Save Manning's Pit Petition - now closed
Colonel and Mrs Hibbert

Benjamin Manning
F R Lee
Henry Williamson


Museum Exhibition

In April and May of 2017 we held an Exhibition called "The Life and Times of Manning's Pit" at the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon,  focusing on the historical and cultural connections of Manning's Pit.

This page summarises the contents of the Exhibition, and also information that has come to light since then.

What is Manning'sPit? Where is it? And why is it called Manning's Pit?

Historical connections to Manning's Pit

Frederick Richard Lee R A
F R Lee. RA, famous landscape artist and yachtsman
  who collaborated with Sir Edwin Landseer and Thomas Sidney Cooper (and at least once, JMW Turner).
Benjamin Manning and Sons Butcher Shop

Benjamin  Manning
auctioneer, butcher grocer, Town Councillor, set up the Bodega, Barnstaple's first wine bar, often in hot water, a larger than life character.
H H Munro - Saki
H H Munro
short story writer, novelist, political sketch writer.

Colonel Hugh Hibbert
Colonel Hugh Hibbert
Crimean War Hero and his wife Sarah,
Lee's daughter,
the Munro's neighbours
Historical map of Manning's Pit area

Map of the area
around Manning's Pit
                  Williamson and Ida Loetitia Williamson (nee Hibbert)
Henry Williamson and his wife, the Hibbert's granddaughter. They visited Grannie Hibbert while Henry was writing Tarka the Otter.

                          Golden Lion Inn
The Golden Lion
(click on image to read more)
A special link to reports and information about events that took place at the February 1880 By-Election, an event that Saki attended as a boy, and to which the Munro, Hibbert and Manning families were all connected.

William Manning, Benjamin's son, was one of those who nominated Lord Lymington (the Liberal candidate) Colonel Hibbert, Sarah's husband, was one of those who nominated Sir Robert Carden (the Conservative candidate), and Hector Munro and his family watched the proceedings with avid interest.

What was so special about Benjamin Manning?

Benjamin Manning had shops in Pilton, and Barnstaple and was the first person to open a wine bar in Barnstaple, the Bodega (where members of the local Liberal party met up with one another.)  He was a three times Town Councillor, a butcher, grocer and auctioneer, achieving all this from humble beginnings. He was a larger than life character, opinionated, quarrelsome, controversial, always in the news, a man who made a big impact on the life of those around him.  We have no doubt that it is for that very reason that his name lives on, through Manning's Pit.

More Cultural and Historical Links, including local community ones.

Manning's Pit by Allan Smith
Allan Smith
Barnstaple artist
Manning's Pit Bridge

Brian and John Norman
Brian Norman

"The Battle of Manning's Pit"
A poem about a battle between
rival gangs of boys in 1946

Boys snowballing in Manning's Pit in 1950s
Manning's Pit in the Community,
from early days
 until the present time

Manning's Pit by Tim Saunders

Manning's Pit by artists

in more recent times

Mark Manning - Zodiac Windwarp and the Love
Mark Manning

Zodiac Mindwarp
and The Love Reaction
   Successful visual
artist in recent times

The Magic of Manning's Pit

Martin Kemp
Film Director
His films about Manning's Pit:

The Magic of Manning's Pit

The Battle of Manning's Pit
recited by Brian and John Norman

Manning's Pit Timeline - from J.M.W. Turner to the present day

History is an ongoing process, so if anyone can contribute more information
we hope they will contact us.
Please note: this Timeline is a work in progress and may have missing links.
 It is also very detailed, a simplified version for more easy reading will be available as well when ready.