"BRENT-TOR, or Brentor, is a parish of scattered houses, from 4 to 5 miles N. of Tavistock, containing 169 souls, and 2180 acres of land, rising in bold hills on the western confines of Dartmoor. The Duke of Bedford is lord of the manor, which formerly belonged to Tavistock Abbey, but part of the soil belongs to the Carpenter, Hoblin, Brandreth, Weeks, and other families. . . . The Church (St. Michael,) is a very small and ancient structure, standing on the summit of the conical tor, or rocky hill, which rises abruptly on an elevated down. It has a tower and three bells, and has recently been re-pewed. . . . Tradition says it was built by a merchant, who, being overtaken by a storm at sea, vowed, if he landed safely in Plymouth Sound, he would erect a church on the first point of land he saw. In ancient records it is called St. Michael de Rupe.. . . The Duke of Bedford is patron, and the Rev. E.A. Bray, of Tavistock, is the incumbent. . . " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

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



A transcription of the Memorial Inscriptions for the Church, and the Providence Chapel, Liddaton, is held in the Society of Genealogist's Library, in Vol. 9 of Devon Memorial inscriptions.

Brown, Mike. Brentor Christchurch (Full Survey), Brentor St Michaels (Full Survey), Brentor Chapel (Full Survey). In Dartmoor Region Monumental Inscriptions Indexes, Vol. 8. Dartmoor Press, PO Box 132, Plymouth PL4 7YL.

Heald-Gledhill, P.D.G. and Rudge, R.G. Memorial Inscriptions for the Church of St Michael de Rupe, Brentor (12973). [SoG Library DE/M16]

Brentor MIs. Western Antiquary, vol. 9, (1890) pp.159.



Nick Mayne has prepared an index to the 1891 census, and is prepared to check for particular names in it on request.


Church History

Description and photograph of the church (archived copy) by Gerry Sargent.

Burton, Charles K. The church of St Michael, Brentor: a short account of the parish and church from the earliest times to the present day. - new ed. (1981) 17p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - p726.5/BRE/BUR]

Hine, James. St. Michael’s, Brent Tor. In: Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 1861, Vol. 1, Part IV, pp. 116-121. [Transcript]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1720 are held in the Devon Record Office.

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

Among the records for this parish provided by Devon Heritage are transcripts of Burials for 1837-1897.

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

  • Bible Christian Chapel: Registers for 1839-59 (C) at DRO

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

Brentor burials 1720-1812Brentor christenings 1720-1812, and Brentor marriages 1720-1753 -  SoG Data Online DE/REG (SoG Members only).

Brown, Mike. 1754-1812 Burial Indexes: Bradstone, Brentor, Dunterton, Kelly. RT52, Dartmoor Press (2000).

The Deanery of Tavistock, CD008, Devon Family History Society, Exeter (2007). [Contains indexes: Bradstone - Baptisms 1813-1840, Marriages 1755-1838, Burials 1813-1837; Brentor - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1755-1834, Burials 1801-1845; Bridestowe - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Broadwoodwidger - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1836, Burials 1813-1837; Coryton - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1755-1837, Burials 1806-1860; Dunterton - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1836, Burials 1752-1837; Kelly - Baptisms 1813-1842, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1838; Lamerton - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1844, Burials 1812-1838; Lewtrenchard - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1840; Lifton - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1650-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Lydford - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1780-1841; Maryystow - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1755-1837, Burials 1792-1837; Milton Abbot - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1838; Princetown - Baptisms 1813-1839, Burials 1815-1853; Sourton - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1723-1837, Burials 1814-1838; Stowford - Baptisms 1811-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Sydenham Damerel - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1755-1837, Burials 1750-1837; Tavistock - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Thrushelton - Baptisms 1813-1840, Marriages 1755-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Virginstow - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1755-1836, Burials 1813-1839.]


Description & Travel

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

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

You can see pictures of Brentor which are provided by:



Transcription by Neil Stanton of the entry for Brentor in White's Devonshire Directory of 1850.

Brown, Mike. Trade Directory for Brentor, Mary Tavy, Peter Tavy 1850, 1870, 1878, Dartmoor Press (2001).



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



The Online Parish Clerk scheme's representative for this parish is Yvonne Holliday, who invites queries and lookup requests. (Resources: Bapt 1720-1920, Marr. 1720-1834, Burials 1720-1897.)

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.

Dartmoor Press Online Magazine's page for this parish (archived copy), with articles, transcriptions, publication details, etc. - highly recommended.

Redgrave, Paul. The abominable moormen. Dartmoor Magazine no. 15, (1989) pp.8-9; ill. [Gubbins Family]



Williams, H. Fulford. Notes on the Parish of Brentor, Devon. Typescript (1963) 4 leaves. [Westcountry Studies Library]



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX470804 (Lat/Lon: 50.603208, -4.16344), Brentor which are provided by: