What is Manning's Pit?
Manning's Pit is the name
given to the field shown above, at the edge of Pilton, a
village that is now joined to Barnstaple in North Devon.
The name is also used to describe the area made up of
Manning's Pit and the adjoining fields that are part of
the Bradiford Valley.
When the Pilton Estate was sold in 1849, the
field we now know as Manning's Pit was a part of a larger
field, or collection of fields, called Northfields, or
North Field, but by the beginning of the twentieth
century, if not well before, it was called Manning's Pit
by locals. These fields have been loved by generations of
local people, and they are part of what Saki's sister,
Ethel Munro, called "the countryside we
loved." They are also a haven for wildlife,
including otters, kingfishers, dormice and Horseshoe bats,
as the Ecological
report that we commissioned makes clear.
Where is Manning's Pit?
Manning's Pit is on the north west side of
Pilton, and the field that bears this name is bordered by
Windsor Road and Lynbro Road. A footpath runs through it,
down from Lynbro Road to the Manning's Pit bridge, and
across Clothesline Meadow, the field beyond, to Anchor
Mill. This footpath was used in Victorian times by
those who worked or had business at the Mill.
Map of Barnstaple showing location of
You can enter it though a kissing gate at the bottom
of a short footpath from Lynbro Road.
Map of Pilton showing location of
Map showing the land that is the subject of the
|Map showing the land
that was purchased by the speculators who wish
to gain Planning Permission for building on
Manning's Pit. Click for link to
larger map and information about the way
Manning's Pit has been used over the years by
the local community.
Map showing the Manning's Pit area in Historical Times
showing where Saki, Lee, the Hibberts and
Benjamin Manning lived, also Turner's uncle
and Sarah Hibbert's last home, where Henry
Wiliamson visited her.
(OpenStreetMap used as source)
Pilton, in Saki's time, the red cross shows
Broadgate Villa where Saki lived, (the
Broadgate Estate where F R Lee and the
Hibberts lived is coloured brown. )
The blue arrow points to Manning's Pit
Bridge. The Map comes from the Pilton Story
is it called Manning's Pit?
It seems virtually certain that the field
became known as Manning's Pit for two reasons. The first
is its association with Benjamin Manning and his family
business (they leased it) the second the fact that there
was a quarry - a Pit - at the bottom of the field.
Who was Benjamin Manning?