The Branscombe Project began more than twenty years ago. A group of people, some of whom had lived all their lives in Branscombe, others relative newcomers, decided they wanted to find out more about their village and the wider landscape. The time-span is anywhere from prehistoric times to the present, and the idea is to explore changing landscapes, changing lives, historical materials, and living memories.
We have taped over a hundred interviews, dug in the archives and in the ground, and walked the landscape. People have lent us photographs, documents, postcards and objects.
We put on biennial exhibitions, winter talks, documentary dramas and ‘disappeared houses’ walks. We have covered topics as diverse as Branscombe Ghosts, Maps, Farming, Cliff Plats, Orchards, Shops & Trades, the Churchyard, Lace Making, Smuggling, Outside Loos, Road History, School History, Hedgerow Dating, Archaeological Excavation & Field-walking, House & Family Histories, Gardens, the Blackshirts, and the wreck of the Napoli.
Our events and activities are open to all - there is no subscription and no membership list.
We want to make as much of our work available on this website as possible. It will take time. We hope you’ll enjoy what’s here and find it useful.
The Steamship ‘Ballarat’ bound for Australia one hundred years ago
The Branscombe Diaspora Your help needed
If you know of anyone who left Branscombe to live in another country in the past, please contact us by email and we will add your stories to our website. Read what we know so far here ...
The story of the men and their families brought in by the Government to combat smuggling. They were supposed to keep their distance, not stay too long, not marry in. How did it really work?
Branscombe Blacksmiths Medieval times to the present day John Torrance
Think how many people are called ‘Smith’ and then think about how every village must have had at least one smithy! John traces the story of the Branscombe blacksmiths from Medieval times through to today.
****** March 21 2016 at 7.30 [a week early because of Easter] Loving the unlovable - men, gulls and rubbish Tim Dee
Seagulls have discovered rich pickings on land-fill sites.
DNA studies have shown that there are more sea gull sub-species than were ever dreamt of.
Passionate ornithologists are skulking around land fill sites trying to spot the differences – and Tim Dee, BBC producer and author of ‘The Driving Sky’, has been keeping his eye on both ornithologists and sea gulls!
April 25 2016 at 7.30 Beer to Brisbane and back Peter Dare
Peter Dare, Master Mason, talks of his life from being a Beer boy working in the Beer stone quarry, to training at Oxford, working on the restoration of Exeter cathedral, and taking off for Brisbane to help in the completion of St Johns Cathedral.
2016 BRANSCOMBE PROJECT EXHIBITION
March 29 to April 5 Village Lives Something for Everyone: from prehistoric flints to Medieval pot sherds; from 17th century recipes for mad dog bites to House Histories, Coast-guards, and night skies; from the old Variety Night to 50 Years a Fishing and Twenty-five years at the Old Bakery; and, finally, the monster digitised map of everyone’s favourite places and landscapes.