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Wiltshire Community History

Great Hinton Search Results

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Great Hinton

This page is one of 261 pages covering every community in Wiltshire, and is provided by Wiltshire Council Libraries and Heritage. A project to provide a fuller picture of each community is in progress, working on the larger communities first. When these 261, which are modern civil parishes, are completed we will begin work on a further 180 villages and hamlets to provide comprehensive coverage of Wiltshire communities large and small.

From Andrews' and Dury's Map of Wiltshire, 1773:

From Andrews' and Dury's Map of Wiltshire, 1773

Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham

From Andrews' and Dury's Map of Wiltshire, 1810:

From Andrews' and Dury's Map of Wiltshire, 1810

Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham

This is a corrected and updated edition of the 1773 map that includes the recently built canals.

Map of the Civil Parish of Great Hinton:

Map of the Civil Parish of Great Hinton

Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre

From the Ordnance Survey 1890s revision of the one inch to one mile map. The modern civil parish boundary has been superimposed.

Thumbnail History:

The name Hinton comes from the Old English meaning 'High Farm', from 'hean' and 'tun', and 'Great' appears to have been added c.1547.

The location of the parish is south of the A361 Semington to Devizes road and it borders Steeple Ashton in the south, Keevil to the east and Semington to the north. The main settlement is located on a minor road, part of a network of small lanes that connect the main roads of the area.
Great Hinton is about a mile north of Steeple Ashton and the main area of building is along two parallel roads which meet at the north and south ends of the village.

Coralian limestone outcrops in the north and continues to Hag Hill and on to West Ashton while there is an area of Oxford clay to the west of Cold Harbour.

Evidence of early development dates back to 1261 when Great Hinton was part of the Whorwellsdown Hundred and represented by one tithingman.

For many years it was part of Steeple Ashton and recorded as belonging to King Edgar in 964; it then became part of the Romsey Abbey estates until 1539. It passed to Thomas Seymour and reverted to the Crown by 1549. Later it was granted to William Paulet, Earl of Wiltshire but by 1632 Walter Long held the manor and it descended with the Long family until 1911 when parts of the estate were sold.

In the 19th century it became a civil parish; previously it had been part of Steeple Ashton and in 1883 small parts of the parish were transferred to Hilperton.

Indications of early settlements include medieval earthworks visible to the north of the village and a 'holloway', a walkway or path, which is visible from the air and situated to the south and east of Church Farm.

At the time of Domesday 17 virgates were recorded, covering an area of just over 500 acres, and the earliest recording of the manor court was at Steeple Ashton in 1262. By 1370 the court was meeting four times a year and Hinton was making presentments. In 1570 Hinton had two collections for the poor and two waymen.

The Manor House, situated at the north end of the village, was a 19th century farmstead of regular courtyard footprint. The detached house is all that remains.

Other properties include Fore Street Farm, dating from the early 17th century being timber framed with brick infill. Church Farm is constructed of stone rubble with a stone tiled roof, built around a courtyard and dating from the 17th century. New Barn Farm is of a similar date and style and Watts Farm is 18th century. Other older properties in the village are generally of 18th century origin, built of brick with stone dressings.

There were also a number of outlying farms, often quite isolated and many are now either demolished or no longer in use.

In 1377, 62 poll tax payers (aged over 14 years) were recorded and by the 1801 census the original tithing of Great Hinton recorded 174 inhabitants. By 1831 it peaked at 234 but then remained between 150 and 190 for the rest of the 19th and 20th centuries. In 2011 the census recorded 171 people.

The 13th century forest eyre rolls show that Great Hinton was represented.
By the 1370s the number of sheep kept in the parish was increasing and in 1499 William Passion held 300 sheep at Great Hinton. In the mid 16th century the open field arable system was used in the area due to the fact that little meadow or inclosed land existed. Field names surrounding the village included 'Middle Field', Crowcheyae Field' and 'Windmill Field' west of the village near Cold Harbour. No evidence of a windmill has been found but as the name exists on the tithe map for the area it does suggest the site of a windmill and it is unlikely that there was sufficient ground water to make a water mill feasible.

Most of the inclosure took place by the late 16th century except for some woods and commons in Great Hinton and Steeple Ashton. By 1699 there were 106 copyholders and leaseholders in Steeple Ashton and Great Hinton combined, producing an income of nearly £36 p.a.

Later in 1762, part of Hag Hill was also inclosed. The farm itself, Hag Hill Farm, was built after this inclosure so is early 19th century and built around a courtyard.

By the Inclosure Act of 1831 Steeple Ashton and most of Great Hinton were inclosed apart from Hinton Mead to the north of the village.

