Samuel Parsons Survey of the Manors of Norton St. Philip and Hinton Charterhouse.
The Survey was in the possession of a man living in Norton St. Philip and was acquired by Miss H. C. Foxcroft of Hinton House for the sum of' about £20 from his executors sometime in the 1920's or 1930's.
The Survey is headed:
"The booke of Survey of ye Mannor.s of Norton st. Phillip, and Henton, Lying in ye Countie of Somersett, Distant betwixt 2 and 6 Myles Southward from the Cittie of' Bathe The Right Honourable, William Lo; Craven Cheef'e Lorde of the Same, Takeno Ano: 1638. By Samuell Parsons.
Hinton in those days was a scattered Village -(it stretched from the Wellow water to Iford, and from Midford to the outskirts of Norton St. Philip. Its total area was some 2,365 acres, of' which Lord Craven owned 1,644 acres and Sir Edward Hungerford 575 acres. Neither Lord Craven nor Sir Edward Hungerford lived in the village, and things in general, according to Samuel Parsons, were in a bad way.
The open field system of agriculture was still in operation to some extent although the Grange farmed most of the land in the South and North Fields itself. Sheep and arable seem to have been the main sources of income. The Grange Farm (now Hinton House)
This was Lord Craven's property and in 1638 it was according to Parsons: "held by the Countes Dowager of Rutland by Vertue of a Lease granted to Walter Alexander Esquire for XXI years to begin after the Decease of Robert Bright of which said terme there is as I am informed About 8 or 9 years yet to Com, And The yearely Rent of the Same is £XLIX viiis. viiid.
He describes the buildings thus:
"The ffarme or Graunge consists of a large ancient Well built house where in at this Tyme Two farmers or tennants Dwell with very Spacious Large Barnes, Shepe houses Stables, Staules pigion house With orchards gardens and the Court or Barton contayning 6a ..3r -23p."
The two ffarmers or Tennants" farmed the land belonging to the Grange -this was considerable as the summary below shows:
In Meadow ground 111a 3r 3p, In Pasture ground 281a 2r 00p,
In Earrable in Seuall 142a 2r 25p
In Earrable in ye open fields 740a 0r15p
The rest of Lord Craven's land was divided up into small holdings held by the tenants as copyholders or leaseholders.
The Abbey (now Hinton Priory)
This was owned by Sir Edward Hungerford and let to Robert Shaa:- "Robert Shaa gent. houldeth for term of Three lives the Scite of the Abbye of Pryors Henton And Certeine Lands There unto Appertayning. "
This property consisted of: "The dwellinge house called the Abby with the gardens orchards barnes Stables Kitchens Courts yeards pigion house and other convenyent owt howses being all Environed with in a Stone Wall and contayns 7a -3r -10p".
Sir Edward Hungerford also owned woodlands and the Mill at Midford -" the water Corne Mylne there called Midford Mill " - which was let to Robert Flower. Samuel Parsons notes "At this hamlett or towne called Mydford the water Doeth part the Counties of Somersett and Wilts.
The Fryarie
This appears to have been somewhere on the Freshford side of Friary wood and belonged to Lord Craven but was let to John Bridges.
Parsons' entry runs:
"John Bridges Junr. Claymeth to hould by Coppie of Court Roll for his life aged 28 years One messuage or Tenement Called or Knowne by the name of the Fryary And Certeine pasture ground Lyinge within a stone wall there. contayning 7a -2r -2p. And one Close of pasture next adioyning East called Corne Close Cont. 2a- 7r -15p and paieth Rent for the Same per anno xxxis xd. " Also living at "The Fryarie" were Robert powell, John Ponten, William Popple and Anthony Clarke. They all held less than half an acre. Presumably this was the old site of the house and grounds of the lay brothers who had looked after the monks in the Abbey.
Many of the names in the survey are still used in Hinton. The field by the Grange was called "the farnams or the varnams" then, and is still known as Varmont; Innocks, stroude, Cock Roade, The Sands, Homewood and 'royte wood (now Tait wood) , and Tetherwell (now tytherley) are all mentioned. A Mr. Tookie lived in Henton Streete and is still remembered by Tuggy's Lane.
