Click on pictures or headings on the left to see further pages open in this main frame.
To go to other sections - click on either "Hinton House", "
Hinton House Home Page", "Hinton Charterhouse" or scroll down
Jump Menus above.

A Brief History of Hinton House

The Grange or Graung of Hinton Charterhouse was probably contemporary with the Carthusian Monastaery, founded in 1227, to which it belonged. The Lands adjoining the house farmed by Mr. Clark of Hinton Field, are known as “Grange”; and part of the house must be of considerable antiquity. In altering the interior, in 1887, the right hand post and hinge of the old Tithe Barn door was exposed to view on the 1st. Floor. In 1949 the left hand hinge on the same floor was found behind some boarding, and in 1951, when electric cable was being taken through from one room to another, the right hand bottom hinge was found.
Who lived in the Grange in the days of the monks we do not know; but probably they were tenant of the monastery. It is posssible that the monks farmed the Grange for the community, and they may have used it as a holiday home. The first mention of the Grange is found in Leland`s account to Sir Walter Hungerford (1574-89), in which latter year it was let by Sir W. Hungerford to M. Storey. In 1592 it was leased to three farmers, Kellaway, Byrd, and Bright.
In 1609 it was held by two men called Pele and Wright. In two successive years, 1615 and 1616, the Grange is recorded as being in the possession of the Princes Henry and Charles Stuart. Prince Henry the elder brother, dying before Charles (later Charles I). In 1626 the property was leased to W. Alexander and in 1628 to E. Detchfield.
From 1630 it would seem to have been the property of Lord Craven, and it was for him that Samuel Parsons made his survey of the manors of Hinton and Norton in the year 1638. By 1660, it arrived 'back in the hands of the Hungerford family in the person of Sir Edward Hungerford,the great spend thrift, and in 1684 having squandered everything he had, at the court of Charles II, the vast Hungerford Estates came under the hammer. Most of the Hungerford lands in this neighbourhood were bought by Mr. Bayntun of Spye Park near Lacock. Shortly afterwards Mr. Bayntun sold all the Grange estate to Mr. John Harding of Broughton Gifford, and Charterhouse Hinton. Mr. John Harding had lived at the Grange since before 1674. In 1700 Mr. John Harding's son, also a John Harding bought the Grange House, and in 1701 built the South and East fronts thus adding to his house 3 bedrooms, 2 dressing rooms, and 3 sitting rooms. His portrait hangs at Hinton House, but its difficult to say what he looked like owing to his vast wig. Mr. Harding also bought in 1706 the then valuable property of Norton Fair. He was a Barrister of Symons Inn. He was succeeded by his son John Harding High Sheriff of Somerset in 1752, who dying intestate and without children, the property devolved on his two great nieces, Catherine and Mary Jacob. Mary Jacob, having bought out her sister's interest in the estate, married Stephen Skurray of Beckington; and their only surviving child, Mary, born in 1765, succeeded to the Grange Estate. She married in 1786 Samuel Day of Burnett near Keynsham where he owned "lifeland” (a now obsolete tenure) which reverted on the failure of the live s to Whitson ' s Charity, Bristol. Mr. Day's portrait at the age of 23, by Samuel Woodforde, R. A. ,is still to be seen.He was High Sheriff of Somerset in 1797. Mr. Day died in 1806 as the result of a fall from the hustings at Bridgwater, during the nomination of a member of Parliament for the County. Samuel and Mary Day had two children, Mary, who died at the age of 6 (the not unnatural result of being planted in a garden bed, and watered by her brother to make her grow), and Samuel Skurray born 1787 who succeeded his father at the age of 19. His portrait in the uniform of the Somerset Militia hangs alongside that of his father. He went to a small private school at Wingfield (one of his school accounts is at Hinton House) and later was up as a Gentleman Commoner at Magdalen College, Oxford. Samuel Skurray Day appears to have been extravagant, and, as one account has it, inclined to intemperance. It is said that he cut down an orchard when in full bearing. In 1810 he married the Ron. Catherine Lister, eldest daughter of the 1st Lord Ribblesdale, when she was not quite 17. They met at the Bath Assemblies. The marriage proved unhappy, and after an abortive attempt to run away in a chaise from The Crown Inn she finally left him in 1813, and returned home to Gisburne in Yorkshire. It is said that she promised a Norton woman £5 when she should send irrefutable proof of her husband's death; and that on the day of his funeral in 1816 she was seen hovering outside the Churchyard wall, in Vicarage Lane, apparently to be certain that he was well and truly laid in the family vault. As she remarried in 1817, her reason seems fairly evident. Both her second and third husbands were Parsons. She married her third husband in 1864, and he survived her, dying in 1902. In 1873 shortly before her death, the late Prebendary Horton-Starkie of Wellow met this old lady at dinner at a house in Yorkshire. Hearing he was from Somerset she said ”ill spent my early married life in a little obscure Somerset village called Hinton Charter-house”. So the second Mrs. Day survived her first husband by 57 years. During the short time that Mr. and Mrs. Day lived together, his mother lived at the thatched house near Farleigh Hungerford Church, known as Farleigh Cottage. During this period young Sam Day made his alterations to Hinton House. He gutted the house of several small bedrooms to make the entrance hall ceiling reach to the roof; and added the present front stone staircase. In doing this he reduced the number of principal bedrooms to five. After his wife left him, Sam Day's mother returned to keep house for him till he died in 1816.
