Map of North West Barnstaple shwoing Manning's Pit
                in red.

Where is Manning's Pit and how can you find it?

The map above (source- openstreetmap) shows the Pilton and Bradiford area to the North West of Barnstaple.  Manning's Pit (red on the map) is on the edge of Pilton and Bradiford, and the field that bears this name is bordered by Windsor Road and Lynbro Road. The main entrance is from Lynbro Road.
A footpath runs 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.

If you are coming from further away, you can approach Manning's Pit from several directions, for example up Chaddiford, Bellaire and Northfield Lanes if you are coming from the Braunton direction, or down Westaway Plain and Northfield Lane if coming from North Devon Hospital.  To get to Lynbro Road from Northfield Lane, you turn into the aptly named Manning's Way. You can find Lynbro Road on Google Maps, and the nearest postcode to the entrance is EX31 1QG.

The short footpath that goes down to the field from the left end of Lynbro Road ends at a kissing gate which is the entrance to Manning's Pit.

The map below links to a map that shows the location in more detail:

map showing Lynbro Road and Manning's Way
Map of Pilton showing Lynbro Road and Manning's Way
(source- openstreetmap)

This map  (below) shows the area of land that is under threat,
with more details about it.

Map of the land that is for sale at Manning's
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.

Finally, a couple of maps showing the Manning's Pit area in Historical Times

Historical map
Historical map 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)

Map of Bellaire
Bellaire, 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 website.

What exactly is Manning's Pit?

Manning's Pit is the name given to the field shown below, 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.

Buttercups and May Blossom in Manning's Pit,
                  photo by Christine Lovelock

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.

hy 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 hollow - described as a Pit - at the bottom of the field.

Who was Benjamin Manning?