There are three mills mentioned in the parish of Hinton - Iford, Midford, and Eckford. Eckford seems hard to identify with anywhere now-a-days, (Could it possibly be a corruption of Freshford which is never mentioned by its present-day name in the survey?).
The Streets mentioned by Parsons are Church Street, High Streete and Henton Street. There is also mention of a Village Cross:
"Henry Freeman Claymeth to houlde for terme of his life aged 57 yeares One Tenement Scituate at the Crosse in Henton. "
This was probably somewhere near the Church and Village Green.
There is no mention of an Inn in Hinton although Norton had by that time got two.
The Vicarage.
This was then near the church and in the Survey there is the following entry: "The Vicaridg house and Close Cont. Oa -3r -2Op. .And the Church yard Con t. Oa -2r -2Op."
Samuel Parsons as well as surveying the Manors carefully noted the farmers' shortcomings and was particularly annoyed with the way the woods were being spoilt. He says of the two farmers living in the Grange~ "There is good Store of Tyrnber and underwood by the upon this ffarme if it be looked into in tyme . that the ffarmers make not that Spoyle and haffock as heather to they have Don both of Tyrnber and other great woods, yearely in maner following.
1. They use many hurdles in regard of the great ffoulds of Sheepe the usually keepe. .And they under the couler of exchanging wood for hurdles doo yearely perloyne and convey much wood a waye to others.
2. There is two ffarmers and they keepe Two Feuall Howses whereby, the wast and consume much wood.
3. They furnish Bakers with wood for there ovens under the colouer of baking there bread.
4. They furnish wheele wrights with tymber and woods, and say the exchange the said for carte wheeles and ploughes.
5. They neclect the Coppices which are in the grounds and in Divers places of the feilds and when they have once made a fall then they let them goe to ruen and burne and spoyle great wood and Tymber serviceable for many uses. Wheras if the Copps and Spotts of under woods were preserved, there would be more wood then would serve Two such Howses without makinge any wast of Tymber and great wood.
6. They cropp tymber trees at unseasonable tymes and cut them of by tpe middle soe that they Dye and then they are conveyed away as wynd falls. And they cut the vVoods more for the barke then for any great use the have made of the wood or shew where theyfuey have bestowed them. It is credably reported the ffarmours make £x per anno of Barks. Wickham one of the farmores let one of the pasture grounds which lyeth within his part to a Stranger and Hath Sufforred him to Cutt Downe and Carrye a way 7 or 8 Tymber tree, this yeare 1 639 as I am credably informed."
Again he has the same complaint:
"Nota. The underwood of these woods is very much Spoyled by Turninge in of younge Cat tell upon the first yeares groeth and by not fencinge off one fall from Another, and therby the coppiceings wilbe of Small value in Short Tyme."
He does not mind pointing out mistakes to Lord Craven:
"There is a Close of pasture lying by the Abbye called Truemans patch which was sould to Sir Edward hongerford Sythence (since?) my Lord bought the mannors which if my Lord keepe the Mannors hee had byn better to have given £300 then to have sould the said parcell of Land."
And finally we have this entry referring to the way the Grange land in the open fields is being farmed:
"The very Tythe yearly and the Sheepe pasture in these open feilds are of more worth yearely then the ground is rated at in this Survey, both the pasture and Earrable Land would be much ymproved, if the Tennants were Sufficient and able men fully to Stock and Mannage the same, but they are ppore and live uppon the Spoyle and wast of wood and tymber and none Looke after them."
In the Parish Register, a copy of which is at Somerset Archives, Taunton for the years 1546- 1733, the following names of people still living in the village are first mentioned, and it is possible that some living here now are descendants of those mentioned. The names are given in alphabetical order.
Colborne, Thomas. Son of Thomas Colborne. Bap. Jan.7. 1653.
Francis, John & Johana -Twins of Edward Francis. Baptized July 31 1555.
Frappel, Richard. Son of Walter Frappel. Baptized April 2.1713.
Frapwell, Margaret. Married Daniel Durnell. Sept. 28. 1724.
Gerish, Martha. Baptized March 25. 1599.
Prescott, Hugh, son of Henry Prescott. Baptized Feb.4. 1682.
