Bratton Clovelly

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Bratton Clovelly
St Mary's church, Bratton Clovelly - - 361177.jpg
St Mary's church
Grid reference: SX464918
Location: 50°41’24"N, 4°10’48"W
Population: 399
Local Government
Council: West Devon

Bratton Clovelly is a village in western Devon, midway between the north and south coasts, about eight miles south-west of Okehampton and immediately north of the A30 trunk road.

The manor of Bratton Clovelly is listed in the Domesday Book of 1086.[1]

Parish church

The parish church dedicated to St Mary is 15th-century, with many Norman features. The former village stocks are kept in the belfry.

The parish is thought to have been the birthplace of influential 13th-century jurist Henry de Bracton; however, this claim is also made for at least two other places.

Historic estates


The estate of Burnby (alias Burneby,[2] Burnaby, Bunbury, etc.) is not listed in the Domesday Book of 1086[3] but in 1810 "Bunbury" was described as "the principal estate in the parish", and was then the property of John Hawkes of Okehampton.[4] It had long been the seat of the Burnby family, as stated by Risdon (d.1640):[5]

Burnby hath been the dwelling of the Burnbeys many generations, a name extracted even from the line of the English-Saxon nation and continueth the inheritance of that name to this day, who are allied to worshipful families.

Vestiges of the Burnby family survive in St Mary's Church, in the form of fragments of 15th century heraldic glass now in the vestry but originally in the window of a former chapel at the east end of the south aisle, of which chapel the piscina survives.[6] The glass was removed from the south-east window by Rector Birdwood (in office 1816-46) and replaced in the east window and was moved again in 1886 to the vestry. Beneath the choir stalls is the Ledger line (tombstone)|ledger stone of Thomas Buneby and under the lectern is the ledger stone of Richard Burnby 1603. Kelly's Directory of 1893 states a descendant of this family to have been the swashbuckling adventurer "Col. Fred Burnaby, RHG, killed in the Sudan",[7] at the Battle of Abu Klea. The pedigree of "Burnby of Burnby" is included in the Heraldic Visitations of Devon.[8]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Bratton Clovelly)


  1. Professor J.J.N.Palmer. "Open Domesday: Bratton Clovelly". Anna Powell-Smith. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  2. Pole, Sir William (d.1635), Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon, Sir John-William de la Pole (ed.), London, 1791, pp.347,472,524
  3. Thorn, Caroline & Frank, (eds.) Domesday Book, (Morris, John, gen.ed.) Vol. 9, Devon, Parts 1 & 2, Phillimore Press, Chichester, 1985, Part 2 (Notes), Index
  4. Risdon, 1810 Additions, p.412
  5. Risdon, Tristram (d.1640), Survey of Devon, 1811 edition, London, 1811, with 1810 Additions, p.228
  8. Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.119, pedigree of "Burnby of Burnby"