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Rockbeare church - - 136980.jpg
St Mary with St Andrew, Rockbeare
Rockbeare is located in Devon
Location within Devon
Population914 (2011 Census) [1]
OS grid referenceSY0242295464
• London196 mi (315 km)
Civil parish
  • Rockbeare
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBroadclyst
Postcode districtEX5
Dialling code01392
PoliceDevon and Cornwall
FireDevon and Somerset
AmbulanceSouth Western
EU ParliamentSouth West England
UK Parliament
List of places
50°45′00″N 3°23′00″W / 50.75°N 3.383333°W / 50.75; -3.383333Coordinates: 50°45′00″N 3°23′00″W / 50.75°N 3.383333°W / 50.75; -3.383333

Rockbeare is a village and civil parish in the East Devon district of the county of Devon, England, located near Exeter Airport and the city of Exeter. "Whilst the name has nothing to do with either 'rocks' nor 'bears', it simply means 'rooks in the grove (of trees)'."[2][3] "The parish comprises the hamlets of Marsh Green, Pithead, Allercombe, and Little Silver". The village, which is of small extent, is situated on the high road from Honiton to Exeter, and is an agricultural town.[2] The land is nearly evenly divided between arable and pasture, with about 200 acres of common.[2] According to the 2011 Census there were 431 males and 483 females living in the parish.[4] "Rockbeare is written within the Broadclyst ward and electoral division, which is in the constituency of East Devon County Council".[5]

"Rockbeare has a grade II* listed church dedicated to St Mary with St Andrew, Rockbeare [6] and a football club called Rockbeare Rangers FC.[7] Rockbeare Manor is a grade I listed building.[8]"


19th Century Rockbeare[edit]

Historically Rockbeare formed as part of East Budleigh Hundred. During this period the population was 419 in 1801 and 404 in 1901.[9]

"Rockbeare Manor, also known as 'Rock Wood' was given by the Bishop of Bath and Wells to Matilda, Countess of Gloucester in the reign of Edward III. From the Countess the manor passed to the abbey of Canonleigh, while at the Reformation it was acquired by the Sainthill family.[9] The original house was built c. 1760-70 and owned by Sir John Duntze.[10] About 1820 the house was remodelled with complete simplicity and refinement, possibly by Kendall of Exeter." [10]

Column chart showing the occupational structures for men and women in 1881

Chart1 shows the occupational status for the population in 1881, the general trend is that although most people were working in the services and agricultural sector, many worked in unspecified occupations.[11]

"Rockbeare Court, beside the church, is a plain stuccoed late Georgian mansion. The church (St. Mary) is a melancholy exhibition of "restoration": it was almost entirely rebuilt in 1888 and is devoid of interest.[10]"

Post 1800[edit]

Total Population of Rockbeare Civil Parish, Exeter, as reported by the Census of Population from 1801 to 2011

Rockbeare, par. and vil., Devon, 6½ miles E. of Exeter, 2375 ac., pop. 472; P.O.; Rockbeare House and Rockbeare Court are seats. The manor belonged formerly to Canonsleigh-abbey, and belongs now to T. Porter, Esq. R. House and R. Court are chief residences. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter. Value, £148.* Patron, the Bishop of Exeter.[12]

Roman links[edit]

Evidence for Rockbeare to have been part of a Roman settlement came from the University of Exeter's Archaeology team who have revealed new findings of how the county's inhabitants lived during the Roman period.[13] The team also uncovered archaeological features and significant amounts of imported Roman pottery, along with locally made goods.[13] The site was first discovered by metal detectorists Jim Wills and Dennis Hewings who reported their finds to archaeologist Danielle Wootton, who is the Devon Finds Liaison Officer (Antiquities Scheme).[13] All of these findings suggest that people having lived in this area were influenced in some way by the Romans. It is questioned "whether the Dumnonii, the tribe who lived in the area now known as Devon, still retained their traditional identity rather than becoming entirely Romanised." [13]



Rockbeare, as with the rest of the UK, experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen Cfb). Its southern location makes it one of the warmest parts in England. Mean average data has been sourced from the Met Office, data has been collected from the Exeter Airport climate station.[14] Below are the annual average temperatures for Rockbeare and Exeter Airport area.

