The earliest documentary reference to South Molton is as ‘Sut Molton’ in the Domesday Book in 1086 which records that the town had four priests.
Before the Norman Conquest South Molton was a royal manor belonging to King Edward the Confessor. The town was established as a borough sometime between 1150 and 1170 and its success and wealth came from its association with the wool trade and as a market centre particularly for livestock. Carved rams heads above the Guildhall arches indicate the importance of the wool trade to the town, as does the town’s coat of arms
In the 18th and 19th centuries when the wool trade declined South Molton became a transport and administration centre serving a large rural hinterland. It’s the last remaining market town in North Devon with a weekly livestock market.