Bradninch Walk

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Bradninch is a small town set in mid-Devon, but to many people mainly outside the community, it is thought to be just a village. In the 12th Century it received its first charter from Reginald de Dunstanville, a son of Henry 1st of England. The beginning of Bradninch dates back to the 7th Century. It then only consisted of a few dwellings around a wooden fortress on Castle Hill. This was \t that time one of only fifteen important fortresses in the south-west of England.

The meaning of the word Bradninch is not generally known but was probably derived from the Saxon word Bradeneche, which translated means 'broad ash'. There are other references like Braenes and Branes and the Celtic for hill being 'bre' or 'bryn' which used today is 'brae', meaning hillside. This would suggest that Bradninch is a place by or on a hillside, which bears out its geographical position.

There is an interesting historical building in the town, the Guildhall, first built in the 12th Century when Bradninch become a borough. Later in its history it had to be rebuilt in the 15th Century, due to the fire of 1666, but again it was rebuilt of cob and thatch, only to be destroyed by fire again in 1832. The building that stands today was built in 1835 and has had many alterations over the years; this includes painting and restoration of the old clock.

The largest street in Bradninch is Fore Street, with its different types of houses on both side of the street. The only thatched house in Fore Street is Comfort House and the nameplate on the porch is marked 1681 IW MW 1681; again the house was destroyed in 1666 by fire. The Master Weaver's house was rebuilt in 1681 and plate shows the initials 'IW MW'; Isaac and Mary Watts being the first occupants of the house.

Bradninch remains a busy little town, although most shops have now gone, like Haydon's Bakery finally closing in 1963, but the history of the town is still clear to see into the future.

England - South West England - Devon - Countryside


Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Pub, Public Transport, Toilets, Wildlife

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