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Bradninch, Devon

Historical Description

Bradninch, a small town and a parish in Devonshire. The town has a station under the name of Hele and Bradninch on the G.W.R., 181 miles from London, and a post, money order, and telegraph office under Collumpton. Anciently called Braines, it gives the title of Baron under that name to the Duke of Cornwall. It dates from the Saxon times, is thought by some to be older than Exeter, was the headquarters of King Charles and his army on two occasions in 1644, and likewise of Fairfax's army in October, 1645. Bradninch was almost entirely destroyed by fire in 1665, and it is now a poor place, consisting principally of one street. It sent members to Parliament from the time of Edward II. till that of Henry VII., and was long a market-town. The town-hall was built in the time of Henry VI., and repaired in 1858. The parish church is Later Perpendicular English, was thoroughly restored and renovated in 1881, and contains a fine screen of 1528, and an old painting of the crucifixion. The tower was struck by lightning in 1887, but has since been repaired. There are Baptist and Wesleyan chapels, and charities. The parish includes also the hamlet of Hele. Acreage, 4399; population, 1708. The manor belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall. Bradninch House is an interesting old mansion, formerly the seat of the Sainthill family. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter; net value, £190 with residence. Patrons, the Dean and Canons of Windsor.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyDevon 
Ancient CountyDevon 
Ecclesiastical parishBradninch St. Disen 
Poor Law unionTiverton 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

Findmypast, in association with the South West Heritage Trust, Parochial Church Council, and Devon Family History Society have the Baptisms, Banns, Marriages, and Burials online for Bradninch

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Bradninch from the following:


Online maps of Bradninch are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering Devon online:

Villages, Hamlets, &c


Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of the County of Devon in the year 1564, with additions from the earlier visitation of 1531, is online.

The Visitations of the County of Devon, comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564, & 1620, with additions by Lieutant-Colonel J.L. Vivian, published for the author by Henry S. Eland, Exeter 1895 is online.

DistrictMid Devon
RegionSouth West
Postal districtEX5
Post TownExeter