Colebrooke is located within Mid Devon local authority area. Historically it formed part of Crediton Hundred. It falls within Cadbury 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 762 in 1801 650 in 1901 . Figures for other years are available on the local studies website. In 1641/2 184 adult males signed the Protestation returns.
A parish history file is held in Crediton 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 below is of the Colebrooke 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 66/7,8 Six inch (1:10560) sheet 66NE
The National Grid reference for the centre of the area is SX769999. On the post 1945 National Grid Ordnance Survey mapping the sheets are: 1:10,000 (six inch to a mile: sheet SS70SE,SX79NE, 1:25,000 mapping: sheet Explorer 113, Landranger (1:50,000) mapping: sheet 191. Geological sheet 324 also covers the area.
Illustrations: The image below is of Colebrooke 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:
COLEBROOKE has a good 14th to 15th century church (St. Andrew) standing boldly on an eminence. It is probably an early 14th century cruciform church, with a N. aisle opened out in the 15th century, and S. transept c. 1300 in date. The W. tower is a fine example of Perpendicular building. There are some unusual carved bench-ends, somewhat crudely executed and probably of 15th century date. Two bench-ends show the arms of Copies tone and Gorges, borne by grotesque men. As the Coplestone-Gorges marriage, which greatly enlarged the Coplestone estate, took place in 1472, this may be about the date of these benches. The priest's stall is early 16th century work, contemporary with the fine rood-screen which has linenfold panelling. The E. end of the N. aisle (the Coplestone chapel) is enclosed by screens with an unusual curvilinear design, similar to those at Brushford and Coldridge, c. 1500 in date.
Coplestone takes its name from the 10th century boundary stone, a carved granite pillar 10 ft. high on the main Exeter to Barnstaple road where three parishes meet. This copelan stan is referred to in a charter of 974. The Coplestones were seated on their estate of that name as early as Henry II's time, and still survive in the county, though they sold their ancestral home as long ago as 1659. The present house is unexciting Georgian.
Whelmstone Barton, an ancient free-hold estate first recorded in 1249 but probably older, is now a house of c. 1600 with a stone-arched gateway to its courtyard. A chapel dedicated to St. Mary was licensed here in 1374, and remains of it, with a braced roof of 14th century date, may be seen in a hay-loft in the farmyard. Landsend, a remote farm, was formerly a mansion, and had a medieval chapel. Combe is a late Georgian mansion.