnthonyBradninch and Hele Past, A. Taylor, Bradninch post Office, 16 High St, Bradninch, Exeter, Devon EX5 4NJ.

Thorne, R.L. The Royal and Ancient Borough of Bradninch, Devon. (1950) [Westcountry Studies Library]

Bradninch and its Antiquities, The Gentleman's Magazine, vol. 95, no. 2, (1825) pp.499-502.


Land & Property

Wurtzburg, Rosemary. The sub-letting of smallholdings on a Devon estate, 1788-1834. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 126, (1994) pp.85-105: map, tables.



Radford, C.A.Ralegh. Bradninch manor. Devon Historian 30, (1985) pp.25-29.



View a map of the boundaries of this town/parish.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SS999040 (Lat/Lon: 50.826855, -3.422617), Bradninch which are provided by:


Names, Personal

Darby, Mavis. Bradninch, Devon Family Historian, vol. 43, (July 1987) pp.21-25. [Contains a listing of 139 Bradninch inhabitants and their occupations, from the Universal British Directory for 1784]

Bradninch Apprentices Register - 1822-1844, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF A048). [Foreword]

Bowhill House Register of Admissions - 1801-1805, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D037). [Foreword]


Probate Records

Will of John Venman (1694), transcribed by Ros Dunning.

Will of Ambrose Shere (1824), transcribed by Art Ames.

Goddard, R.W.K. Goddard Wills. Miscellanea Genealogia et Heraldica 4th series 2 (1908) pp.289-292. [Includes wills of Thomas Goddard of Bradninch, 1615, and Barnard Goddard of Tiverton, 1637.]