A Snapshot of Brushford’s History


1066 and all that .........

Brushford is a very old Parish. In Saxon times it was a tributary manor of Dulverton, held by Ordwulf on behalf of King Edward II and paid a tax of 24 sheep. At the Domesday Survey of 1086, it was held by Robert, Count of Mortain, a half-brother of William the Conqueror.


Mauger holds of the count BRUSHFORD. Ordwulf held it TRE and it paid geld for 2 hides. There is land for 12 ploughs. In demesne is 1 plough and 2 slaves; and 10 villans and 5 bordars with 2 ploughs.

There is a mill rendering 12s6d, and 6 acres of meadow, and 17 acres of woodland, [and] pasture half a league long and 3 furlongs broad. It is worth 4l. Mauger holds of the count NORTH BRADON.

Ælfric held it TRE and it paid geld for 1 hide. There is land for 1 plough. There is 1 bordar. It is worth 10s. This manor owes as a customary due 1 sheep with a lamb to CURRY RIVEL, the king's manor.

Mauger holds of the count ASHILL. 2 thegns held it TRE and it paid geld for 5 hides. There is land for 5 ploughs. In demesne are 2 ploughs; and 4 villans and 17 bordars with 2 ploughs. There are 40 acres of meadow, [and] woodland 40 furlongs long and 20 furlongs broad. It is worth 60s.

Domesday Book Extract

"BRUSHFORD, a parish in the hundred of Williton and Freemanners, in the county of Somerset, 2 miles to the S. of Dulverton, its post town. It is on the confines of Devonshire, in a pleasant, hilly, and wooded district, on the banks of the river Barle, a branch of the Exe. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Bath and Wells, of the annual value of £384, in the patronage of the Earl of Carnarvon. The church is dedicated to St. Michael." From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2003


The Dulverton to Lynmouth Stage at the Carnarvon Arms Hotel

Mr Richard and Miss Harriet Hodge

of Upcott Farm on Langaller Hill

circa 1928

The Fine Elizabethan House, Combe

Mr Richard and Miss Harriet Hodge

of Upcott Farm on Langaller Hill

circa 1928

Dulverton Station, Brushford

Brushford School, 1900

An old advertisement

for the Carnarvon Arms

(Note the Telephone Number)

Although Brushford had no lord of the manor, it has been influenced by several great families. The Sydenhams lived at Combe House and were patrons of the Church from the 16th Century onwards. John Sydenham, rector from 1835 was active in setting up the village school, which opened in 1836. His son, Charles St. Barbe Sydenham, who succeeded him as rector, played an active role in teaching and local affairs until his death in 1904.

The Acland Family owned Pixton Park and Brushford Village and some of the remainder of the Parish. In 1796 Elizabeth Dyke Acland married Henry, 2nd Earl of Carnarvon. Brushford remained part of the estate (which ran from Upton in the east to Hawkridge in the west) until 1901, when Aubrey Herbert, a descendant, inherited it. Many of the farms were sold in the early part of the last century and the estate finally dispersed on the death of Aubrey’s son Auberon in 1974. (See the “Carnarvon Connection Page)

The next major step in the development of Brushford was the arrival of the railway in 1873, bringing new employment and new housing half a mile from the old village. The Carnarvon Family were active developers at this time and when Dulverton Station was built at Brushford, on the new Barnstaple to Taunton line, they built the Carnarvon Arms Hotel in 1874 and Mr and Mrs Nelder came from Tiverton to run it, beginning the Nelder’s long association with the village.

A cattle market was held monthly and breeding and store stock were sold where Market Close stands today, with the fat stock being sold at the Corn Mill - now a private house near the Carnarvon Apartments. There were cattle holding pens in the station yard and were driven to Brushford from Cutcombe and Exford for shipment by rail to London. The “Rabbit Train” came through the station in the early hours each day when local rabbits were also shipped to London Markets.

The Barnstable Taunton line at Waterrow

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