Place:Bere Ferrers, Devon, England

NameBere Ferrers
Alt namesBirlandsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 77
Birlandasource: Domesday Book (1985) p 77
Beer-Ferrissource: Family History Library Catalogue
Beerferrissource: another spelling
Bere Alstonsource: village in parish
Braundersource: settlement in parish
Buttspillsource: settlement in parish
Clamoaksource: settlement in parish
Cottssource: settlement in parish
Collytownsource: settlement in parish
Gnathamsource: settlement in parish
Hewtonsource: settlement in parish
Rumleighsource: settlement in parish
Tuckermarshsource: settlement in parish
Weir Quaysource: settlement in parish
TypeAncient parish, Civil parish
Coordinates50.45°N 4.167°W
Located inDevon, England
See alsoRoborough Hundred, Devon, Englandhundred of which the parish was a part
Tavistock Rural, Devon, Englandrural district 1894-1974
West Devon District, Devon, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Bere Ferrers (#1 on map), sometimes called Beerferris, is a village and civil parish on the Bere peninsula in the West Devon District in the county of Devon, England. It is located to the north of Plymouth, on the west bank of the River Tavy. It has a railway station on the Tamar Valley Line.

The civil parish includes the whole of the Bere peninsula, including the village of Bere Alston and the smaller settlements of Tuckermarsh, Rumleigh, Buttspill, Braunder, Cotts, Hewton, Weir Quay, Clamoak, Gnatham [sic] and Collytown. In the UK census of 2001 the parish had a population of 3,066; this had decreased to 2,989 in the 2011 census.

The following description from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72 is provided by the website A Vision of Britain Through Time (University of Portsmouth Department of Geography).

"BEER-FERRIS, Beer-Ferrers, or Beer-Town, a parish in Tavistock [registration] district, Devon; between the rivers Tamar and Tavy upwards from their confluence, 4 miles W of Bickleigh [railway] station, and 7 N by W of Plymouth. It contains the town of Beer-Alston and the village of Beer-Town, the former of which has a post office under Tavistock. Acres: 6,838; of which 950 are water. Real property: £9,981. Population: 2,847. Houses: 581.
"The property is subdivided. A great part belongs to the Earl of Mount-Edgcumbe; and the manor of Ley was long held by a family of its own name, one of whom was created Earl of Marlborough, but belongs now to Sir T. Drake, Bart. Much of the surface is picturesque; and many spots command fine prospects. Silver and lead mines are worked; and several kinds of rare minerals are found.
"The living is a rectory in the diocese of Exeter. Value: £700. Patron: the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe. The church is decorated and perpendicular English, and very picturesque; consists of nave, aisle, chancel, and transepts; and contains monuments of the Ferrers and the Champernouns, and one to Lieutenant-Major Bayley, who fell at the storming of Sebastopol. There is a chapel-of-ease at High Cross, Beer-Alston; and there are chapels for Independents, Wesleyans, U. Free Methodists, and Bible Christians. Charities, £66. Stothart, the artist and antiquary, was killed at Beer-Ferris."
Image:Tavistock small.png

Research Tips

(revised Jul 2021)

  • Ordnance Survey Map of Devonshire North and Devonshire South are large-scale maps covering the whole of Devon between them. They show the parish boundaries when Rural Districts were still in existence and before the mergers of parishes that took place in 1935 and 1974. When expanded the maps can show many of the small villages and hamlets inside the parishes. These maps are now downloadable for personal use but they can take up a lot of computer memory.
  • GENUKI has a selection of maps showing the boundaries of parishes in the 19th century. The contribution from "Know Your Place" on Devon is a huge website yet to be discovered in detail by this contributor.
  • Devon has three repositories for hands-on investigation of county records. Each has a website which holds their catalog of registers and other documents.
  • There is, however, a proviso regarding early records for Devon. Exeter was badly hit in a "blitz" during World War II and the City Library, which then held the county archives, was burnt out. About a million books and historic documents went up in smoke. While equivalent records--particularly wills--are quite easy to come by for other English counties, some records for Devon and surrounding counties do not exist.
  • Devon Family History Society Mailing address: PO Box 9, Exeter, EX2 6YP, United Kingdom. The society has branches in various parts of the county. It is the largest Family History Society in the United Kingdom. The website has a handy guide to each of the parishes in the county and publishes the registers for each of the Devon dioceses on CDs.
  • This is the home page to the GENUKI Devon website. It has been updated since 2015 and includes a lot of useful information on each parish.
  • Devon has a Online Parish Clerk (OPC) Project which can be reached through GENUKI. Only about half of the parishes have a volunteer contributing local data. For more information, consult the website, especially the list at the bottom of the homepage.
  • Magna Britannia, Volume 6 by Daniel Lysons and Samuel Lysons. A general and parochial history of the county. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1822, and placed online by British History Online. This is a volume of more than 500 pages of the history of Devon, parish by parish. It is 100 years older than the Victoria County Histories available for some other counties, but equally thorough in its coverage. Contains information that may have been swept under the carpet in more modern works.
  • There is a cornucopia of county resources at Devon Heritage. Topics are: Architecture, Census, Devon County, the Devonshire Regiment, Directory Listings, Education, Genealogy, History, Industry, Parish Records, People, Places, Transportation, War Memorials. There are fascinating resources you would never guess that existed from those topic titles. (NOTE: There may be problems reaching this site. One popular browser provider has put a block on it. This may be temporary, or it may be its similarity in name to the Devon Heritage Centre at Exeter.)
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Bere Ferrers. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.