Parishes: Little Hinton

A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 11, Downton Hundred; Elstub and Everleigh Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1980.

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'Parishes: Little Hinton', in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 11, Downton Hundred; Elstub and Everleigh Hundred, (London, 1980) pp. 159-165. British History Online [accessed 20 April 2024]

In this section


Hinton (fn. 1) was anciently part of an estate based on its westerly neighbour Wanborough and held by the monks of Winchester. (fn. 2) It had probably acquired its own name, 'the farm of the (monastic) community', by the 10th century, but is not found as a separate parish until the 12th century, or as a distinct estate until the 13th. (fn. 3) Earlscourt, a tongue of land intruding into Hinton from the north and extending as far south as West Hinton hamlet, also formed part of the estate based on Wanborough, but by 1086 had been detached from it. (fn. 4) It was afterwards part of Wanborough parish. (fn. 5) In 1277 arbitrators settled a boundary dispute between the prior of Winchester as lord of Hinton and the mesne lord of Earlscourt. (fn. 6) On either side of Earlscourt lay the tithings of East and West Hinton, into which the parish was divided from at least the earlier 14th century. (fn. 7)

From at least the 15th century the parish was often known as Little Hinton, perhaps to distinguish it from Broad Hinton some 14 km. south-west of it. (fn. 8) The alternative epithet 'Parva' was also used from the 17th century. (fn. 9) Both forms occurred in 1976. (fn. 10) Hinton was topographically similar to Wanborough, from which it was divided to the north-west by the river Lidd. It comprised a long narrow strip of land slanting from the river Cole, the northern parish boundary, in a south-easterly direction for 8 km. to Hinton downs. The parish was 2 km. broad along the Icknield Way which transected it a little south of the village and of West Hinton hamlet, c. 500 m. west of the village. In 1884 Earlscourt's incorporation in Little Hinton increased the area of the civil parish to 2,161 a. (874 ha.). (fn. 11) Hinton merged with Bishopstone, its eastern neighbour formerly in Ramsbury hundred, in 1934. (fn. 12)

The heavy clay soils of the northern third of Hinton, which lies around the 91 m. contour line, lie on Kimmeridge Clay near the Cole valley, a band of Lower Greensand on which Mount Pleasant and Hinton Marsh Farms are sited, and a wide bed of Gault which extends to West Hinton. (fn. 13) There is a flat featureless landscape of permanent pasture land relieved only by trees and the northwards flowing head-streams of the Cole which drain it. Hinton village and West Hinton hamlet stand on a terrace of Upper Greensand, the site of the former open arable fields, at about 122 m. South of them the terrace is superseded by the steeply rising chalk scarp of the downs. South-west of the village a wide semicircular coomb has been cut into the scarp face and in it the greensand is exposed. South-east of it a longer narrower coomb, Cowtail, marked part of the parish boundary. (fn. 14) Beyond the coombs the land rises steadily southwards to 253 m. on Charlbury hill, the natural outcrops of which resemble barrows. (fn. 15) A small deposit of clay-with-flints south of the ridge way near Fox hill is on land over 244 m. South of the ridge way the downs, the former sheep runs of the parish, slope gently away to under 198 m. at the south-eastern corner of the parish.

Although Hinton was crossed by three ancient thoroughfares and bounded on the south by a fourth, (fn. 16) little evidence of prehistoric activity has been found. A bowl-barrow on Hinton downs contained a primary cist cremation and an extended burial intruded in pagan Saxon times. (fn. 17) A Roman brooch was also found on the downs. (fn. 18)

Medieval taxation assessments indicate a small population: 71 people were assessed for the poll tax of 1377. (fn. 19) The parish's contribution to 16th-century taxes, in particular the benevolence of 1545 and the subsidy of 1576, were among the smaller ones made by the places in Elstub hundred. (fn. 20) The parish had 143 inhabitants in 1700. (fn. 21) The Census of 1801 recorded 239 people living in Hinton. That figure gradually increased until 1851 when the population numbered 354. Although numbers thereafter generally declined, slight increases were seen in 1891 and 1911. In 1931 208 people lived at Hinton. (fn. 22)

Hinton's main lines of communication with the surrounding countryside, including its northern boundary river, the Cole, all followed east-west routes. A few tracks, some to be seen as footpaths in 1976, provided a north-south link. The courses of all are mostly unchanged since the later 18th century. (fn. 23) Of the ancient roads which crossed the parish, the most northerly, the Rogues way, could be traced in 1976 as a bridleway running south of Hinton Marsh Farm towards Horpit in Wanborough. Hinton village stands on the north side of the Icknield Way, in 1976 the secondary road from Bishopstone to Wanborough. The ridge way's course takes it across the summit of the chalk escarpment. The southern parish boundary marks the line of the Thieves way. (fn. 24) That stretch of the motorway linking Badbury in Chiseldon and Maidenhead (Berks.) was constructed across the south-west tip of the parish in 1971. (fn. 25)

The village, in East Hinton tithing, stands on the greensand some distance north of the spring line. It comprises a single lane which takes a rectangular course northwards from the Bishopstone—Wanborough road. Despite its position between Swindon, 8 km. north-west, and the motorway Hinton, enfolded by the downs, in 1976 remained secluded and rural, lacking much modern housing. The church, fronted by a miniature green, stands at the north-west corner of the village. The Manor, partly obscured by the church, lies in a slight depression north of it. Hinton coppice, which is situated some distance behind the house, is mentioned in 1841. (fn. 26) Several substantial farm-houses, once attached to copyhold farms within the manorial estate, cluster on either side of the lane. Two, which have thatched roofs and are partly timber-framed, are probably of 17thcentury origin. Others are externally of late-18th- or early-19th-century date and have walls of chalk blocks, many apparently re-used, with brick dressings. A row of council houses was built south of Somerset Farmhouse at the south-west corner of the village in the 1950s. Of Hinton's outlying farmhouses, Mount Pleasant Farm and Hinton Marsh Farm to the north are respectively of earlier- and later-19th-century construction. Hill Manor, on the downs to the south, appears to have been built in the later 19th century.

