HINTON HOUSE Hinton Charterhouse 1539-2014 An attempt to trace the history of  Hinton Grange to the present Hinton House   Author’s note    I first visited Hinton House when I was three months old in 1930.   During many subsequent visits my great aunts, the three Miss Foxcrofts, caught my interest with stories about the house and those who had lived there. Later the house was my home for a number of years and its history continued to intrigue me. Over time I have been able to discover more through visits to record offices and from the many documents that had survived in Hinton House. Writing this account was rather like a detective story.  The Somerset Record Society’s ‘Surveys of Hinton Charterhouse and Norton St. Philip from 1535-1660’ has allowed me to trace the house and its site in more detail and as I put the facts together there were twists and turns - and more may emerge in the future.   This somewhat rambling account does not pretend to be more than a first effort at piecing together the various references to the site together with family memories.  To that I have added some stories that have been handed down – how truthfully they have travelled I leave it to the reader to decide.            I have added a brief bibliography and notes on my resources at the end.  Any inaccuracies or mistakes are entirely my own.                                                                                                                                                                                        Isla Tuck                                                                                                                                 October 2014                                                                                                        ******** 1239-1625  Crown Lands            The site of Hinton House has its beginnings long ago.  In 1226 the Carthusian Order was given the manors of Hinton Charterhouse and Norton St. Philip by Ela Countess of Salisbury. A manor was an estate   and the manor of Hinton  included most of the land within the present parish of Hinton. t Central to the manor was the manor house where either the owner  or his tenant lived .    The Priory was built by 1232 and  it is believed that the original site of the Salisbury’s  manor house became its grange,  the agriculture heart of the monks’ estate.  Sometime during the Salisburys’ ownership a deer park had been created  just to the north of the manor house and this large walled area was ideal for the Carthusians who sought complete seclusion.  The surroundings were more wooded than they are today and there was no A36.  The field between the Priory and the Branch Road is still called ‘Ridings’ – a ride being a track through a wood.  It is likely that the local population would have had very limited access to the Priory and women were strictly forbidden.  In the early years the Lay Brothers had their own quarters in Friary wood and would have worked the land with villagers who were bound to work a certain number of days for their lord, but later, certainly after the Black Death in 1348 or maybe earlier both Lay Brothers and other labour became scarcer and the farms were let.           In 1993 the Somerset Vernacular Building Research Group was invited to look at the house and in their report noted the remains of thick walls in the cellar not aligned to the present building which suggested an earlier structure – was this an earlier farm building or could it have possibly been the original manor house? A manor house and a church indicate a village. Traditionally it is said that a village green lay in the present park, east from the church, the boundary running up beside Green Lane to the turning to New Town.             Until the mid-1820’s records show that there was still a cottage on an old  road that then ran from Green Lane between the church and the Grange (Hinton House) across to the old road to Freshford, now the Branch Road (see map). Walking along the present public footpath from the end of the churchyard to the Branch Road one can sometimes see the line of this old road in the grass in front of the east side of the house.         There is one brief glimpse into the working of the Grange in the very last days of the monks. When Henry VIII’s surveyors recorded the annual income of the newly acquired land in 1539, part of the first year fell in the time of the last prior, Prior Horde, who in 1538 had let half the Grange to Lord Hungerford for a monetary rent while the other half was leased to Richard Treherne or Davis with part of his rent being paid in kind to support the monks. This was made up of the following:                 40 quarters of wheat £13. 6s 8d                 60 quarters of barley £8                   5 quarters of ‘lez dregge’ 13s 4d (mixed grains sown and harvested together).                   5  quarter of oats £2 6d                   4 cart loads of hay 8s                   4 cart loads of straw at 2s 8d                   221 gallons of milk at 1d a gallon to be paid for when required                                  The monks’ simple diet consisted of bread and vegetables with occasional cheese and eggs with fish from their fish ponds.  