"BRANSCOMBE, a pleasant village, on the coast of the English channel, at the mouth of a rivulet, 5 miles E. by N. of Sidmouth, and S.W. of Colyton, has in its parish 956 souls, and 3422A. 3R. 18P. of land, including Dean and Weston hamlets, and many scattered houses. The Dean and Chapter of Exeter are lords of the manor, owners of most of the soil, appropriators of the great tithes, and patrons of the vicarage, valued in K.B. at £18. 15s. 10d., and in 1831 at £190, and now enjoyed by the Rev. S.H. Peppin, B.A., who has 10A. of glebe, and an ancient residence, mantled with ivy and vines. The great tithes were commuted in 1843, for £242, and the vicarial for £225 per annum. The Church (St. Winifred,) is a cruciform Gothic structure, with a tower and five bells. The Stuckey and Bartlett families were long seated at Weston Barton, as lessees of the manor; and Edge Barton was anciently the seat of the Branscombes, one of whom was sheriff of the county for five years, in the reign of Edward III. Many women and girls in this neighbourhood are employed in making lace, and here are quarries of excellent freestone. The Wesleyans have a small chapel in the village." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish under the Peculiar jurisdiction of the Dean and Chapter of Exeter.



Skinner, A.J.P. John Carpenter, vicar of Branscombe 1580-1620/21, rector of Northleigh 1587-1620/21, and his son Nathaniel. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 7:3, (1912) pp.95-97. [1588-1628] [Transcript]

Skinner, A.J.P. Thomas Puddicombe, vicar of Branscombe, 1794-1827. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 7:4, (1912) pp.128. [Refers to vol.2, p.37, par.28. See also vol.7, p.177.] [Transcript]

Langdon, F.E.W. Thomas Puddicombe, vicar of Branscombe, 1794-1827. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries VII, (1912-1913), Exeter: James G. Commin. 1913. p. 177. [Transcript]

Tristram, Emma. Who Was Duggan?, Devon Family Historian, vol. 124, (2007) pp.36-37. [Concerns a letter, headed "Maycoes, Branscombe", whose author signs herself "Duggan", but who was probably a daughter of a Sir Arthur Tansley.]



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

Whitmore, J.B. Devonshire Monumental Inscriptions, MS at Society of Genealogists (1951). [Extracts]

Branscombe MIs, Devon and Cornwall Record Society, (1913)



Surname index to 1851 Census.

Surname index to 1881 Census.


Church History

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

A Discordant Sunday at St Winifred's, Branscombe - an account of a dispute between the Vicar, Rev. Henry Tomkins, and the church organist Miss Mary Ford.

Fox, Rev. J. Charles, The Church of Branscombe, in The Reliquary and Illustrated Archaeologist (January 1909) Bemrose and Sons, London.

Prideaux, Edith K., Branscombe Church, Devon, in Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 7 (1912-1913), James G. Commin, Exeter. 1913 , illus., plan, pp. 1-19. [Transcript]

Ward, Agnes M. Early History of Methodism in Branscombe, The Author (1954). [DFHS Library - p287/BRA]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1539 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1539 are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Marriages 1545-1837, Burials 1813-1837 - for details see their book list.

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

  • Wesleyan Chapel, The Street: Registers for c1809-37 - see Axminster (PRO RG 4/512)

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1539-1812, Marriages 1545-1812.

Granville, Roger & Mugford, W.E. (eds.) Branscombe, 1607 and 1614. 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]

The register of baptisms, marriages & burials of the parish of Branscombe, Devon, 1539-1812. Exeter: The Devon and Cornwall Record Society (1976 1913) x, 308 pp. (Includes Memorial Inscriptions in Branscombe Church, by A.J.P. Skinner and E. Chick [Index].)