The hamlet of West Hinton was in 1773 called West Town. (fn. 27) It comprises some larger nouses, all formerly attached to copyholds within the manor, and a few cottages, all externally of the 18th and 19th centuries, strung out along either side of a semicircular lane which forms a loop north of the Bishopstone—Wanborough road. At the eastern junction of the lane and the road stands the former school which bears a date tablet inscribed 'CS 1821'. (fn. 28) The New Inn, possibly also later called the Harrow, stood in the later 18th century at the westwards bend of the lane through the hamlet. (fn. 29) West Hinton Farm, which stands further west on the south side of the lane, is of stone with a slated roof and bears the inscription 'L/IA 1727' on what appears to be an easterly extension. The Grove, which stands back from the line of the road some metres directly north, was also once attached to a manorial copyhold (fn. 30) and is an elegant brick house of three bays dating from the earlier 19th century.

Manor and other Estates.

The bounds of the 20 hides, then described as at Wanborough and granted in 854 by Ethelwulf to the church of Winchester, show the estate to have occupied the area of the later parish of Little Hinton and to have included Earlscourt. (fn. 31) Although Hinton, which owed its name to the monks' ownership, seems to have acquired a separate identity by the 10th century, it apparently still formed part of a larger estate held by the Winchester community at Wanborough in the 11th. (fn. 32) By 1066 Earlscourt had become a lay fee, and by the 12th century land which formed the later manor of Wanborough had also passed into lay hands. (fn. 33) Thus the manor of HINTON, or, as it was called from at least the 17th century, LITTLE HINTON, alone remained the property of the monks of the Old Minster. (fn. 34) In 1284 it was confirmed to the convent of St. Swithun's. (fn. 35) In 1300 the convent received a grant of free warren there. (fn. 36) From at least the 14th century the profits of the estate were assigned to the hoarder of St. Swithun's. (fn. 37)

The estate passed to the Crown at the Dissolution but in 1541 was granted to the new cathedral chapter at Winchester, which thereafter held it until the 19th century. (fn. 38) The chapter's tenure was interrupted during the Interregnum when the parliamentary trustees sold to John Butler of Oxford. (fn. 39) In 1841 the manorial estate comprised 1,816 a. apportioned among numerous copyhold farms, of which the largest were West Hinton farm, 335 a., and others of 144 a. and 211 a., and leasehold farms of 522 a., the former demesne (later called Manor farm), 132 a., and 92 a., Hinton Marsh farm. (fn. 40)

In the later 19th century Winchester chapter and its successors the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, in whom the chapter property became vested in 1861, enfranchised much leasehold and copyhold land at Hinton. (fn. 41) Thus in 1847 West Hinton farm was enfranchised in favour of Thomas Brown. (fn. 42) As lessee of Manor farm John Brown acquired its reversion in 1853. (fn. 43) Both farms were bought, presumably from the Brown family, by Henry Tucker (d. 1875) in 1871. (fn. 44) In 1896 Tucker's Hinton estate, 929 a., which then included Manor, Hill, and West Hinton farms, was offered for sale in lots. (fn. 45) In 1860 and 1863 the two unnamed copyhold farms mentioned above were enfranchised for Thomas Anger. (fn. 46)

Other land in Hinton was retained by Winchester chapter and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in the later 19th century. Thus in 1853 the interest of the lessee in Hinton Marsh farm was purchased, (fn. 47) and in 1879 that of the tenants in the farm of 132 a. mentioned above was bought. (fn. 48) In 1883 the commissioners owned 243 a. at Hinton. In 1976 their property was represented by Little Hinton farm. (fn. 49)

Little Hinton Manor, to which only a small acreage was then attached, was owned in 1977 by Mr. and Mrs. M. C. Talbot-Ponsonby. It incorporates the farm-house of the tenants of the manorial estate, which appears to have been a low stone building of the 17th century. Additions were made to the east and in the earlier 19th century the house was heightened in brick. Its conversion to a gentleman's residence began in the late 19th century and continued in the 20th century, when some of the principal rooms were panelled with re-used material of the 17th and 18th centuries.

A few small estates at Hinton are mentioned in the 13th century, but it has not proved possible to trace them beyond that period. Before 1249 Walter, son of Adam of Bradley, granted Agnes, widow of Richard of Oaksey, 4½ virgates there. In 1249 Walter's brother Adam waived his claim to ¾ virgate there in favour of Agnes. (fn. 50)

In 1270 the prior of St. Swithun's, Winchester, confirmed to Herbert of Oaksey of West Hinton 2 virgates, formerly held of Winchester but afterwards freely for a yearly rent. (fn. 51)

Some land at Hinton was conveyed in 1279 by Agnes Marsh and her sisters Margery Quintyn, Amy del Molyn, and Maud de Barneville to Philip de Gay. In 1305 a Philip de Gay, perhaps the same, conveyed the lands to Adam de Bromesdon and his wife Agnes. (fn. 52)

Walter Jokyn of Hinton acquired 1 virgate at Hinton from John de Aldrington in 1281. In the same year Walter and his wife Isabel obtained 1 carucate of land there from John Jokyn. (fn. 53)

Economic History.

From the 13th century until at least the 19th century the sheep-and-corn husbandry typical of the area prevailed on both the demesne and the tenantry lands of Hinton.

