The view from the top of Pilton Street around 1900 – instantly recognisable, but strangely empty without vehicular traffic. On the left, with a handcart outside, is a small general shop, one of the many in Pilton at that time. The ancient building next door was at one time a public house, with the old hanging sign visible in the photograph, displaying the unicorn, badge of the Basset family, who owned the inn and land to the east in former centuries.
In 1878 the Unicorn ceased to be licensed as an inn, when the good ladies of the parish established a temperance coffee house and reading room there, known as the Unicorn Coffee Tavern. However, this was not popular, and closed in less than two years, opening again in the late 1880s as a parish laundry, which also failed in 1899. In 1905 the building was sold to the Church of England and was re-opened by the Bishop of Exeter as the Pilton Church Hall, with a large new hall built to the rear.