A Topographical Dictionary of England
Samuel Lewis (1831)
Transcript copyright Mel Lockie (Sep 2016)
PILTON, a parish in the hundred of BRAUNTON, county of DEVON, ¼ mile (N.) from Barnstaple, containing 1230 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the jurisdiction of the Precentor of the Cathedral Church of Wells, endowed with £8 per annum and £200 private benefaction, £400 royal bounty, and £600 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of - Basset, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. Margaret, contains a wooden screen and a stone pulpit, also a handsome monument to Sir John Chichester, dated 1569. A Benedictine priory, a cell to the abbey of Malmesbury, was founded here by King Athelstan; it was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and at the dissolution had a revenue of £56. 12. 8. The prior, in 1345, obtained for Pilton the grant of a weekly market and an annual fair. An ancient hermitage is said to have been established here; and an hospital, founded in honour of St. Margaret, before 1191, is still in existence; the inmates are a prior, brother, and sister. Pilton communicates with Barnstaple by a bridge over the river Yeo.