Some time before 1280 the whole manor was reported to have been farmed, although it may have been the demesne alone which was so let. (fn. 54) In 1445, however, the demesne was permanently at farm. (fn. 55) Throughout most of the 16th century the Walrond family were farmers at a rent of £12 6s. 8d. yearly. (fn. 56)

In 1624 William Keate became farmer at the same rent, and was succeeded by his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Francis Hungerford. (fn. 57) In 1649, during Hungerford's tenancy, the demesne farm's 386 a. comprised 240 a. of arable land, 44 a. of meadow, and 100 a. of down. There was also a coppice of 2 a. The farm's land in the common meadow was then worth 26s. 8d. the acre, its arable in the open fields 4s. 6d. the acre, and its downland 5s. the acre. (fn. 58) In 1791 of the farm's 471 a. about two-thirds were arable and a third pasture. (fn. 59) In 1820 Thomas Brown, a member of a well known Wiltshire farming family, was farmer at Manor farm, as it was later called, and he was succeeded there by John Brown. (fn. 60) The farm, then reckoned at 522 a. and situated north of Hinton village and in the south-eastern quarter of the parish, included 17 a. of water-meadows north and east of Hinton coppice in 1841. (fn. 61)

The remainder of the parish was given over to the tenantry lands. About 1280 26 virgaters, who held 27 estates, owed the usual agricultural services and money rents totalling £7. Of those 27 estates 14 were of 1 virgate, 8 of ½ hide, 3 of 3 virgates, 1 of 2 virgates, and 1 of ½ virgate. The nineteen cottagers, including the miller, all held a few acres in both open fields, for which they owed services and money rents totalling some £3. (fn. 62) In 1649 576 a. in West Hinton tithing were shared among twelve copyholders, of whom over half had farms of some 60 a. Since the demesne lands lay in East Hinton tithing the copyhold acreage there was much smaller, amounting to only 186 a. Of the seven copyholders there, only one had about 60 a. All shared a common down of 50 a. and a common marsh there. (fn. 63) After inclosures of 1659 and 1787 (fn. 64) larger copyhold farms emerged. Thus in 1791 of the seventeen copyholders within the manor, George Lea had a farm of 241 a., John Anger one of 152 a., and John Wood one of 134 a. (fn. 65) In 1841 the following tenant farms could be distinguished: West Hinton farm, 335 a. formed from seven small copyhold estates and farmed by Thomas Brown; a farm of 211 a. formed from four copyholds; a leasehold farm of 132 a. worked by Elizabeth Gibbs; a farm of 144 a. comprising two copyholds and farmed by George Edwards; and Hinton Marsh farm, a leasehold of 92 a. farmed by Harry Chester. (fn. 66)

Flocks and wool yields on the demesne were substantial throughout the Middle Ages. Nothing, however, is known of the economy of the tenantry lands. In 1210 over 200 sheep of various types were accounted for on the demesne. (fn. 67) The demesne ewe and lamb flocks in 1248 were large and included 115 lambs sent from Winchester Priory's estate at Wroughton. (fn. 68) In 1273 537 sheep's and 144 lambs' fleeces were recorded at Hinton. (fn. 69) The heavy clay soils in the northern third of the parish supported herds of cows. Ten cows, as well as numerous calves, were accounted for on the demesne in 1210. (fn. 70) In 1273 38 winter and 173 summer cheeses were produced. (fn. 71) In the 14th century the hoarder of St. Swithun's, to whom the profits of the estate were allotted, received some £62 yearly from Hinton, an income which gradually declined throughout the later Middle Ages. (fn. 72)

The manorial estate contained an east and a west field in the later 13th century. (fn. 73) In 1638 there were two commons called the Marsh and Lambslade shared between the demesne farmer and the copyholders. (fn. 74) In 1659 the Down fields south of the village, the Reeve lands, the Marsh, East mead, and the open fields below the hill in West Hinton were inclosed by agreement between the demesne farmer and the tenants. As farmer, Francis Hungerford was allotted 115 a., and the eighteen copyholders a total of 523 a. (fn. 75) Some, at least, of the land in East Hinton was re-allotted in 1787 when the East and West fields there, which contained 410 a., were inclosed. The demesne farmer then received 248 a., and of the nine copyholders in the tithing, John Anger received 76 a., and John Woodward 49 a. (fn. 76) The open fields of West Hinton, the West, East, and North fields below Coombe, the West and East fields above Coombe, and New England, which contained a total of 450 a., were, with certain old inclosures, allotted by agreement in 1821. Six tenants in the tithing received allotments and the largest, 259 a., was made to Thomas Evans. (fn. 77)

Little re-arrangement of the farms within the manorial estate took place until the later 19th century. By 1896 the area of Manor farm had been reduced to 169 a. by the creation of a hill farm of 609 a. worked from Hill Manor. The area of West Hinton farm had by then been reduced to 20 a. (fn. 78) After 1879 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners' land in the parish formed a farm of over 200 a. (fn. 79)

In 1976 the land of Little Hinton was given over to mixed farming, with dairying predominant on the northerly low-lying clays. Little Hinton, Hinton Marsh, and Mount Pleasant farms were situated there. South of them were Church farm, owned by Charlbury Farms (Hinton) Ltd., and the large Hill Manor farm, owned by Mr. M. C. Wilson. Marketgardening was carried out on the Upper Greensand at the Water Garden Nurseries west of the former school. The Parva Stud, which occupied the stables of the former manor-house, was managed by Richard Pitman, the National Hunt jockey. Apart from those employed locally in agriculture, most inhabitants of Little Hinton then commuted daily to Swindon or further afield.


A mill on Hinton's manorial demesne is mentioned in 1248 and is perhaps to be identified with the later Cuttle Mill. (fn. 80) It was repaired in 1273 and its house in 1280. In both years the miller received 5s. (fn. 81) In 1281 the mill was leased for 10 years at £1 4s. yearly. (fn. 82) Cuttle Mill, which may have stood near Hinton Marsh Farm on the north-east boundary stream of the parish, was leased by Winchester chapter to the Walrond family in the later 16th century. From c. 1583 a farm of 75 a., which included Clark's holding, was leased with it. (fn. 83) In the later 18th century mill and farm, then usually leased for 21-year terms, were tenanted by the Woodward family. (fn. 84) In 1845 John Tucker (d. 1856) was tenant and he was succeeded by his brother Thomas (d. 1868). (fn. 85) The mill is last expressly mentioned in 1859 but may have fallen into disuse long before. (fn. 86) In 1879 John Tucker's surviving devisees surrendered the property to Winchester chapter's successors, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, in whom the reversion had become vested in 1861. (fn. 87)

A second mill in East Hinton attached to the manorial estate is mentioned in 1419 and is identifiable with Berry Mill. (fn. 88) It was then, and remained until the later 19th century, a copyhold of Hinton manor. Some 17 a. of land were attached to it. The mill was held in the 16th and 17th centuries by the Berry family and in the later 18th century and the earlier 19th by the Lea family. (fn. 89) It stood on the north-east boundary stream some distance south-east of Hinton Marsh Farm. (fn. 90) John Tucker became copyholder in 1845 and the mill thereafter passed like the Cuttle Mill estate and was absolutely surrendered to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1879. (fn. 91) Although the precise sites of the mills are not known earthworks, including a leat and embankments, survive in the meadow south of Hinton Marsh Farm.

