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Branscombe Project © 2009-2016
Welcome to the Branscombe Project

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 ...
Final Reports
Branscombe Parish Council photo archive
To contact us please join up our email address in the usual way:
contacts at branscombe project dot org dot uk
Monday February 29 2016 at 7.30
Branscombe Project

Two Short Talks from the Branscombe Project:

Branscombe Coastguard Station
Sue Dymond

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.



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.
Please note the correct date for this talk which was previously advertised as on 22 February