Broadclyst is located within East Devon local authority area. Historically it formed part of Cliston Hundred. It falls within Aylesbere Deanery for ecclesiastical purposes. The Deaneries are used to arrange the typescript Church Notes of B.F.Cresswell which are held in the Westcountry Studies Library. The population was 1540 in 1801 1900 in 1901 . Figures for other years are available on the local studies website.The lay subsidy of 1524 valued the community at £16/09/02. In 1641/2 443 adult males signed the Protestation returns.
A parish history file is held in Pinhoe Library. You can look for other material on the community by using the place search on the main local studies database. Further historical information is also available on the Genuki website
Maps: The image is of the Broadclyst area on Donn's one inch to the mile survey of 1765.
On the County Series Ordnance Survey mapping the area is to be found on 1:2,500 sheet 68/12,69/9 Six inch (1:10560) sheet 68SE,69SW
Illustrations: The image below is of Broadclyst as included in the Library's illustrations collection. Other images can be searched for on the local studies catalogue.
Extract from Devon by W.G.Hoskins (1954), included by kind permission of the copyright holder:
BROAD CLYST parish is exceptionally large, covering nearly fifteen square miles and including rich valley scenery, heath, and wooded hills like Killerton and Ashclyst Forest. Several of the farms date from before the Conquest (e.g. Ashclyst Farm, Clyst Gerred Farm, West Clyst, Mosshayne, Columbjohn, and Eveleigh.) Many, such as Killerton, Churchill and Southbrook, date from shortly after Domesday. The parish was for centuries full of ancient freeholders, of whom the most interesting (in view of their later history) were the Churchills, who took their name from Churchill in this parish as early as Henry II's time. This Churchill is almost certainly the original home of the present Churchill family.
The church (St. John the Baptist) has a fine 16th century W. tower of the Somerset type, said to have served as a model for Cullompton. The body of the church was probably rebuilt in the time of Bishop Stafford (1395-1419) as the Stafford knot appears on one of the capitals. The nave arcades of six bays are excellent, having graceful piers surmounted by beautifully carved capitals. In the chancel the fine 14th century sedilia cover the effigy of a knight in armour, believed to be that of Sir Roger de Nonant, the last of the Nonant lords of Broadclyst, who died c. 1330-40. This monument, one of the best of its kind in Devon, closely resembles in style the Prouz monument at Widworthy.
There are good Renaissance monuments to Sir John Acland of Columbjohn (1620) and to Edward Drewe, Esquire, of Killerton (1622), as well as an attractive mural monument to Henry Burrough, gent., and his wife.(1605).
Columbjohn, 2 m. NW. of the church, was a pre-Conquest estate, taking its name from the river and from one John de Culm who held it in 1235. It came eventually to the Earls of Devon, who had "a private retiring house" here, but they lost it by the attainder of Henry, Marquess of Exeter, in 1539. Late in Elizabeth's reign the estate was bought by Sir John Acland of Acland who built a new mansion on the site. Here the Aclands lived until Sir Thomas rebuilt Killerton, a mile away, about the middle of the 18th century Columbjohn was garrisoned for the king during the civil war, and in March 1646 it was the headquarters of Fairfax, whose army was then stationed at Silverton. Cromwell also stayed here. The old house was demolished when the Aclands moved to Killerton, but the arched Elizabethan gateway still stands among the trees. The chapel, consecrated by Bishop Cotton on Sunday, 11 September 1608, has since been rebuilt. The interior is of no interest, but the exterior and its surroundings are very attractive.
Killerton is now mainly a late 18th century house in a timbered park. "Killerton Clump," the wooded hill behind the house, is a landmark for miles. Edward Drewe, sergeant-at-law, bought the estate late in Elizabeth's reign and built a mansion, only a mile from Sir John Acland's new house. Thomas Drewe, son of Edward, sold Killerton to the Aclands after his father's death, however, and moved to Grange in Broadhembury (q.v.) where the Drewes had built another mansion. The Aclands still live at Killerton, but Sir Richard Acland has handed over the house and park to the National Trust. The chapel in the park was built in 1842 in the Norman style, replacing that at Columbjohn. Round the summit of the hill (called Dolbury, "Dola's burh ") are the remnants of an earthwork, a simple, defensive enclosure with ram- part and ditch, probably of Early Iron Age date.