Pierse, (Thomas) married Ailisia Fisher. April 27.1601.
Swift, Mary, daughter of Joseph Swifto Baptized May 5. 1702.
Wilshear, Elynor, daughter of Ambrise Wilsheare. Baptized Jan. 23.1632.

A John Gerrish and Ann Gerrish of Pipehouse are mentioned in a Freshford Register as paying Hearth Tax in 1665, and to pass on to a later date, in 1703 "John Gerrish Gent. , and Philip his brother of Freshford conveyed land in Pipehouse to George Dike of Limpley Stoke.
There is a large oval shaped depression near Norwood between Norton and Hinton which is called the Bull Pit, and tradition has it that it was used for Bull Baiting at one time. A great many houses have completely disappeared and the village is much smaller now than it used to be, the largest number being in 1841 when 70 people were employed weaving and the population numbered 795 - as compared to a population of just under 400 to-day. The old Crown Inn which stood where the water-tank now is, was burnt down in the 1880's. Sparks from Mr. Colborne's traction engine having set fire to the thatch in passing. Mrs. Ottery remembers being brought to see it and how frightened she was, "the Inn had railings, steps, and a Barton. "
There were cottages past the school opposite that old oak tree which, according to an old picture was the same size in 1803 as it is to-day.
There were 3 cottages on the Green, which having become derelict were pulled down in 1901, and the extra land given to the Church Yard by Mrs. Roberts of Homewood. There is a memorial Tablet on the Church Yard wall commemorating this gift.
Mr. Clark of Hinton Field remembers there was a Farm House called Tait Farm below Tait wood which Mr. Foxcroft had pulled down. The well is still there and the stone was used in Norton Barn.
Hinton Farm was considerably larger than it is now, but when Mr. Willis built Innox Lodge a good part of the farm was pulled down and the farm garden became the garden of the present Innox Lodge. In the old days before motor transport all villages were very self contained, and Hinton village had its forges, one near the post office, and later another near the Green. Its shoemaker -Mr. Clements, was at the Cross Roads, by Wellow Lane, and also opposite, its saddler, in what is now Mr. Lambert s farm. There were five Malt Houses. These were:
1) One where the schools now are, which previously had been a poor House, according to tradition.
2) In Mr. Colborne`s yard.
3) Opposite Mrs. Bailey`s where Mr. Mopsey's house stood.
4) Near the Shop where cars are now garaged.
5) In the Garden behind "Moonta".
Beer was brewed at the Crown and at the Masons's Arms. Mr. Fred Andrews was the last man to make malt in the village before World War I. Miss Wiltshire says her house in the street, with the Bow window, was originally a Butchers Shop and we know from the Pioneer Corp Papers there were several Bakers. One of them, Mr. Mopsey,had his bakery just inside the wall almost opposite The Stag, and there were other houses pulled down there. People can remember a sweet shop near the Green, and Mr. Clark can remember being sent to fetch Lardy Cakes from the Stag Inn. The Village water supply was very inadequate and Mr. E.T.D. Foxcroft decided to install a Ram, to pump up water from a very good spring near Norton Barn, which was able to supply the House and Village. The Ram was made by John Wallis Fiff of Warminster and exhibited at the Bath and West show at Taunton in 1895. It was fetched from Taunton by two men who charged 52/- to fetch it from Taunton with a waggon and horses. The journey took two days each way.
Mr. Grist of Norton can remember seeing the great windmill go past in the waggon as he was haymaking in the field. In 1923, after 28 years work the windmill was taken down as being beyond repair, and an engine employed instead, till the village got its water from the Combe Down Supply. Many thousands of gallons of water now go to waste which could be available from the old source of supply. Soon after the Water Tank was installed in the village there was a bad flood as the side of the tank gave way and the water inundated the village street and even reached the Horse Pond.
In these days, the Pond is all overgrown, but it used to be kept clear of weed by public subscription and all the horses and cows in the village used to be taken there to drink each day.
Till the disastrously wet year of 1879 all the farms around had sheep, but all the sheep got fluke. Mr. Willis of Hinton Farm had a lovely flock, but he had to sell all his sheep and only got 2/6 a head for a hundred.