Bradiford Water is small river that runs into the tidal zone of the River Taw just west of Barnstable. This camera was installed and is maintained by the Environment Agency and can be viewed here. All content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
Originally distinct from Barnstaple, Pilton was situated on a strategically advantageous hill at the head of the Taw estuary, near a point where the river narrowed enough to be crossed. In Saxon times, Pilton held significant importance as a settlement. King Alfred the Great (871-899) oversaw the construction of a fortified town, known as a burh, in Pilton. According to the Burghal Hidage, a document from the early 10th century that detailed the functioning burhs, Pilton's defensive wall spanned 1485 feet. In the event of an invasion, the designated garrison of 360 men was drawn from the surrounding district. Other burhs in Devon included Exeter, Halwell (near Totnes), and Lydford, while Watchet in Somerset served as a burh that provided mutual support. Pilton retained its position as the original burh throughout much of the 10th century. However, due to more peaceful times and the growing significance of the burh as a civilian market center, it was relocated approximately a mile southeast to become Barnstaple. This move proved advantageous for trade, and Barnstaple developed into a market town and later a borough. The name "Barnstaple" is derived from the Saxon term for a ford, which would have been indicated by a stapol, or post - Bearda's stapol, giving rise to the town's name.The 13th-century parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, a Grade I listed building, remains in use for regular services, as well as hosting coffee mornings and concerts.In 1836, a portion of the parish, including the village itself, was incorporated into the borough of Barnstaple. At the time, the parish had a population of 2,172 individuals. Under the Local Government Act of 1894, which stipulated that parishes could not span borough boundaries, the parish was divided into two separate civil parishes. The section of Pilton within the borough of Barnstaple became a parish known as "East Pilton," while the area outside the borough became "West Pilton." As an urban parish, East Pilton did not have its own parish council and was administered directly by the town council. In 1974, the parish of East Pilton was abolished and became part of the larger parish of Barnstaple. In 1999, the parish of West Pilton was renamed Pilton West.Since 2012, a group based in Pilton Church Hall has been dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of Pilton. This group is actively compiling an archive of past and present memories, stories, documents, recordings, and photographs pertaining to the people and settlement of Pilton, known as "The Pilton Story."