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Berry Barton Map 1763

‘A Map of Berry Farm in the Parish, and part of the Manor of Branscombe in the County of Devon, the Lande of the Venerable Dean and Chapter of Exeter. Map’d in May 1763 by John Tothill’

This is the earliest map we have for Branscombe


It is drawn and painted on parchment and measures 96.7 x 42.7 cms. It is set out on ‘a scale of Chains each 4 Statute Perch’. (On the scale bar one inch equals 4 chains)

‘The Channel’ is grey with wave lines. The cliffs are pale orange -  ‘Lime Rock’ and ‘Lime Killns’ (sic) are marked; There is a suggestion of landslip with odd trees and undergrowth on green wash and 4 ‘Little Garden Plots’ are identified. The fields are green, outlined in darker green. A key to the alphabetic references gives field names, acreage and land use. Crosses indicate hedge ownership. A ‘Ruinous Hedge’ is marked, and two dark green strips indicate ‘Two Saxon entrenchments'’ where 'Berry camp' is marked on the OS map. Brown stippling marks ‘Brakes’ (brushwood), tree symbols show orchards. One brown road is marked ‘Road to Branscombe Church’, the other ‘Road to the Lime Killns’. Berry Farm is drawn in plan - courtyard, garden, stable and linhay are all named.

A note describes the garden plots:


On the South of the Cleave are a great number of acres of Land of little or no value, (Except a few little Garden plots which the Tenant letts out, some at 1s and others at 7d a year) and on accounts of its cragginess and great declivity towards the Sea, no Dimensions could be taken ...


This is the earliest reference we have to the cliff plats which later came to play an important part in village life.

These notes are taken from Mary R. Ravenhill & Margery M. Rowe (eds) Devon Maps and Map-makers: Manuscript Maps before 1840 (volume 1, p.95). Devon and Cornwall Record Society, Exeter 2002.   

Ravenhill & Rowe mention two associated documents:

1. Exeter D&C Chapter Act Book, 3569, 582. 9 Oct 1762 They ordered Berry Farm in Branscombe to be surveyed.

2. Exeter D&C Chapter Act Book, 3570, 72. 19 Nov. 1763 They order’d  Mr. Tothill’s Bill of £4. 17s. 0d for surveying and Planing Berry Farm in Branscombe to be paid

Images reproduced by permission of the Dean and Chapter of Exeter Cathedral.

Thanks to Phil Planel who photographed the map.

To view the whole map click here

To view a particular section click on the map below