The name of Pignanum appears in the medieval archives in 1039. The medieval Provost of the collegiate church of Pignans presided over more than 40 priories in the region, a sign of a great richness.
The exceptional river system allowed a small amount of water-related industry to flourish in the 18th and 19th centuries around the Réal Martin and its many little tributary valleys. Pignans became a centre for paper manufacture, copper beating, and flour and oil mills over the course of two centuries. Cork was cultivated too, and manufactured into bottle corks in up to four workshops in the village.
The inhabitants were known as lei bras cargats (the loaded arms). Pignans still has the winding roads spanned by arches of its illustrious past, as well has 16 fountains, fed by a number of springs, while the plane trees provide welcoming shade.
The surrounding countryside is perfect for idyllic country walks, and the Chemin des Oratoires leads up to the chapel of Notre-Dame des Anges at 768m.