Local Government.

In 1281 the prior of St. Swithun, Winchester, claimed that Henry III had granted the priors view of frankpledge, assizes of bread and of ale, and gallows in Hinton manor. (fn. 92) The priors and their successors at Hinton, Winchester chapter, exercised both franchisal and manorial jurisdiction at courts held half-yearly until the 17th century, and from then until 1847 yearly in early autumn. (fn. 93) From the 15th century until the 18th courts were called views of frankpledge with courts, but from the later 18th century the usual title was view of frankpledge, court leet, and court. The only non-tenurial business with which the courts dealt consistently was the election, until at least the earlier 18th century, of tithingmen for the tithings of East and West Hinton, into which the parish was apparently divided for administrative purposes from at least the earlier 14th century. Other matters dealt with, such as the repair of ruinous tenements, were manorial and mostly confined to copyhold business.

Overseers' records exist for the later 18th century and the earlier 19th. (fn. 94) In 1835 Little Hinton became part of Highworth and Swindon poor-law union. (fn. 95)


Although in 1172 the bishop of Winchester confirmed St. Swithun's Priory as patron of Hinton church, he had apparently regained the advowson by 1244. (fn. 96) In that year, as in 1280, the Crown presented a rector sede vacante. (fn. 97) In 1284 St. Swithun's relinquished its claim to the advowson in the bishop's favour. (fn. 98) The bishops thereafter presented rectors until the 19th century, except in 1565 when Roger Colley presented. (fn. 99) In 1869 the advowson was vested in the bishop of Gloucester and Bristol. (fn. 100) After the combined see was divided in 1897 the right to present was allotted to the bishop of Bristol, who remained patron in 1976. (fn. 101) In 1946 Hinton rectory was united with the vicarage of Bishopstone (formerly in Ramsbury hundred), also in the gift of the bishop of Bristol, and the united benefice of Bishopstone with Little Hinton was thus created. (fn. 102)

In 1284, in return for the priory's acknowledgement of his patronage rights, the bishop of Winchester allowed St. Swithun's to continue to take a pension of 40s. from Hinton church. (fn. 103) After the Dissolution the payment was transferred to Winchester chapter, which still received it in the early 19th century. (fn. 104)

The church was valued at £10 13s. 4d. for taxation purposes in 1291. (fn. 105) In 1535 it was worth £13 6s. 8d., a sum which represented the value of all the tithes arising from Hinton and of some land. (fn. 106) Its value was £100 in 1650. (fn. 107) In 1659, when certain arable lands in the parish were inclosed, the rector's right to tithes in kind was replaced by composition payments totalling £110. (fn. 108) The glebe, first expressly mentioned in 1671, comprised 2 a. of meadow land on the north-eastern parish boundary. (fn. 109) In 1791 the rector's composition payments amounted to £224. (fn. 110) From 1829 to 1831 the net yearly value of the benefice averaged £444. (fn. 111) The rector's composition payments were replaced in 1841 by a rentcharge of £520. (fn. 112)

A rectory-house is mentioned in the later 17th century and in the 18th. In 1783 it was described as thatched, built of various materials, and containing thirteen rooms. (fn. 113) It was replaced in 1810 by a house built south of the church by Richard Pace of Lechlade (Glos.). (fn. 114) After the union of Hinton and Bishopstone the incumbent lived at Bishopstone, and Little Hinton Rectory was sold as a private dwelling. (fn. 115)

In 1556 the rector held two benefices. (fn. 116) Peter Nicholls, rector from 1635 to c. 1653, apparently preached every Sunday. (fn. 117) Rectors seem generally not to have resided in the 18th century and the earlier 19th and to have delegated their duties to curates. (fn. 118) Thomas Coker, rector 1684–1741, probably did not live in the parish after 1696 when he was appointed to the prebend of Bishopstone. (fn. 119) Thomas Garnier (d. 1873), rector 1807–8 and later dean of Winchester, was also rector of Bishopstoke (Hants), where he apparently lived. (fn. 120) Nowes Lloyd, rector 1751–89, was also vicar of Hinton's neighbour Bishopstone and of Enbourne (Berks.). (fn. 121) His curate at both Bishopstone and Hinton apparently served Little Hinton most efficiently. Each Sunday in 1783 he held services, at which sermons were preached, alternately morning and afternoon with those at Bishopstone. Prayers were read at Little Hinton on certain weekday festivals and on state holidays. Holy Communion, celebrated four times a year, was received by 20–30 communicants. (fn. 122) In 1812 the curate held Sunday services alternately morning and afternoon with those at Wanborough, where he also served the cure. The Sacrament was then administered to an average of ten communicants at the four customary seasons. (fn. 123) On Census Sunday in 1851 100 people attended morning, and 113 afternoon service. (fn. 124)

The church of ST. SWITHUN (fn. 125) stands in the centre of the village. It is built of rubble with ashlar dressings and comprises chancel, aisled and clerestoried nave with south porch, and a west tower. (fn. 126) The nave is earlier than its arcades. Of those, which are of two bays with long spans, that to the south is of the later 12th century and that to the north of the earlier 13th century. East windows were inserted in both aisles, which are probably of their original dimensions, in the 13th century. The chancel arch was reconstructed in the earlier 13th century. The chancel itself, however, was rebuilt a century later and retains three contemporary windows and a priest's doorway. The base of the west tower is contemporary with the west nave wall. Its upper stages, surmounted by a tiled pyramidal roof, may have been rebuilt in the 14th century. The clerestory, lit by square-headed windows of three lights, was added in the early 16th century when the nave was reroofed. At the same time windows similar to those in the clerestory were inserted in the aisle walls, and a south porch was constructed. Some small repairs were made to the chancel in 1798 and 1802. (fn. 127) A thorough restoration, which included the construction of a north doorway and to which Winchester chapter as lord of the manor contributed £20, was carried out in 1860. (fn. 128)

The stem and base of the font are probably of the later 12th century. The bowl, on which various birds and animals are depicted, is possibly of later date. It was much restored c. 1860. (fn. 129) A three-decker pulpit, given by Martha Hinton in 1637, survived in a mutilated condition in 1976. (fn. 130) The royal arms dated 1789 hang above the tower arch on the west nave wall.