The hay and straw suggests they may have had some livestock at the Priory itself. The Grange survived the destruction suffered by the Priory and just three years later in 1542, John Leyland, the Tudor scholar and  traveller, passed through Hinton on his way to Bath and recorded seeing  ‘a graung, great and well builded, that longed to Henton Priory of Carthusians’           Immediately after the monks had left in 1539 Lord Hungerford petitioned to buy both the Priory and the Grange but only succeeded in buying the site of the Priory, although his lease from the Prior of a moiety of the Grange continued.  However the following year his misdeeds and the King’s displeasure led to his beheading beside Thomas Cromwell on Tower Hill and all his lands were forfeited to the Crown.        After Lord Hungerford’s demise, his lease of half the Grange was taken over by Sir Henry Longe.  This expired in 1561 and was taken on by Richard Treherne or Davis for a further 21 years in addition to the half he already held.   Eventually the Hungerford lands were restored and the family was able to rent the Grange and its lands which then amounted to over 1,000 acres – roughly half the area of the whole of Hinton’s land.   Over the years the Manor of Hinton was let and sub-let by the Crown and even mortgaged by Queen Elizabeth at one period when costs of the Spanish wars were high.             The arable farmland in Hinton was, as in the Feudal age, divided between two large areas, the South Field which stretched from the present road to Norton St. Philip westwards to Tait Wood and around to Tuggy’s Lane, while the boundary of the North Field appears to have run from Wellow Lane, north west towards the Wellow Brook and continued just to the edge of Midford. From there it followed roughly the line of the Bath road back to the village. (It is less clear where the exact boundaries lay in the North Field.) This field would surely have been more difficult to plough as it is largely on the side of the valley. Other land is described as pasture (for grazing) or mead (for hay, etc.).  The big  open fields would have been ploughed in long strips by teams of oxen.                 In April 1582 Sir Walter Hungerford leased Henry Story  his house on the Priory site for 21 years.    This was the house that had been built from the ruins of the Carthusians’s Priory and belonged to the Hungerfords, rather than the Crown. It is described in the Hungerford rent records as: All that capitall  mesuage or mansyon house with the backside pigeon house garden and   orchard thereto adjoyning cont. in all by est iiij acres which is a feyre house for a gent to   dwell in all covered with slatte with courtes gardens and orchard very orderly and it inclosed with a stone walle .            At the same time Story rented one hundred and twenty acres in both the North and South fields that belonged to the Grange. Under this lease he was bound to sow sixty acres of wheat and sixty acres of barley and from this must deliver as his rent, the ‘thurds and tenths’ to the landlord’s barn or rick yard.  The third was the amount Hungerford paid for his lease from the Crown and the tenth was his profit. These together were estimated at £40 a year. Other meads and pastures Story paid for in money.  A lease granted to Thomas Flower in 1577 for the mill at Midford bound him to grind any corn sent to him by his landlord and in addition it was his duty to feed the pigeons all year round in the Lord’s pigeon houses. These conditions may well have been similar to those operating in the days of the Carthusians.          Sometime in the following years Thomas Flower moved to the Grange but had left by 1589 when Henry Story took on a 21 year lease for the whole farm and its land. The Grange itself is described as: The tenement or Farme house called Henton Graunge which was in the tenure of Thomas Flower with the garden & orchard adjoining the old barne the South end of the oxehouse belonging to the Graunge cont. ii feilds the old Kytchen and a Dovehouse late in the tenure of the said Sir Walter……          At first sight this would seem to be a very different house as opposed to the Priory, The description suggests a farm house and not a mansion for ‘a gent to dwell in' but these leases were copied by clerks sometime after they were granted and occasional errors occur.  This one seems particularly unclear and the ‘ii feilds’ is probably a misreading of the word ‘fild’ which was a local word for ‘bay’ and denotes the size of a building (see following survey). This seems likely as the lease also includes a long list of ‘feilds’ by name and the ‘ii feilds’ in the description of the buildings makes little sense.  The list of buildings itself is hard to follow and may not be fully accurate.  Although this lease does not appear to describe a large house it is unlikely that the ancient well built grange that Leyland had seen nearly fifty years earlier had disappeared, although it may have fallen into disrepair.          John Hercy’s survey for the Crown in 1606 refers to a Hungerford lease for the Grange granted to three farmers Kellaway, Byrd and Bright in 1598 just nine years after Henry Story had taken it on and the description is now very different.  The survey describes it thus:         One Mansion howse with 14 fild  2 barnes 12 fild  an Oxe howse and stable 10 fild  3 Sheephowes 26 fild  one dove house 3 fild and a garden and one orchard (in all) 6 acres.            