Climate data for Rockbeare, England (1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8.8
Average low °C (°F) 2.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 82.2
Source: Exeter Airport [15]


Most local businesses are located along London Rd. Rockbeare Quarry located above Allercombe, Upcott and Pithead was a former quarry used to produce gravel, cement, bricks, tar and stones until 1986.[16]

The Cheeky Cow catering company "offers catering services to Exeter and Devon". The Cheeky Cow is located in the village of Rockbeare.[17]

Historic map of Rockbeare

Cranbrook development[edit]

Cranbrook is located just north-west of the village of Rockbeare. This provides opportunity for a structure plan, following a development proposal that would incorporate the parish of Rockbeare.[18]

"The vision for Cranbrook is to create a self-sufficient, low carbon new community in close proximity to skilled employment opportunities, encouraging people to use sustainable modes of transport and to reduce the need for them to travel between work and home by car."[19]

The aim is to become a modern market town with close functional links with the other developments in the growth area, such as Skypark and Exeter Science Park. It is also envisioned to construct sustainable homes, as well as offer affordable housing for young families. As a result Rockbeare and Cranbrook would merge. Rockbeare, however, is strongly opposed as it would have to compromise 820 residential dwellings, one primary school, cemetery, sports and recreation facilities.[20]

Culture and community[edit]

Rockbeare is surrounded by the rolling hills of Dartmoor along with a well-appointed manor "perfect for weddings and other occasions including celebration dinners, parties, corporate team building days and charity fundraisers."[21] St. Mary's with St. Andrew's Church is the main church in the civil parish of Rockbeare. Services can be found on the Clyst Mission Community website. The former Independent Chapel located near the quarry has survived and been renamed to Marsh Green's village hall.[22] The Jack in the Green is the only pub in the village, located on London Rd, North of Rockbeare. Jack in the Green Pub


Exeter Airport is located approximately 2.9 miles south west of Rockbeare.[23] Bus services to the city centre run hourly and are operated by Stagecoach.[24]

Cranbrook offers a rail station with services run by South Western Railway to Exeter, London Waterloo, and Gillingham.[25]


Rockbeare Church of England Primary School was established in 1872.[26] Following the July 2012 Ofsted inspection, the school was rated 2 "Good".[27]


  1. ^ Neighbourhood Statistics
  2. ^ a b c "Rockbeare 1868". Retrieved 2017-03-09.
  3. ^ "Rockbeare 1868". Retrieved 2017-04-27.
  4. ^ "Rockbeare Key Statistics". Neighborhood statistics. Office for national statistics. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  5. ^ StreetCheck. "Interesting Information for Rockbeare, Exeter, EX5 2LU Postcode". StreetCheck. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Historic England. "ROCKBEARE MANOR INCLUDING TERRACES ADJOINING TO SOUTH (1203803)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  9. ^ a b Historic England (1987-08-12). "Rockbeare Manor (1000193)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  10. ^ a b c Foundation, Internet Memory (2017-03-09). "UK Government Web Archive – The National Archives". Archived from the original on 2012-11-16.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  11. ^ "Vision of Britain | 1881 Census: Ages | Table 10". Retrieved 2017-03-09.
  12. ^ Bartholomew, John (1887). Gazetteer of the British Isles (1st ed.). Edinburgh: Bartholomew.
  13. ^ a b c d "University of Exeter". Retrieved 2017-03-09.
  14. ^ "Exeter Airport Climate".
  15. ^ "Climatological Information for Rockbeare, England", Exeter Airport, 2010. Web: [1].
  16. ^ "Domesday Reloaded - Rockbeare Quarry 1986". BBC. Archived from the original on 2012-03-15.
  17. ^ "Order Buffets in Exeter and East Devon | Cheeky Cow". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  18. ^ "Cranbrook - Exeter and East Devon Growth Point". Retrieved 2017-04-27.
  19. ^ "Cranbrook - Exeter and East Devon Growth Point". Retrieved 2017-03-09.
  20. ^ "Home - Rockbeare Parish Council". Retrieved 2017-03-09.
  21. ^ "Rockbeare Manor".
  22. ^ "Parish Map - Rockbeare Parish Council". Retrieved 2017-03-09.
  23. ^ "Rockbeare Bus Timetable" (PDF). Stagecoach. Stagecoach. 2017-02-25. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-27.
  24. ^ "Stagecoach Official website". Stagecoach. Archived from the original on 2009-10-02.
  25. ^ "Cranbrook | South West Trains". Retrieved 2017-03-09.
  26. ^ "Rockbeare Church of England (VA) Primary School and Pre-School - School". Retrieved 2017-04-05.
  27. ^ "Rockbeare Church of England Primary School - Inspection Report 2012". Ofsted. Ofsted. 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2017-03-11.

External links[edit]