While at Magdalen College, Oxford, Sam Day had made friends with Thomas Jones, son of his Mother's old friend and school fellow, nee` Frances Foxcroft, whose portrait is at Hinton House. The Jones family lived at Stapleton House, Bristol, (Demolished 1936). Thomas Jones was as steady as Sam Day was the reverse, and did his utmost to restrain his friend. For this Sam Day appears, in the event, to have been grateful. Certainly his mother, Mary Day, was. On Sam Day's death in 1816, it was found that by his will made in 1814 a t the instigation of the grandfather of Mr .Clark of Hinton Field, and in which no mention is made of his wife, he left all his disposable property to his mother, verbally requesting, that, after his death everything might go to his "Dear Friend, Tom Jones". Mary Day survived her son by 30 years. Her diary is in the Somerset Archives at Taunton. A portrait of her exists which shows a woman not good looking, but pleasant and resolute, with a decided air of command. She was very short, as her black walking stick which is still at Hinton, shows. She constantly rode, both on a donkey, and on a pony called Little Adam. She does not appear to have added structurally to the house, but enlarged the Orangery and did much to improve the garden. At that time the garden was bounded by a ha-ha from the door through the wall west of the Orangery to the little swing gate opposite, leading into Varmont. All west of that was field. She built the Farleigh Lodge in 1826, and made the road to it (now grown over) from Hinton House. Pulling down two cottages called Tidford Cottages, opposite to the entrance to Newtown Lane, she cut a road through that piece of land to the Farleigh Lodge. She started the annual gifts of beef and coal to the poor at Christmas. In those days, when farm workers' wages were 12/- a week and their families often large, the Christmas beef was probably the only meat they had during the year. Small wonder that it was found necessary for the recipients to arrive and leave by different doors, as a free fight outside was often the result of a woman imagining her neighbour's joint to be a trifle larger than her own. This continued without break till 1944. Mary Day lived quietly and even parsimoniously in order to payoff jointures and debts to the tune of about £30,000. To her pleasure, in 1835, Thomas Jones married the Hon. Margaret Nugent Talbot daughter of Lord Talbot de Malahide, whose wife, formerly Ann Sarah Rodbard came from Evercreech in this county.
In 1846 Mary Day, aged 80, passed on leaving the estate unencumbered to Thomas Jones. At the time of her death ,the front door of the 'Great House' as Hinton House was then called, stood where the present inner wall of the dining and drawing rooms now are. The Hall was lit by four windows looking up the Park; and the present front door with its narrow entrance to the Hall, was a garden door. The present porch stood at the old front door on the East side of the house, and the old oak door from this front door on the East side was moved to the new front door. At this date there were three approaches to the House.
(1) A drive up the present Laurel walk, ending in a Lodge in Hinton Street.
(2) A drive up the present Park ending in Mrs. Day's Farleigh Lodge. A drive beginning at the Branch Road wicket, and up Ashmead. At the gardener's cottage, the road turned left to came up to the old front door on the East side of the house. Another road at the gardener's cottage branched right past the stable doors, through the little green by the Summer House, across Varmont, and out opposite the house from Fairmont next to Sadler's Farm. Thomas Jones was High Sheriff of Bristol, and during his term of office was commissioned to carry to Queen Victoria the congratulations from that city on the birth of the Princess Royal. The Flowered waistcoat and coat he wore on that occasion is still in the family. Thomas Jones died in 1848. His heir was only 11 years old at that time, Edward Talbot Day Jones. His life saw a period of consolidation as regards the Hinton Estate, and he never spared himself in the service of others.
Mr. Foxcroft, as he became in 1868, bought the farms Stroud (1874) Broadfield (1876) and Hinton (1881). In 1877 the purchase of an old malthouse in Varmont enabled the shrubbery to be planted there. He built five new cottages and bought and reconditioned thirteen, making one of them a recreation room, next to the present Memorial Hall. He was a benefactor to the Church and increased the stipend by a gift of £1,200, to meet £1,000 given by Church Societies. In 1911 on Edward Foxcroft`s death, his son Captain Charles Foxcroft succeeded to the estate. After twice contesting the old Frome Division unsuccessfully he became M.P. for Bath, which City he represented for ten years until his death in February, 1929. Captain Foxcroft's sisters, the Misses Helen, Margaret, and Cecilia Foxcroft continued living at Hinton House.
During the first years of the 1939 war the House was filled by evacuees from the East Coast, and by relations. After Miss Margaret Foxcroft's death in 1941 the situation became so difficult owing to war time restrictions and lack of domestic help that the House was let as a Nursing Home until 1948 arid the Miss Foxcrofts went to live at Ennox Lodge where Miss Cecilia died in 1949. Mr. and Mrs. Robertson-Glasgow went to live at Hinton House in 1948, Mrs. Robertson-Glasgow being the only child of Mrs Percie Skrine, sister of the above mentioned. Miss Helen Foxcroft returned to Hinton House in 1949 and died there in July, 1950.