Saint Brannock lived in the 6th century and is believed to have traveled from South Wales to North Devon where he settled and built a church. According to one legend, he was supposed to have arrived riding on a donkey. A more imaginative tale tells how he supposedly floated across the Bristol Channel from Wales in a "lech" which was a stone coffin that Celtic saints were said to take along with them on pilgrimages. At the time of his arrival the village of Braunton as known today did not exist. There was a small pagan settlement set amid forest and scrub land. This small community of small homesteads was centered around what is now Chapel Hill.
Saint Brannock’s Influence
St Brannock gave the community the name Brannock and taught the local people more efficient farming techniques and methods. The people worshiped the pagan gods and spirits of the woods and the rivers and were known to practice child sacrifice and St Brannock set about converting them to Christianity. Despite difficulties he was successful and built the first church in North Devon there.