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BREAN - information extracted from Kelly’s 1914 Directory of Somerset

BREAN is a parish and small village on the estuary of the River Axe, which flows out on the east side of the Brean Down peninsular into the Bristol Channel, 5 miles north from Burnham, 9 south from Weston-super-Mare and 4 north west from Brent Knoll Station  on the Bristol & Exeter section of the Great Western Railway, and 12 miles west from Bristol.

The soil is alluvial, and sub-soil, clay.  The land is chiefly in pasture. The area is 1,248 acres of land, 8 of tidal water and 2,268 of foreshore; rateable value £2,178; population in 1911 was 111

Brean Down is a peninsula, jutting out 1½ miles into the sea, on the summit of which are the traces of an ancient camp; in 1866 part of this peninsula was fortified by the Government and buildings erected to hold 30 men and 20 horses but the fort was dismantled in June 1901. On the north side of the hill there are two lime-stone quarries, the stone from which is sent to Bridgwater and Minehead for building purposes.

Thomas Wethered Esq., is lord of the manor and William Wyndham, Esq., of Dinton House Salisbury is principal landowner.

BREAN is in the

    •          Wells division of the county [Somerset]
    •          Bempstone Hundred,
    •          Axbridge petty sessions division
    •          Axbridge Poor Law Union
    •          Weston-super-Mare County Court District
    •          Rural Deanery of Burnham
    •          Archdeaconry of Wells
    •          Diocese of Bath and Wells 


The Church of St Bridget is a plain building of stone in the Later Perpendicular style,  consisting of chancel, nave, north porch, vestries and low western tower with a saddle-back roof containing 3 bells.   The church was restored in 1883 at a cost of £673, under the direction of Messrs Price & Wooler, architects of Weston-super-Mare, when the chancel was rebuilt and a reredos of Dumfries stone was added; the fittings were renewed in oak, the bench ends in the nave being copies from fragments of old ones; these and the reredos were executed by Mr Harry Hems of Exeter.   The interior was repaved on the level of the original pebble floor, and an oak lychgate erected at the entrance to the churchyard.  There is an eagle lectern, erected in 1892 in memory of W. Sperring Esq., who was for 40 years a churchwarden.

There are sittings for 105 persons and the registers date from 1730.

The living is a rectory, net yearly value about £211, including 16 acres of glebe with residence, in the gift of and held since 1882 by the Rev Thomas Watson Strong M.A. of Oriel College, Oxford.   

·        Acting Parish Clerk & Sexton:  Daniel Durston

There is also a Wesleyan Chapel built in 1847.


Letters delivered by foot post from Bridgwater, via Burnham arrive at 8.15 a.m. & 5.00 p.m.; dispatched at 10.20 a.m. & 6.25 p.m.   Berrow is the nearest money order & telegraph office, 3 miles distant.

Wall Letter Box, near school cleared at 10.15 a.m. & 6.20 p.m.; near Marine Cottages, cleared 10.20 a.m. & 6.25 p.m. weekdays only.


Public Elementary School (mixed), enlarged in 1893, for 45 children: average attendance 18

    •         School Mistress: Mrs Mary Hardwick


Davis, Harry Francois

Strong, Rev. Thomas Watson M.A. The Rectory

Wethered, Thomas Owen, The Manor



Champion, Martha Ann, (Mrs), farmer

Curry, Ellen & Florence (Misses), farmers, Diamond Farm

Dibble, Edward, farmer, Upper farm

Dibble, Robert, farmer

Harris, Philip, farmer, Warren Farm

Hawkins, Jesse Edmund, farmer, Lower Brean Down farm

Hicks, Henry Morse, farmer


Brean Pictures

St Bridget's Church, Brean
St Bridget's Church, Brean
Brean Down Fort, early 1900s
Brean Down Fort, early 1900s
Brean Down Fort, 2006
Brean Down Fort, 2006
Brean Down Fort, 2006
Brean Down Fort, 2006
Brean Down Farm
Brean Down Farm
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Brean Down Coastal Battery WW2
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Comments ..

Submitted by Bill Caple on Fri, 12/06/2020 - 16:54


Thank you for the very interesting information.

I have added some pictures.

Bill Caple

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