The Deanery of Aylesbeare: An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Aylesbeare, Bicton, Branscombe, Broadclyst, Clyst Honiton, Clyst St.George, Clyst St.Mary, Colaton Raleigh, East Budleigh, Farringdon, Harpford, Huxham, Littleham, Lympstone, Otterton, Ottery St. Mary, Pinhoe, Poltimore, Rockbeare, Salcombe Regis, Sidbury, Sidmouth, Sowton, Stoke Canon, Topsham, Venn Ottery, Whimple, Withycombe Raleigh and Woodbury. With photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Devonshire Directory 1850 and Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of England 1844, CD-ROM, Exeter, Devon FHS (2012). [Aylesbeare Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Bicton Bapt: 1813-1843, Mar: 1755-1835, Bur: 1813-1852, Bur: 1725-1845 (BTs); Branscombe Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1545-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Broadclyst Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Clyst Honiton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Clyst St. George Bapt: 1813-1837, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Clyst St. Mary Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1756-1840, Bur: 1813-1837; Colaton Raleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; East Budleigh Bapt: 1813-1841, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; East Budleigh Salem Chapel, Bur: 1832-1837; Farringdon Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1813-1852; Glenorchy Independent Exmouth, Bur: 1784-1818; Harpford Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1809-1837; Huxham Bapt: 1813-1852, Mar: 1758-1836, Bur: 1813-1864; Littleham (near Exmouth) Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Lympstone Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Otterton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Ottery St. Mary Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Pinhoe Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1844, Bur: 1813-1838; Poltimore Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1800-1837; Rockbeare Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Salcombe Regis Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Sidbury Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1830, Bur: 1813-1837; Sidmouth Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Sowton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1800-1837; Stoke Canon Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Topsham Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Venn Ottery Bapt: 1813-1841, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Whimple Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Withycombe Raleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Woodbury Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837.]


Description & Travel

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

Bird, Sheila. Seaton, Axmouth, Colyton, Colyford, Beer and Branscombe companion (2nd rev. ed.), Lyme Regis, Bird of Freedom (1988) 56p: ill, map. [ISBN 0951223623] [Westcountry Studies Library pB/SEA/1986/BIR]

Cady, Michael (Ed.), AA/Ordnance Survey Leisure Guide to Devon and Exmoor, AA/Ordnance Survey (1988). ISBN: 0-86145-6653.

You can see pictures of Branscombe which are provided by:



Extract from White's Gazetteer for 1850, provided by Ronald Branscombe.



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



Jackson, T.G. Wadham College, Oxford, its foundation, architecture and history, with an account of the family of Wadham and their seats in Somerset and Devon. London, Henry Froude (1893) xix, 228 pp. [Full Text]


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Branscombe has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



The Branscombe Project website contains transcripts of the Branscombe census (1841-1901) and the parish registers (1538-2003), photographs, historical accounts, a publication list and much else.

Branscombe Timelines (archived) - a set of detailed timelines about the Branscombe family and other contemporary events, covering each of the centuries from the 11th to the 20th, compiled by Ronald Branscombe.

Barber, Chips and Barber, Sally. Around & about Seaton and Beer featuring Colyton, Colyford and Branscombe. Pinhoe, Obelisk (1993). ISBN: 0946651779

Burnham, E.J. A Guide to Seaton and District: Including Axmouth, Colyford, Colyton, Beer and Branscombe. (1912) [Westcountry Studies Library, Devon & Exeter Inst., Plymouth Central Library]

Butters, Reverend F.C., Branscombe, the Parish and the Church, E.R.D. Publications, Exmouth, reprint 1991 (first published 1949).

Chick, Elijah, A Short Sketch of the History of the Parish and Church of Branscombe, Devon (1906).

King, Reverend Arthur Steele, Branscombe, its Church and Parish, fifth edition, Beverley, 1930.

Morshead, J.Y.A. Our four parishes: Sidmouth, Sidbury, Salcombe Regis and Branscombe. Trans. Devon Assoc. vol. 35 (1903) pp. 146-155. [Index]

Sutton, Anna. A story of Sidmouth and the villages of Salcombe Regis, Branscombe, Sidbury and Sidford. Chichester: Phillimore (1973) 205p: ill.


Land & Property

Elliot, John. Devon homes - Bovey House, Branscombe. Devon Life vol. 10 no. 89 (1973) pp.27-29; ill.



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SY195884 (Lat/Lon: 50.68966, -3.14098), Branscombe which are provided by:


Names, Personal

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

Branscombe Apprentices Register - 1808-1833, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF A052). [Foreword]



Tomlinson, Margaret, Three Generations in the Honiton Lace Trade, Sovereign Printing, Sidmouth (1983). ISBN: 0-9508574-0-8



McWilliam, Ethel. 100 years of a Village School, 1878-1978. Sidmouth: Sidmouth Printing Works (1978).