In 1553 the king's commissioners took 1½ oz. of plate but left the parish a chalice. (fn. 131) The church in 1891, and still in 1976, possessed, besides a later16th-century chalice and paten cover, a flagon of 1634 and two patens of 1719, all inscribed as the gift of Thomas Coker, rector 1684–1741. (fn. 132)

As in 1553 there was a ring of three bells in 1976: (i) c. 1730, probably from the Aldbourne foundry and by John Cor; (ii) 1698, by Robert Cor; (iii) c. 1500, from the Bristol foundry. (fn. 133) The church retained its sanctus bell. (fn. 134) Registrations of baptisms begin in 1649, of burials in 1653, and of marriages in 1654, and all are complete. (fn. 135)


There was said to be no papist nor other dissenter in the parish in 1783. (fn. 136) A group of Methodists, probably Wesleyans, certified Charles Wilson's house at Little Hinton for worship in 1820. (fn. 137) The group evidently flourished for a while and by 1851 a Wesleyan Methodist chapel had been built. It was then reported to have been attended by an average congregation of twenty on Sunday afternoons over the past year. (fn. 138) The chapel's location is unknown and no more is heard of it. In 1829 Sarah Jones's house was certified by an unspecified group of protestants. (fn. 139)

In the early 20th century Evangelicals met for worship at Batt's Farmhouse. In 1911 the Country Towns Mission provided the group with a hall on the south side of the lane running north-west from the church. Services, attended by some ten people, were still held there on Sunday evenings in 1976. (fn. 140)


In 1777 Thomas Coker, rector of Doynton (Glos.) and son of Thomas Coker, rector of Little Hinton 1684–1741, conveyed land at Shrivenham (Berks.) and a rent-charge of 30s. yearly from land at Purton in trust, the profits to provide a school at Little Hinton. (fn. 141) Coker regulated the conduct of the school and appointed the trustees. The rector, as one of the trustees, was to appoint a teacher who would receive half-yearly 12s. for each pupil. Numbers were limited to ten, although more children could be accepted if funds allowed. The rector was to have £1 yearly for administering the school, 10s. yearly was to be spent on books, and 10s. on a trustees' dinner every other year. In 1818 ten children were taught by a master and mistress. At another school twelve to twenty children were taught to read for 3d. weekly, but most left school as soon as possible to work on the land. (fn. 142)

By 1819 Coker's school had apparently lapsed for lack of a schoolroom. In that year timber from the trust lands was sold for £80 to raise funds to provide another. In 1821 Winchester chapter, as lord of Hinton, granted land for a school on the south side of the Bishopstone-Wanborough road west of the village, and a cottage was built on it. (fn. 143) At least twenty children were to be taught there and their teacher paid £10 yearly. Some 20–30 pupils attended in 1833. (fn. 144) In 1834 the children, who entered at four, were all taught reading and the girls also did needlework. A room of the cottage built in 1821 was then still used, but afterwards other accommodation was apparently rented. In 1839 the land at Shrivenham was sold to the G.W.R. and £755 invested. More land near that conveyed in 1821 was granted in 1846 by Winchester chapter which in 1848 gave £30 towards the enlargement of the cottage. (fn. 145)

John Brown (d. 1856), of Aldbourne, bequeathed £200 to be invested after his wife's death for the school's benefit. (fn. 146) Some 30–40 children, said to be well versed in religious knowledge, were taught at the school in 1859 by an uncertificated mistress and monitors. (fn. 147) On return day in 1871 21 boys and 13 girls attended the school, by then affiliated to the National Society. (fn. 148) In 1903 Coker's rent-charge was applied to a school at Bishopstone, formerly in Ramsbury hundred, but the remaining income, £20 10s., and £5 8s. from Brown's charity helped to maintain that at Little Hinton. Although Coker's rules were then generally disregarded, the rector of Little Hinton still received £1 yearly and 10s. was still put towards a trustees' dinner. In 1906 an average of 32 pupils had attended over the past year. (fn. 149) Average attendances remained steady until after the First World War but thereafter declined. An average of seventeen attended when the school was closed in 1927. (fn. 150) Hinton children thereafter attended Wanborough school, although a few attended that at Bishopstone in 1976. (fn. 151) After the school's closure its buildings served as a community centre and in 1976 were being converted for use as a village hall. (fn. 152)

The income from Coker's and Brown's bequests was between £27 and £50 in 1976 and known as the Little Hinton Educational Foundation. It was administered in accordance with a Scheme of 1929 which allotted a third to supporting a Sunday school at Hinton and the rest to general educational purposes. (fn. 153)

Charities for the Poor.

