"DOWN, (EAST) a small village, in a picturesque valley, 6½ miles N.N.E. of Barnstaple, has in its parish 473 souls, and 3643 acres of land, rising in bold hills on the north, and including the hamlets of Churchill, Brockham, and Shortacombe. The manor belonged to the ancient family of Downe, till the reign of Edward III., when it passed to an ancestor of the Coffin family. The late Rev. Chas. Pine Coffin, who died in January, 1850, was lord of the manor and rector of the parish, and his relict resides at the Manor House. C.J.S.P. Coffin, Esq., is lord of the manor of East Down, and Sir J.P.B. Chichester, Bart., is lord of the manor of Churchill, formerly held by the St. Aubin and Ley families. Mr. James Harris, John and Rd. Richards, and several smaller owners have estates in the parish. The Church (St. John,) is an ancient structure, in the perpendicular style, with a tower and four bells. It has undergone many repairs, and the windows are modern insertions." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]
A parish in Braunton Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple, and the Diocese of Exeter.