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Pilton church.jpg
Church of St John the Baptist, Pilton
Pilton is located in Somerset
 Pilton shown within Somerset
Population 998 [1]
OS grid reference ST595405
District Mendip
Shire county Somerset
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district BA4 4
Dialling code 01749
Police Avon and Somerset
Fire Devon and Somerset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Wells
List of places

Coordinates: 51°09′59″N 2°35′13″W / 51.1663°N 2.587°W / 51.1663; -2.587

Pilton is a village and civil parish in Somerset, England, situated on the A361 road in the Mendip district, 3 miles (5 km) south-west of Shepton Mallet and 6 miles (10 km) east of Glastonbury. The village has a population of 998.[1] The parish includes the hamlets of West Compton, East Compton, Westholme, Beardly Batch and Cannards Grave.


Pilton is now almost 20 miles (32 km) from the sea but sits on the edge of the Somerset Levels, an area which has now been drained but was once a shallow tidal lake. According to legend in the 1st century, being a landing place then known as Pooltown, it is where Joseph of Arimathea landed in Britain .

The parish of Pilton was part of the Whitstone Hundred.[2]

Cannard's Grave is located on the southern edge of Shepton Mallet. Local legend (of which there are several versions) says that, in the 17th century, the publican of the local inn, Giles Cannard (possibly also known as Tom the Taverner), engaged in criminal activity such as robbing, or aiding and abetting the robbery of, his guests, theft, smuggling and possibly forgery. His activities having been discovered, he either committed suicide or was convicted and hanged from the gibbet at the adjacent crossroads and buried nearby.[3][4] Other explanations of the name include a tale that Kenred a pagan and uncle of King Ine who converted to Christianity was buried there. Perhaps the most likely story is that a thief convicted of sheep stealing was tried and hanged at the site.[5]


The parish council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept (local rate) to cover the council’s operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security, and traffic. The parish council's role also includes initiating projects for the maintenance and repair of parish facilities, as well as consulting with the district council on the maintenance, repair, and improvement of highways, drainage, footpaths, public transport, and street cleaning. Conservation matters (including trees and listed buildings) and environmental issues are also the responsibility of the council.

The village falls within the Non-metropolitan district of Mendip, which was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, having previously been part of Shepton Mallet Rural District,[6] which is responsible for local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection and recycling, cemeteries and crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism.

Somerset County Council is responsible for running the largest and most expensive local services such as education, social services, libraries, main roads, public transport, policing and fire services, trading standards, waste disposal and strategic planning.

It is also part of the Wells county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election, and part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament which elects seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.


St John the Baptist, Pilton
Stained glass window in St John's church

The present Norman and Medieval village church, dedicated to St John the Baptist, may stand on the site of an earlier wattle and daub church built by the early missionaries. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building.[7]

Listed buildings[edit]

The village has a Grade II* listed manor house[8] and a Grade I listed tithe barn, which belonged to Glastonbury Abbey.[9]


Pilton is famous as the location of the Glastonbury Festival, which is run by Pilton farmer Michael Eavis and his daughter Emily Eavis. Being the village at which the festival is held, all villagers get a free ticket.


  1. ^ a b "Pilton Parish". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "The Story of Cannards Grave (mid-17th Century)". Shepton Mallet Town Council. Retrieved 2010-12-18. 
  4. ^ Grantham, Paul (2004-02-17). "Cannard's Grave". Unconsecrated burials of Britain. Retrieved 2012-09-14. 
  5. ^ Warren, Derrick (2005). Curious Somerset. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-7509-4057-3. 
  6. ^ "Shepton Mallet RD". A vision of Britain Through Time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Church of St John the Baptist". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 28 September 2008. 
  8. ^ "The Manor House and attached wall to rear". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 28 September 2008. 
  9. ^ "Former Tithe Barn in farmyard at Cumhill Farm". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 28 September 2008. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilton,_Somerset — Please support Wikipedia.
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389 news items

Farmers Guardian
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 01:33:45 -0800

ADAS soil scientist John Williams presented the findings at an MGA-organised maize agronomy day held in Pilton, Somerset. Trials measured nitrate leaching and sediment losses and the overall effect on the crop from harvest seasons 2013-14. Trial plots ...
Wall Street Journal
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 20:51:36 -0800

As 2014 comes to a close, DigitalGlobe, which sells images from six satellites orbiting the Earth, invites viewers to vote on their best pictures of 2014. Dec. 7, 2014 11:49 p.m. ET 0 COMMENTS. fullscreen. Satellite imagery is used to give insight into ...

Hindustan Times

Hindustan Times
Sun, 30 Nov 2014 02:30:00 -0800

Charity event. To mark the 30th anniversary of the Bhopal gas disaster, Fiona Case, a long-time supporter of the United Kingdom-based charitable institute Bhopal Medical Appeal will hold a charity auction on December 2 in Pilton (Somerset England).

The Guardian

Financial Times
Sun, 30 Jun 2013 07:01:17 -0700

Like Dickens' Uriah Heep, The Rolling Stones were “ever so 'umble” in the run-up to Glastonbury. Keith Richards said they were apprehensive of headlining the festival while a band insider spoke of them “stepping out of their comfort zone”. They weren't ...

BBC News

BBC News
Sun, 24 Aug 2014 04:33:40 -0700

Hundreds of pigeons have flown 265 miles (426km) from Belgium to Somerset for the centenary of World War One. Some 385 birds were released from the Cloth Hall war museum in Ypres at 07:00 BST and the first completed the "flight of remembrance" at ...
The Independent
Sun, 26 Jun 2011 16:02:39 -0700

Beyoncé's Sunday night set to close Glastonbury is a triumph of physicality and showmanship, easily eclipsing U2 and Coldplay earlier in the weekend. Musically, it's another matter. Only "Crazy In Love" stands out from her catalogue of needy ...

Central Somerset Gazette

Central Somerset Gazette
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 12:39:36 -0700

PEACHES Geldof, daughter of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates, was announced dead this afternoon after her body was found at her home. Her death has been called "unexplained" and "sudden" by officials, says the BBC, after she was found in her Kent home ...


Thu, 26 Jun 2014 05:03:09 -0700

So far officers have made 12 arrests for drugs-related offences and thefts, with fewer reports of mobile phones being stolen but an increase in cash being taken. There are more than 100 official stages on the 1,200-acre Worthy Farm site in Pilton ...

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