Thomas Harding (d. 1721) bequeathed a rent-charge of 10s. arising from land at Wanborough to be paid each 20 September to the unrelieved poor of Little Hinton. In 1834 2s. doles were paid. The 10s. was administered with Batt's charity (see below) in 1903. (fn. 154)

Thomas Coker, rector 1684–1741, reputedly gave £6, and an unknown benefactor £14, c. 1742 for the poor. The money was deemed lost in 1903. (fn. 155)

Nathaniel Batt, by will proved 1793, bequeathed interest on stock to certain persons, and after the death of the survivor £10 each Easter Monday to the poor of Little Hinton who received no other relief. Any money which remained after distribution was to be paid to the parish clerk or to whomever cleaned the church. In 1847 Batt's surviving legatee transferred the stock to Winchester chapter as lord of Little Hinton manor. In 1903 the yearly income of £8 8s. was administered with the income from Harding's charity and used to buy coal, which was distributed in amounts of 7 cwt. to the unrelieved poor. In 1902 22 people received 7½ cwt. each. (fn. 156)

By will proved 1883 John Wilson bequeathed £150 to trustees, the income to be spent each Christmas on bread and coal for all the parish poor. In 1903 the yearly income of £3 6s. was spent on coal. In the previous year 21 coal tickets for 1½ cwt. and 3 for 9 cwt. had been given out. (fn. 157)

In 1936 Harding's, Batt's, and Wilson's charities were amalgamated. The joint yearly income was thereafter used to supply needy people living within the area of the former parish of Little Hinton with clothing, bedding, food, fuel, or other goods in kind, or with financial help. The income was about £12 yearly in 1973. (fn. 158)


