Welcome to the Braunton Village Website which was set up as a wonderful community resource by Barrie Kissak back in 1999. With Barrie’s kind permission, this site is going to be merged with www.AboutBraunton.com to form what we hope will be Braunton’s main community information website and resource. For the moment, we are continuing to publish Barrie’s content on this site. For more information on Braunton, what it has to offer and what’s on, visit www.AboutBraunton.com.
Barrie’s front page
BRAUNTON, one of the largest villages in the West of England and reputedly the largest in England, lies in the North West of Devon, overlooking Barnstaple Bay. It is two miles from the sea and through the centre runs the Caen Stream a tributary of the Taw. It took its name from the Goidel saint, Brannock, who came from South Wales as a missionary and converted the native Britons to the christian faith in 550 A D.Brannock was a priest in the household of Brychan, king of Brencknock. He married one of the king’s daughters, but the family troubles were a great incentive for leaving his royal home. At that time the Welsh Britons often raided their Dumnoni neighbours on the opposite side of the Bristol channel.
In all probability Brannock came to North Devon on the occasion of such a raid and is said to have landed on Saunton Sands at the mouth of the river Taw.
The Estuary of the Taw and Torridge was wooded in those days. As also was a portion of Braunton Borrows. Here lived a tribe of Britons and Brannock settled among them, soon establishing a strong christian community. A christian church, the first North Devon was built at a spot near where the Caen stream began to spread its waters on the Alluvial alnds around the river Taw.
The township, that grew up around this church, he named Brannockstood, which later became Brauntona and at the end of the nineteenth century, Braunton. Many of the older villagers would tell you that they lived in Branton just as those of a neighbouring village today say they lived in Ham.