This oil painting of Barnstaple and Pilton painted about 1740 hangs in the North Devon Museum. It clearly shows the community of Pilton and the Church of St Mary, to the left of the town of Barnstaple. Artistic licence has no doubt been used and it is difficult to know exactly how it would have looked. The little bridge over the river Yeo is visible and above it on the hill is the large building probably of Raleigh Court where the North Devon Hospital now stands. In the fields below the village are drying racks which can also be seen on the hills above. These were for drying sheepskins and also for the woollen cloth which was woven in the area. The large red house with four chimneys to the left of Pilton Church appears to be Broadgate House which was rebuilt sometime during 18th century. The smaller red house behind Pilton Street could also be Pilton House which was under construction in 1740 and was completed in 1746.
Thanks to the North Devon Athenaeum for their permission in allowing us to use this picture.