  • 1. This article was written in 1976. Maps used include O.S. Maps 1/50,000, sheet 174 (1974 edn.); 1/25,000, SU 27 (1960 edn.), SU 28 (1960 edn.); 6", Wilts. XVI (1887 edn.), SU 27 NE. (1960 edn.), SU 28 SE. (1960 edn.), SU 28 SW. (1960 edn.), SU 28 NW. (1960 edn.).
  • 2. V.C.H. Wilts. ix. 174, 176; see below, p. 160.
  • 3. P.N. Wilts. (E.P.N.S.), 286–7; Finberg, Early Wessex Chart, p. 74; Chartulary Winch. Cath. ed. A. W. Goodman, p. 19; Reg. Pontoise (Cant. & York Soc.), ii. 625.
  • 4. I.R. 30/38/143; T. R. Thomson, 'Early Bounds of Wanborough and Little Hinton', W.A.M. lvii. 203–11, and map facing p. 210; V.C.H. Wilts. ix. 176.
  • 5. V.C.H. Wilts. ix. 174 sqq.
  • 6. Chartulary Winch. Cath. ed. Goodman, p. 228, where the lord is called Ric. of Oaksey. He is probably identifiable with Ric. of Earlscourt (fl. 1275): V.C.H. Wilts. ix. 177.
  • 7. Mun. D. & C. Winton., ct. roll, 1334; survey of chap, man. 1649, ff. 126–39; ledger bk. XXXVI, pp. 55–68; W.R.O. 212B/3539; 212B/3541.
  • 8. Cal. Pat. 1467–77, 578, 589; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii. 127; Sar. Dioc. R.O., Detecta Bk. 1550–3, ff. 31, 137. P.N. Wilts. (E.P.N.S.), 286–7, refers to 'Little Hynyngton' in 1311. The man. mentioned then is clearly not Little Hinton: Cal.Pat. 1307–13,342, and cf. descent given below.
  • 9. Sar. Dioc. R.O., Glebe Terriers and Chwdns.' Pres.; Andrews and Dury, Map (W.R.S. viii), pl. 15; Kelly's Dir. Wilts. (1848 and later edns.); Crockford (1896 and later edns.).
  • 10. Signs at E. and W. entrances to the former par. 'Parva' first occurs on O.S. Map 1/25,000, SU 28 SW. (1960 edn.).
  • 11. V.C.H. Wilts. iv. 350 n. j; Census, 1891.
  • 12. Census, 1931.
  • 13. Except where stated, this para, is based on Geol. Surv. Maps 1", drift, sheets 34 (1857 edn.), 267 (1957 edn.), 253 (1971 edn.).
  • 14. Cowtail coomb is so called in 1773: Andrews and Dury, Map (W.R.S. viii), pl. 15.
  • 15. V.C.H. Wilts. i(1),159.
  • 16. See below.
  • 17. V.C.H. Wilts. i (1), 159.
  • 18. Ibid. 42.
  • 19. Ibid. iv. 299, 310.
  • 20. Taxation Lists (W.R.S. x), 3, 123; E 179/197/152; E 179/198/259; E 179/198/336.
  • 21. W.R.O. 212B/7202A.
  • 22. V.C.H. Wilts. iv. 350.
  • 23. Andrews and Dury, Map (W.R.S. viii), pl. 15; I.R. 30/38/143.
  • 24. W.A.M. lvii, map facing p. 210; O.S. Maps 1/25,000, SU 27 (1960 edn.), SU 28 (1960 edn.).
  • 25. Birth of a Road, comp. Wilts. Schs. M4 Motorway Project (Lond. 1973), 15; Wilts. Gaz. 21 Oct. 1971.
  • 26. I.R. 29/38/143; I.R. 30/38/143.
  • 27. Andrews and Dury, Map (W.R.S. viii), pl 15.
  • 28. See p. 164.
  • 29. Andrews and Dury, Map (W.R.S. viii), pl. 15; W.A.S. Libr., ch. acct. bk.
  • 30. I.R. 29/38/143; I.R. 30/38/143; W.A.S. Libr., sale cat. xii, no. 34.
  • 31. Finberg, Early Wessex Chart, p. 74; Thomson, 'Wanborough and Little Hinton', W.A.M. lvii. 204 sqq.; see above.
  • 32. Finberg, Early Wessex Chart. p. 74; P.N. Wilts. (E.P.N.S.), 286–7; W.A.M. lvii. 204.
  • 33. V.C.H. Wilts. ix. 176.
  • 34. Chartulary Winch. Cath. ed. Goodman, p. 19; Bk. of Fees, ii. 737; Reg. Pontoise (Cant. & York Soc.), ii. 436; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), vi, App. p. viii; C 54/3458 no. 12.
  • 35. Reg. Pontoise (Cant. & York Soc.), ii. 436.
  • 36. Cal. Chart. R. 1300–26, 1.
  • 37. Obedientiaries' R. St. Swithun's, ed. G. W. Kitchin (Hants Rec. Soc.), 253, 282, 299; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), vi, App. p. viii.
  • 38. Winch. Chap. Doc. 1541–7, ed. G. W. Kitchin and F. T. Madge (Hants Rec. Soc.), 71–2; W.R.O. 212B/3539; 212B/3541; I.R. 29/38/143.
  • 39. C 54/3458 no. 12.
  • 40. I.R. 29/38/143; I.R. 30/38/143; W.A.S. Libr., sale cat. xii, no. 34.
  • 41. Lond. Gaz. 16 Apr. 1861, pp. 1582 sqq.
  • 42. W.A.S. Libr., sale cat. xii, no. 34; Mun. D. & C. Winton., copyhold enfranchisement letter-bk. 1845–53; chap. act bk. 1824–50, p. 398.
  • 43. W.A.S. Libr., sale cat. xii, no. 34.
  • 44. Ibid. iii, no. 5.
  • 45. Ibid.
  • 46. H.R.O., Eccl. Commrs. 286905, 121592.
  • 47. Mun. D. & C. Winton., copyhold enfranchisement letter-bk. 1845–53; chap, act bk. 1876–96, p. 27.
  • 48. Sar. Dioc. R.O., Ch. Commrs., Bpric. 38, no. 10.
  • 49. Ex inf. Ch. Commrs.
  • 50. C.P. 25(1)/251/16 no. 90.
  • 51. Chartulary Winch. Cath. ed. Goodman, p. 235.
  • 52. Feet of F. 1272–1327 (W.R.S. i), pp. 11, 54.
  • 53. Ibid. pp. 18–19.
  • 54. Katharine A. Hanna, 'Winch. Cath. Custumal' (Southampton Univ. Coll. M.A. thesis, 1954), 618.
  • 55. Mun. D. & C. Winton., acct. roll.
  • 56. Ibid. N.R.A. box 87, acct. roll, 1557; bk. of John Chase, f. 90V.
  • 57. Ibid. survey of chap. man. 1649, ff. 126–39; Berks. Pedigrees (Harl. Soc. lvi), 231.
  • 58. Mun. D. & C. Winton., survey of chap, man., ff. 126–39.
  • 59. W.A.S. Libr., ch. acct. bk.
  • 60. W.R.O., Land Tax; I.R. 29/38/143; I.R. 30/38/143.
  • 61. I.R. 29/38/143; I.R. 30/38/143.
  • 62. Hanna, 'Winch. Cath. Custumal', pp. lviii and n. 3, 607–17.
  • 63. Mun. D. & C. Winton., survey of chap, man., ff. 126–39.
  • 64. See below.
  • 65. W.A.S. Libr., ch. acct. bk.
  • 66. I.R. 29/38/143; I.R. 30/38/143.
  • 67. Interdict Doc. (Pipe R. Soc. N.S. xxxiv), 25.
  • 68. Mun. D. & C. Winton., acct. roll.
  • 69. Mun. D. & C. Winton., acct. roll.
  • 70. Interdict Doc. (Pipe R. Soc. N.S. xxxiv), 25.
  • 71. Mun. D. & C. Winton., acct. roll.
  • 72. Obedientiaries' R. St. Swithun's, ed. Kitchin, 253, 279, 293; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), vi, App. p. viii.
  • 73. Mun. D. & C. Winton., acct. rolls, 1273, 1280.
  • 74. C 78/1920 no. 18.
  • 75. C 78/651 no. 9.
  • 76. W.R.O. 212B/3539; 212B/3541.
  • 77. Mun. D. & C. Winton., ledger bk. XXXVI, pp. 55–68.
  • 78. W.A.S. Libr., sale cat. iii, no. 5; xii, no. 34.
  • 79. See above.
  • 80. Mun. D. & C. Winton., acct. roll.
  • 81. Ibid. acct. rolls.
  • 82. Ibid. acct. roll.
