Braunton, Devon Family History Guide

Braunton with Saunton and Knowle is an Ancient Parish in the county of Devon.

Other places in the parish include: Saunton and Knowle.

Parish church:

Parish registers begin: 1538

Nonconformists include: Independent/Congregational, Plymouth Brethren, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Parishes adjacent to Braunton

  • West Down
  • Georgeham
  • Heanton Punchardon
  • Marwood

Historical Descriptions


The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BRAUNTON, a village, a parish, a subdistrict, and a hundred in Devon. The village stands near the mouth of the river Taw, 5 miles WNW of Barnstaple r. station; is a considerable place, with several streets and many shops; and has a post office‡ under Barnstaple. It was originally called Branockstown; and took that name from St. Branock, a prince of Calabria, who came hither in the year 300 as a missionary. The parish comprises 10,473 acres of land, and 1,510 of water. Real property, £11,236. Pop., 2,168. Houses, 472. The property is much subdivided. There are several manors; and one of them belonged, in Edward the Confessor's time, to the Crown, and was afterwards given to St. Peter's, Exeter. St. Branock's House, at the upper end of the villa, Franklin's Cottage, at a short distance thence, and a number of other places command magnificent views. An extensive tract between the village and the sea, called Braunton Field, is noted for fertility. A tract of drift sand on the coast, called Braunton Burro's. has witnessed many shipwrecks; and possesses two lighthouses 933 feet apart, erected in 1820, with fixed lights 86 and 40 feet high, for directing vessels over Bideford bar. An ancient chapel, called St. Ann's, is embedded in the burrows; and remains of another, ascribed to St. Branock, crown a neighbouring hill. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter. Value. £450. Patron, the Bishop of Exeter. The church is early English, in a jumbled condition; and was proposed to be restored in 1869. There are chapels for Independents and Methodists. A school has £75 from endowment; and other charities £23. Richard Knill, the missionary, was a native. The subdistrict is in the district of Barnstaple, and contains seven parishes. Acres, 31,469. Pop., 6,957. Houses, 1,476. The hundred contains twenty parishes. Acres, 71,452. Pop., 14,786. Houses, 3,108.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Leonard's Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Braunton. 4 miles W. Barnstaple. P. 2274

Source: Leonard's Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850


Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Pippacott, a hamlet in Braunton parish, Devon; 5 miles WNW of Barnstaple.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Parish Records

FamilySearch – Birth Marriage & Death records, Census, Migration & Naturalization and Military records – Free

Historical Newspapers

Barnstaple Times and North Devon News

Western Morning News

Western Times

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette

North Devon Journal

Express and Echo


Vision of Britain historical maps


  • County: Devon
  • Civil Registration District: Barnstaple
  • Probate Court: Court of the Peculiars of the Dean and Chapter of Exeter
  • Diocese: Exeter
  • Rural Deanery: Pre-1848 - None, Post-1847 - Shirwell
  • Poor Law Union: Barnstaple
  • Hundred: Braunton
  • Province: Canterbury