"KENN, or Kenne, is a long village, including Kenford, pleasantly situated in a picturesque valley on the banks of a rivulet, four miles S. by E. of Exeter. It gives its name to a deanery, and its parish contains 1078 inhabitants and 5316A. of land, rising in a bold range of hills on the south-west side of the valley, where there are the handsome seats  of Haldon, Woodlands, and Trehill, commanding fine views over the vale of the Exe. . . . The manor of Kenn, formerly held by the Courtenay, Oxenham, Acland, and other families, was purchased about 30 years ago, by Sir L.V. Palk, Bart., of HALDON HOUSE . . . In the centre of Pen hill rises a castellated building of three stories, called the Belvidere, or Lawrence Castle, erected by the late Sir Robert Palk, in memory of his friend General Lawrence, whose statue, large as life, on a pedestal of black marble, ornaments the entrance. . . . The Church (St. Andrew,) is a large ancient structure, with a tower and six bells, and has several neat monuments. The rectory, valued in K.B. at £46. 13s. 4d., and in 1831 at £778, is in the patronage of J.H. Ley, Esq., and the incumbency of the Rev. Henry Ley, B.A., who has a good residence, and 197A. 2R. 23P. of glebe. . . . " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

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



Dal Bello, Jenny. Kennford Village Photo, Devon Family Historian, vol. 146, (2013) pp.32. [Concerns James and Ellen Densham, residents of the house shown in a photograph published in DFH November 2012]

Harpley, W. The Right Hon. Lord Haldon [Obituary] Trans. Devon. Assoc., 1883, Vol XV, pp.56-58.[Lawrence Palk] [Transcript]

Summerell, Barbara and Summerell, Patrick. John Vickery, Devon Family Historian, vol. 138, (2011) pp.34-35. [Originally of Kenn, John Vickery murdered his wife Mary in Warlingham, Surrey, in 1866]



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

Cresswell, B.F. Notes on the Churches of the Deanery of Kenn, Devon, (1912). [Extracts]


Church History

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

Chanter, Rev. J F. Eleventh Report of the Committee on Church Plate - . Report and Transactions of the Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature and the Arts. Vol 2, 4th Series, Plymouth: W Brendan & Son (1920). Paper read at Totnes, 21st July, pp. 80-121. [Deaneries of Cadbury and Kenn] [Index]

Creswell, R.F. Notes on the Churches of the Deanery of Kenn, Devon. Exeter: James G. Commin (1912) 192p, plates: ill.

Neville, E.R. and Reichel, O.J. Notes on the Churches of the Deanery of Kenn, Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VII, (1912-1913), Exeter: James G. Commin. 1913, pp. 123-128. [Transcript]

Porter, R. Some account of St. Andrew's, Kenn. Exeter: William Porter (1894) 17p. [Westcountry Studies Library - s726.5/KEN/POR]

Reichel, Oswald and F.W. Notes 66 & 67: Churches in the Deanery of Kenn. Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VII, (1912-1913), Exeter: James G. Commin. 1913, pp. 100-103. [Transcript]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1538 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1538 are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library.

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

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

  • Zion Wesleyan Chapel: Registers for c1810-37 - see Exeter Mint (PRO RG 4/1207, 1208)

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1538-1837, and Marriages 1538-1667, 1695-1836.

An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Alphington, Ashcombe, Bishopsteignton, Chudleigh, Combeinteignhead, Dawlish, Dunchideock, East Ogwell, East Teignmouth, Exminster, Haccombe, Ide, Kenn, Kenton, Mamhead, Powderham, Shaldon, Shillingford St. George, Starcross, Stokeinteignhead, St. Thomas the Apostle (by Exeter), Trusham, West Ogwell and West Teignmouth. Includes Chudleigh United Reformed Church and East Teignmouth Zion Independent Chapel Burials. With photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Directory (1850) and Kelly's Directory of Devonshire (1902), CD-ROM, Exeter, Devon FHS (2015). [Alphington Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1812-1837; Ashcombe Bapt: 1813-1841 Mar: 1754-1836 Bur: 1783-1837; Bishopsteignton Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Chudleigh Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Chudleigh United Reformed Chapel Bur: 1834-1836; Combeinteignhead Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1800-1837; Dawlish Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Dunchideock Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1756-1836 Bur: 1813-1851; East Ogwell Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1755-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; East Teignmouth Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1755-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; East Teignmouth Zion Independent Chapel Bur: 1809-1836; Exminster Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1836 Bur: 1813-1837; Haccombe Bapt: 1821-1842 Mar: 1773-1801 Bur: 1829-1839; Ide Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Kenn Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1836 Bur: 1813-1837; Kenton Bapt: 1813-1844 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Mamhead Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Powderham Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1835 Bur: 1785-1837; Shaldon Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Shillingford St. George Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1765-1837 Bur: 1680-1842; Starcross Bapt: 1815-1840 Mar: 1828-1837 Bur: 1828-1837; Stokeinteignhead Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1836 Bur: 1800-1837; St.Thomas the Apostle (by Exeter) Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Trusham Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1743-1837 Bur: 1750-1837; West Ogwell Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1755-1843 Bur: 1813-1839; West Teignmouth Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837.]


Description & Travel

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

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

You can see pictures of Kenn which are provided by:



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



Geare, R. Holwell. Geere of Heavitree and Kenn, and Geer of U.S, A, Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 28, 1959-61, pp. 261-3 & 291-5. See also 29, 1962-4, pp. 9; 31, 1968-70, p. 250.

Scott-Fox, Charles. Bickham House, Kenn, and the Short family. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 39,7 (2005) pp. 218-219. [Brief notes on the structural history of Bickham House in Kenn, Devon, and on the Short family who have owned it since 1682.]

Stuckey, Ken. My Gran Hardwick, Yatton yesterdays 6, 1989, pp. 17-18. [Raymond: Includes list Hardwicks in the 1851 census for Yatton and Kenn.]



Baker, Mrs. L. Village life: Kenn & Kennford 1905-1925. Exeter (Starcross, Exeter, Devon): L. Baker,1985, 24 p. ill., ports.[Westcountry Studies Library - pB/KEN1/1905/BAK]

Legg, Hazel. Kenn and Kennford: "a stroll down memory Lane". Dawlish (39 Westcliff Park Drive, Dawlish, Devon): H. Legg,1987, 31 pp., [16] pp. of plates: ill., facsims., ports.

Historical Manuscripts Commission. Report on the Palk manuscripts in the possession of Mrs. Bannatyne of Haldon, Devon. London: H.M.S.O (1922) 492p. [Palk, Robert. Sir, Indian army officer: Manuscripts. 1769- 1786.]

Vining, F.W. Kenn, Our Home. Exeter: Eland Brothers (1910) 96p, plates: ill.



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX922856 (Lat/Lon: 50.660065, -3.526514), Kenn which are provided by:


Military History

Kenn Parish - The Fallen of the First World War 1914-1918. MP4, Devon Family History Society.


Names, Personal

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

Last updated: 16 Jul 2015 - Brian Randell

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