  • 83. Ibid. ct. roll, 1419; bk. of John Chase, f. 90v.; W.R.O. 700/187, deeds, 1760–1832; Sar. Dioc. R.O Ch. Commrs., Bpric. 42, abstr. of title no. 3. In 1773 'Bury' Mill was depicted on the site of Hinton Marsh Farm: Andrews and Dury, Map (W.R.S. viii), pl. 15. Berry Mill clearly stood SE. of that farm-ho., so the 'Bury' Mill of 1773 may possibly mark the site of Cuttle Mill: I.R. 29/38/143; I.R. 30/38/143.
  • 84. W.R.O. 700/187, deeds, 1760–1832.
  • 85. Sar. Dioc. R.O., Ch. Commrs., Bpric. 42, abstr. of title nos. 2, 3.
  • 86. Ibid. abstr. of title no. 3. The mill is not mentioned in 1839: I.R. 29/38/143; I.R. 30/38/143.
  • 87. Sar. Dioc. R.O., Ch. Commrs., Bpric. 42, abstr. of title no. 3; Bpric. 38, no. 10; Lond. Gaz. 16 Apr. 1861, pp. 1582 sqq.
  • 88. Mun. D. & C. Winton., ct. roll.
  • 89. Ibid. ct. rolls, 1516, 1527; survey of chap. man. 1649, ff. 126–39; estate bk. 1; W.R.O., Land Tax; Sar. Dioc. R.O., Ch. Commrs., Bpric. 42, abstr. of title no. 3.
  • 90. I.R. 29/38/143; I.R. 30/38/143.
  • 91. Sar. Dioc. R.O., Ch. Commrs., Bpric. 42, abstr. of title no. 3; Bpric. 38, nos. 7, 10, 13.
  • 92. Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 806.
  • 93. All inf. about cts. from Mun. D. & C. Winton., ct. rolls; ibid. N.R.A. box 84, 17th-cent. ct. rolls; N.R.A. boxes 104 and 110, 18th-cent. ct. rolls; N.R.A. boxes 8–11, 18th- and 19th-cent. progress bks.
  • 94. W.R.O. 1364/53–9.
  • 95. Poor Law Com. 2nd Rep. 559.
  • 96. Reg. Pontoise (Cant. & York Soc.), ii. 625; Cal. Pat. 1232–47, 421.
  • 97. Cal. Pat. 1232–47, 421; 1272–81, 398.
  • 98. Reg. Pontoise (Cant. & York Soc.), ii. 431.
  • 99. Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. (index in W.A.M. xxviii. 222); Clerical Guide (1822).
  • 100. Lond. Gaz. 4 June 1852, p. 1583; Handbk. Brit. Chronology (1961 edn.), ed. F. M. Powicke and E. B. Fryde, 259.
  • 101. Powicke and Fryde, op. cit. 209n. 1; Clergy List (1905); Crockford (1907 and later edns.).
  • 102. Lond. Gaz. 27 Feb. 1940, p. 1164; Crockford (1940 and later edns.).
  • 103. Reg. Pontoise (Cant. & York Soc.), ii. 437.
  • 104. Tax.Eccl.(Rec. Com.), 190;Valor Eccl.(Rec.Com.), vi, App. p. viii; Sar. Dioc. R.O., Glebe Terrier, 1783; W.A.S. Libr., ch. acct. bk.
  • 105. Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 190.
  • 106. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii. 127.
  • 107. W.A.M. xl. 300.
  • 108. C 78/651 no. 9; see above, p. 162.
  • 109. Sar. Dioc. R.O., Glebe Terriers, 1671, 1677, 1705, 1783; I.R. 29/38/143; I.R. 30/38/143.
  • 110. W.A.S. Libr., ch. acct. bk.
  • 111. Rep. Com. Eccl. Revenues, 836–7.
  • 112. I.R. 29/38/143.
  • 113. Sar. Dioc. R.O., Glebe Terriers, 1671, 1677, 1705, 1783.
  • 114. Colvin, Brit. Architects, 605; I.R. 29/38/143; I.R. 30/38/143.
  • 115. Lond. Gaz. 27 Feb. 1940, p. 1164.
  • 116. Sar. Dioc. R.O., Detecta Bk.
  • 117. W.A.M. xix. 189; Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. ii. 18; Prob. 11/230 (P.C.C. 289 Brent).
  • 118. Vis. Queries, 1783 (W.R.S. xxvii), pp. 122–3; W.A.S. Libr., ch. acct. bk.; W.A.M. xli. 136.
  • 119. Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. ii. 39, 44, 69.
  • 120. Ibid. 105–6; D.N.B.
  • 121. Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. ii. 74, 95; Vis. Queries, 1783 (W.R.S. xxvii), p. 122 and n. 6.
  • 122. Vis. Queries, 1783 (W.R.S. xxvii), pp. 122–3.
  • 123. W.A.M. xli. 136.
  • 124. H.O. 129/250/2/3.
  • 125. So dedicated in 1763: J. Ecton, Thesaurus, 401. An alternative dedication to St. Anne occurs in the later 19th and early 20th cents.: O.S. Map 6", Wilts. XVI (1887 edn.); Crockford(1896); Clergy List (1905). It was noted in 1924 that the village feast day used to be 26 July, the feast of St. Anne. That date, it was suggested, would, according to the reckoning of time used before 1752, formerly have been St. Swithun's day: W.A.M. xlii. 590.
  • 126. Water-colour by J. Buckler, giving a SE. view, in W.A.S. Libr., vol. vii. 10 (1810).
  • 127. W.A.S. Libr., ch. acct. bk.
  • 128. Mun. D. & C. Winton., chap, act bk. 1850–76, p. 180. The church was reopened in 1861: Wilts. Cuttings xvi 176.
  • 129. W.A.M. xxx. 197 and n. 1; liv. 21.
  • 130. Inscription in pulpit.
  • 131. W.A.M. xii. 364.
  • 132. Nightingale, Wilts. Plate, 182.
  • 133. Walters, Wilts. Bells, 105.
  • 134. Sar. Dioc. R.O., Glebe Terrier, 1783.
  • 135. W.R.O. 1364/36–41.
  • 136. Vis. Queries, 1783 (W.R.S. xxvii), pp. 122–3.
  • 137. Sar. Dioc. R.O., Certs. Dissenters' Meeting-Houses.
  • 138. H.O. 129/250/2/4.
  • 139. Sar. Dioc. R.O., Certs. Dissenters' Meeting-Houses.
  • 140. Ex inf. Mr. J. Williams, Somerset Farmhouse, Little Hinton.
  • 141. All inf. about Coker's char., unless otherwise stated, from Endowed Char. Wilts. (N. Div.), 569–73, where Thos. Coker was misidentified as vicar of Bishopstone in Ramsbury hund. Cf. Vis. Queries, 1783 (W.R.S. xxvii), pp. 122–3; V.C.H. Oxon. vi. 24; J. Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886, i. 273; Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. ii. 39, 61, 69, 72, 91.
  • 142. Educ. of Poor Digest, 1029.
  • 143. Date tablet on sch.
  • 144. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, 1039.
  • 145. Mun. D. & C. Winton., chap, act bk. 1824–50, pp. 377, 413; W.R.O. 1364/51.
  • 146. All inf. about Brown's char., unless otherwise stated, from Endowed Char. Wilts. (N. Div.), 573.
  • 147. Acct. of Wilts. Schs. 27.
  • 148. Returns relating to Elem. Educ. 418–19.
  • 149. Return of Non-Provided Schs. 24.
  • 150. Bd. of Educ., List 21 (H.M.S.O.).
  • 151. Ex inf. Chief Education Officer, County Hall, Trowbridge; the incumbent, the Revd. P. Slade, Bishopstone Vicarage.
  • 152. Ex inf. the Revd. P. Slade.
  • 153. Ibid.; Char. Com. rec.
  • 154. Endowed Char. Wilts. (N. Div.), 569, 572.
  • 155. Ibid. 571, 576; Phillipps, Wilts. Inst. ii. 39, 69; Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714, i. 299.
  • 156. Endowed Char. Wilts. (N. Div.), 574.
  • 157. Ibid. 575.
  • 158. Char. Com. file 234179.