Although no reference to the cloth trade has been found in Great Hinton there was a small factory building dating from 1815 next to the New Inn. It was built of red brick with stone quoins and had a mansard roof. It is named as a factory in 1841 when Stephen Sims owned and occupied it. By 1845 two carding machines by Armstrong of Bristol were offered for sale from this small textile workshop. The building was later used as a brewery for the 'New Inn', later known as 'The Linnet' and now residential. This public house is known to have existed in 1792 as it is mentioned in a lease and also in 1842 when a license was awarded.

In 1768 the road from Horseshoes (now known as 'The Lamb') through Great Hinton and Cold Harbour was added to the Trowbridge Turnpike Trust. The mapping at this time shows a distinct route running south west from 'The Lamb' to Portway House, west of Keevil; this route would have avoided the turnpike gate and is likely to have been a droveway. Place names farther west suggest locations that drovers may stop for rest, such as 'Ragged Smock', 'Strangers Corner' and 'Penny Platt.'
Back Lane had been an important throughway but is now a no through road. A footpath was diverted in 1810 away from New House to prevent it crossing in front of the property; it was moved north east and connects with Stoggy Lane and then on towards Littleton Common.

A murder is recorded in the Crown Pleas of the Wiltshire Eyre in 1268 when Thomas le Chyld and Nicholas Nel quarrelled; Nel struck Thomas with an axe and killed him so he was then outlawed.
In 1249 Roger Woleward fell from his cart in Heydon (Hinton) field and broke his neck; he was later discovered by his wife.

A charity was established in 1786 when an unknown benefactor gave £42 to the parish officers of Hinton; this was used to buy a cottage at Cold Harbour and when this was sold in 1812 the £60 raised was invested. It was added to in 1817 increasing the value to £135. The £4 p.a. income was distributed amongst the poor of the tithing and was still in existence in 1951.

Small groups of houses at Bleet and Cold Harbour existed in 1773 according to the Andrews' and Dury's map and were built on the edges of the original common.

Great Hinton was part of the Warminster and Westbury Rural District Council from 1934 when local government re-organisation took place.

The village now has an active community; afternoon and evening indoor bowls clubs, art and craft sessions and regular social events such as a bonfire night or wine tasting and it has a telephone box that has now become a small library. It has won the best kept small village in Wiltshire competition in 2012 and again as winner of winners in 2014 and was particularly commended for its neat and tidy village hall, with an outside defibrillator which many of the villagers have been trained to use. A healthy community spirit exists within the village.

CouncilWiltshire Council
Web Sitewww.wiltshire.gov.uk
Parish CouncilGreat Hinton Parish Council
Parish Web Site 
Parish Emailcarolburch@btinternet.com

Churches: Information on both current and disused churches and chapels.

Schools: Information on both current and closed schools.

Population 1801 - 2011

Photographs: If images have been added for this community they are available here.: We hold a collection of over 50,000 photographs of places in Wiltshire in the County Local Studies Library. These may be viewed at this library and copies of out of copyright material may be purchased. We can search for a picture of a building or event if you e-mail us with details.

Historical Sources: A select list of books and articles is listed in 'Printed material'. You may go directly to the actual text from some of these.

Printed Material: This is a select book-list for the community but in the case of a town there may be hundreds more books, pamphlets and journal articles.

The full text of some items is available to view on this site.

The Victoria History of Wiltshire (opens in new window) is a partnership between local authorities and the Institute of Historical Research at London University. The History of Wiltshire is now the largest county history in the country and is still growing. The volumes are divided between general and topographical with Volumes One to Five covering subjects such as prehistory, ecclesiastical, economic and political history. The Volumes from Six onwards are topographical and will ultimately provide a comprehensive and systematic history of every single town and parish in the county.

(opens in new window) Explore Wiltshire's Past web site

Newspapers from 1738: These newspapers covered this community at different times. Newspaper titles in bold text are either the ones you should check first for information about this community.


Maps: listed are maps on which you can find this community. All maps are Ordnance Survey maps.


Archaeological Sites: A Sites and Monuments Record (opens new window) is maintained by the County Archaeology Service and covers some 20,000 sites. The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society was formed in 1853 and have been publishing an annual journal since 1854. The journal contains both substantial articles and shorter notes on archaeological excavations, finds, museum objects, local history, genealogy and natural history.

Folk Arts:

Folk Songs from Great Hinton

Folk Biographies from Great Hinton

Folk Plays from Great Hinton

History of Buildings: The collections of the Wiltshire Buildings Record are housed in the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre at Chippenham.

Listed Buildings: The number of buildings, or groups of buildings, listed as being of architectural or historic importance is 11. There are no Grade I buildings and no Grade II* buildings.

English Heritage and National Monuments Record

Local Authors: There could be an author who was born or has lived in this community.

Literary Associations: Some communities have featured in novels or may have been the main setting for a book.

Registration Districts: If you want to obtain a copy of a birth, marriage or death certificate you can contact the local registrar.


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