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St Nicholas Church

A Brief History of St Nicholas’ Church, Brushford

Although St Nicholas’ Church underwent 18th and 19th century restoration, it retains much medieval stonework and is one of the most interesting churches in the Exmoor area.

The oldest part of the church appears to be the south west wall of the nave, which is probably 13th Century. Its two windows were added around 1520. The bottom part of the tower is mid-15th Century but the top half was rebuilt in 1742. The north wall of the nave was rebuilt in 1723 and the chancel in 1872.

One of the church’s notable features is its beautiful chancel screen, in Perpendicular style and dating from about 1500. Amongst other features is the Norman Font, made of Purbeck marble. This is square, with arches carved on each side. A group of pews in the Lutyens chapel date from Tudor times. There is also a hollowed-out chest and the village stocks are exhibited in the porch. In the south chancel window is some stained glass depicting the Virgin Mary. It is Renaissance French and was presented in 1925 as a memorial to Evelina, Countess of Carnarvon.

The church has two well-known features. The first is the huge oak tree in the front of the churchyard. This is one of the oldest trees in the Exmoor area and was spoken of in Elizabethan times as ‘the old oak’. For many years it spread much wider, with its long horizontal branches supported by wooden props.

The second feature is the north chapel, erected in 1926 as a memorial to The Honourable Aubrey Herbert. The very simple chapel has a cross- shaped window and was designed by Sir Edward Lutyens, a friend of the Herbert family. Aubrey’s effigy is by Cecil Howard and above it hangs his sword. He was a well-known MP, diplomat and adventurer who was twice offered the throne of Albania. He was a friend of John Buchan, who used his character as the hero of his novel Greenmantle.

The Church Today

St Nicholas Church

is in the Deanery of Exmoor and the Diocese of Bath and Wells.

Our Bishop is Rt Revd Peter Hancock,

assisted by Ruth, Bishop of Taunton


The Reverend Andrew Thomas,

The Vicarage,

High Street,


TA22 9EW

Tel: 01398 323018


Brushford Parish Hall


The Parish Hall now has its own dedicated website, which can be found at:

Welcome to Brushford Pack

There is now a new “Welcome Pack” for all newcomers to the Parish.

It contains a host of information, from useful telephone numbers to recycling facilities, from suggestions for eating out to where to shop – the list is very comprehensive!

If you have recently joined our Community, and would like to know more, please call the Clerk on 01398 324015
for your copy.

Brushford Voluntary Lifts

New Traffic Calming Scheme

The Parish Council has for a long time worked on the introduction of a Traffic Calming Scheme along the main B3222 road which runs through from Exebridge to Dulverton as speed checks have continuously reflected high speeds, with a large number of vehicles exceeding 50mph.
The new scheme is now in place and early indications are that speeds have appeared to have been reduced.
However, the Parish Council has arranged for further Speed Indicators to be put in place in order to monitor the situation.

Exebridge Flood Alleviation Scheme

The Parish Council is working in conjunction with the Morebath Parish Council to provide a store of sandbags for use in emergency, should the village be hit by floods again.

South West Water have kindly offered to permit the siting of a new shed at the Exebridge Industrial Estate, on their land near the pumping station, opposite Exebridge Motors.

Planning permission has at last been received and the order placed for the sandbag shed. This is due for delivery in September.

We will update this site with information as the project progresses.

In the mean time, if you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the Parish Clerk at cliveknight@me.com

Brushford Present

Today, Brushford is still a small community of 535 parishioners. The Parish is made up of Brushford, that part of Exebridge on the Somerset side of the River Exe to the South and the hamlet of Nightcott to the West. (See Parish Statistics Page)
We have a thriving and active community and the village is justifiably proud of its recreational facilities including a purpose built games court which accommodates tennis, hockey, basketball and netball to name but a few of the sports available.

The Parish Hall is a thriving hub of activity, with widely differing groups enjoying the amenities, from Line Dancing to Tae Kwan Do, from the Luncheon Club to Short Mat Bowling. Indeed, there is not an evening goes by, winter or summer, when the Hall is not in use. Please see the Hall’s own page for full details of events.

Brushford Past

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Brushford enjoyed the contact of the Barnstaple to Taunton and Tiverton Railway, which resulted in Lord Carnarvon building the Carnarvon Arms in the mid 19th Century. There was a thriving saw mill on the other side of the river in Exebridge and a stone quarry behind Hulverton Hill. Sadly, all have now gone.

Brushford Origins

Situated on the Southern Edge of Exmoor National Park, Brushford is an ancient Somerset Parish. Named as Brigeford in the Domesday Book survey of 1086 (see below), the village boasts a 13th Century Church,said to have been visited by Elizabeth I. Indeed, the old oak tree in the churchyard is one of the oldest oaks on Exmoor and was referred to as “the old oak” in Elizabethan times!

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