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Parracombe, Devon

Historical Description

Parracombe, a village and a parish in Devonshire. The village stands 2½ miles SW of the boundary with Somerset, 4½ SW of Lynton, and 12 NE of Barnstaple station on the G.W.R. and L. & S.W.R. It was anciently called Per-combe or Peder-combe, and has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Barnstaple. Acreage of parish, 4451; population, 316. There is a parish council consisting of seven members. The manor belonged in the time of the Confessor to Bristwold, went at the Norman Conquest to one of the Conqueror's captains, passed afterwards to the Traceys and the Fitz-Martyns, and belonged to the St Albyns from 1310 till 1862. Middleton belonged in the time of Henry III. to Sir H. Bernefield, passed to the Westons and to the Earls of Devonshire, and belongs now to the Dovell family. Kowley belonged for ages to the Lock family, passed to the Roaches, and belongs now to the Pyke family. An ancient circular earthwork, called Holwell Castle, is near the village. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Exeter; net value, £260 with residence. The present church was erected in 1878, and is a stone building in the Early English style. The old church of St Helen still exists, and is used occasionally for services in summer. There is a Wesleyan chapel and one for the Brethren. A cattle fair is held on 18 August.

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 
Poor Law unionBarnstaple 

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

Census Records

We have transcribed the following census returns for Parracombe:

Church Records

We have transcribed the Baptisms 1597 - 1836, Marriages 1597 - 1836, and Burials 1597 - 1836.

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 Parracombe


Church of England

Christ Church (parish church)

Christ Church, erected in 1878, at a cost of £4,000, is an edifice of stone in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave, north aisle, south porch and an embattled western tower, with pinnacles, containing a clock and 6 bells, two of which are ancient bells removed from the old church: the stained east window is a memorial to the Rev. John Pyke, a former rector; and there is another window in the chancel to Richard Dovell esq. of Middleton.

St. Petrock

The old church of St. Petrock, an ancient structure in the Norman and Early English styles, was restored in 1892, and again in 1908 after being struck by lightning: it is now used occasionally in the summer: it retains an ancient chancel screen.

St. Petrock, Parracombe Nave of St. Petrock, Parracombe


Wesleyan Chapel

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Parracombe from the following:


Online maps of Parracombe 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:

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.

DistrictNorth Devon
RegionSouth West
Postal districtEX31
Post TownBarnstaple