Brampford Speke


"BRAMPFORD-SPEKE is a pleasant scattered village, in the vale of the river Exe, near the Bristol and Exeter Railway. Its parish contains 115OA. 2R. 30P., and 393 inhabitants, including the hamlet of COWLEY, which is separated from the rest of the Parish by Upton- Pyne, and comprises about 500 acres, near Cowley Bridge and the confluence of the Creedy and Exe, two miles N. of Exeter. Near this bridge, are houses in the parishes of St. Thomas the Apostle and Upton Pyne. Sir S.H. Northcote, Bart., is lord of the manor of Brampford Speke; but a great part of the soil belongs to the Roberts, Blackall, and other families. It was anciently held by the family of Espek, or Speke, who appropriated the church in the reign of Stephen, to St. Nicholas's Priory, Exeter. It was purchased by its present lord in 1815, and had previously been held by the Pierce, Taylor, and Palk families. Cowley belongs chiefly to the Rev. W.H. Alundell, Dr. Blackall, and E.G. Roberts, Esq. It is supposed to have had a chapel, though there are no traces of such a building. The parish Church (St. Peter,) is an ancient structure, to which a north aisle was added in 1840. It has a substantial tower, containing five bells; and on its south side is an ancient chapel, or chantry, in which was formerly a monumental effigy of one of the Spekes." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

Brampford Speke parish is in Wonford Hundred, and the Archdeaconry and Diocese of Exeter.



MIs for this parish are included in the Devon FHS index - see under Cemeteries on the main Devon page.

Cowley, St Antony, Memorial Inscriptions Index. G.M. Project. C.C.C. Community Programme (1986). [SoG Library DE/M17]


Church History

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

St Antony (of Egypt) Church at Cowley, Exeter - List of Incumbents provided by John Williams.

Binney, Thomas. The Great Gorham Case: A History in Five Books, Including Expositions of the Rival Baptismal Theories by a Looker-on. London: Partridge and Oakey (1850). xxviii, 249 pp. [Index]

Phillpotts, Henry. Letters Concerning the Case of the Appointment of George Cornelius Gorham to the Living of Brampford Speke, 1850, by Henry Philpott, Bishop of Exeter, and others. (1850) [Westcountry Studies Library]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1739 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1739, and of the Bishops' Transcripts going back to 1608, are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1840 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

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

  • Baptist Chapel, Berrysbridge Road, Thorverton: Thorverton and Brampford Speke Registers for 1832-1938 (C) are at DRO

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1608-1837, and Marriages 1608-1609, 1620-1644, 1663-1687, 1713-1837.

Granville, Roger & Mugford, W.E. (eds.) Brampford Speke, 1608-1644. Abstracts of the Existing Transcripts of the Lost Parish-Registers of Devon, 1596-1644, and short notes on the extant pre-reformation registers of all the parishes in the county, from particulars furnished by the several incumbents thereof. Vol. 1 A-Bra. Exeter: W. Pollard (1908). [Full text]

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 & Travel

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

Brampford Speke Village Design Statement, from East Devon District Council.

You can see pictures of Brampford Speke which are provided by:



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 Thomas Peeke, who invites queries and lookup requests.

This parish is one of the growing number of places for which the Devon Heritage website provides census or parish register transcriptions, articles, and/or illustrations, etc.

Rollitt, Linda. My Ancestors were Papermakers. Family Tree Magazine 24, 13 (Oct 2008) p.67. [Family of Thomas Long Caryl, b. 1838]



Orme, Nicholas. The History of Brampford Speke. Trans.Dev.Assoc. v.121 (1989) pp53-86.

Rose-Troup, F. The Anglo-Saxon charter of Brentford (Brampford) Devon. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 70, (1938) pp.253-275.



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX926985 (Lat/Lon: 50.776104, -3.524616), Brampford Speke which are provided by:


Names, Personal

Protestation Return of 1641/42 from Devon Heritage.

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


Probate Records

Will of Robert Challice (1870), transcribed by Paul Challice.



Devon And Exeter Boys Reformatory Brampford Wood: Admissions Register 1875-1893, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D033). [Foreword]