Bratton Clovelly’s economy is founded on much the same activity in recent centuries as it was in medieval times. The 1377 Manor Roll provides insight, identifying court cases regarding oats being trampled by another’s cattle and mention of oxen and pack animals. Three innkeepers were fined for selling ale at prices contrary to the assize of Bread and Ale and in false measure as well. One guilty party cut down the Lord’s wood without licence and another was fined for not paying Alice Hethman for her work, highlighting an already diverse workforce.
Occupations and economic activity remained similar through the centuries, with 80% of the population of the parish still composed of agricultural families in 1801. Sheep, cattle and occasional dairy farms still make up the landscape today. Nineteenth century directories report that the crops of choice were wheat, oats and barley. Nineteenth century newspapers add further information, reporting the oak and ash timber sales, the annual licensing of gamekeepers and property advertisements with descriptions of dog kennels and stables for hunters to draw investors to the ‘sporting country of Broadbury.’
Nineteenth century directories document twice yearly fairs in Bratton Clovelly and the opening of a racecourse at Broadbury Castle which hosted the ‘Broadbury Races’. Hunting was also popular in the area and up to three innkeepers were active at any given time. A school opened in 1837 and a new Board School was erected in 1877 to teach up to 140 children. There was regular transport and post, the local Post Office closing only a few years back.
Today, the village remains vibrant with its church and chapels, village hall, Boasley Primary School, Clovelly Inn and meeting facilities in the Old School Room. It hosts the many local groups, fayres, musical events, annual competitions and other local events catering for all ages.