Instead of the ‘old barne’ and the ‘old Kytchen’ here is a very large mansion house, bigger than any other farm house in either Hinton or Norton with a much bigger farm complex. A ‘fild’ or bay was the distance between the upright posts holding up the roof and one reference suggests this was the width of a cart or waggon but no doubt there was some variation. A visit to the Tithe barn in Bradford-on-Avon which also has 14 bays suggests the possible size of the house   It is the largest house recorded in Hercy’s survey of the two villages except for the George Inn in Norton St. Philip which has 20 bays. . Perhaps whatever was there earlier had been repaired and new farm buildings added but if this house had in fact been built by the Carthusians a number of speculations arise.  It was said by Miss Helen Foxcroft who lived in Hinton House  that she had been told that the ‘monks had used the Grange for sick monks’ but never gave any reason for believing this.   Alternatively it could have been used by the Lay Brothers although by the time of the Dissolution it was let.  At present we can only guess.          The Hungerford’s big house at the Priory is not included in the survey and may have been of a similar size.  This survey of Hinton describes one farm house of nine bays but the average dwelling is between three and five with a number of only two bays.         The church registers show that Sir Antonie Hungerford ‘Captaine within the Realme of Ireland’ was buried on 29th May 1594 in the chancel on the south side of the altar in St. John’s Parish Church.  As he was the only Hungerford to be buried in Hinton, it has been assumed he was living in the Hungerfords’ Priory house.  Is it too far-fetched to suggest that Henry Story moved to the Grange so that Sir Anthonie could retire to the Priory?    Story’s lease for the Grange was for twenty one years but it was re-let just nine years later. Although the church records go back a long way, some years in the 1590’s are missing and although a number of Storys are mentioned there is no record for Henry Story’s death.             In the succeeding reign of James I several tenants held the Grange and the situation is somewhat confused.   John Norden who surveyed the royal manors in 1610 and on several further occasions over the next few years, bewails the inadequacy of the supervision in many of them.  He notes there are often no stewards to assist him; in Hinton he finds fallen walls and good timber being abused.  Local inhabitants fail to disclose their deeds and records and he reports his difficulties: The Manor they say is held by My Lord Rutland for lives, who or what they are unknown   to me. Who is lying or not or how his Lordship holds the woods doth not appear necessary to know.             On a later occasion he writes:        One Wrighte  the present farmer (of the Grange)  fells yearlie many timber trees. The beste   okes about   the farme without number, without seeming necessitie or assignment, not fitt to be suffered, he takes  also the lopps and barke..... . .         Lack of local oversight and perhaps a distrust of those authorities investigating the leases made things difficult for the King’s surveyors.  By this time the Duke of Rutland leased the properties from the Crown – inherited by his late wife who had been a Hungerford widow – and there appears to have been little local management.  This 1610 survey was to determine which of the manors might be sold and which best be kept to provide an income for the households of James’s sons, first Prince Henry and later, after his early death, Prince Charles.   At the time Hinton and Norton were two of the manors reserved for the Princes’ use.  However when Prince Charles became king in1625 he too found himself short of funds due to the intransience of Parliament and from 1630 onwards he sold  more royal lands including both manors of Hinton and Norton. Private and Parliamentary Ownership As Landlords 1625-1682               These two manors were purchased by Lord Craven, a wealthy royalist who during the following years spent his time abroad in the service of Elizabeth of Bohemia (sister of Charles I and mother of Prince Rupert).  In 1639 his agent, Samuel Parsons, who lived locally, made a survey of both villages, which, although it never reached Craven, luckily survived in Parsons’ family in Norton St. Philip and was bought by Miss Helen.Foxcroft of Hinton House  in the years between the wars.  It is now in the Somerset Record Office.   In his survey Parsons describes the Grange as: A large auncient well built house where in at this tyme two farmers or tenants dwell, with  very spacios large  barnes, shepe houses, stables, staules, pigion house, with orchard,   gardens and the court or  barton , ( farm yard)  containing 6a-3r-15p. Here it is described as an ‘ancient well built house’ - which seems to confirm that the grange is at least based on the original buildings.   Parsons comments on the poor state of the farm lands and accuses the farmers, both called Wickham, of bartering wood in exchange for what they claim to be necessities for themselves and the farm.   At this time the Grange farm had over 800 acres of arable land in the open fields, as well as pasture and meadow land but as Parsons writes:                      ‘both the pasture and earrable land would be much ymproved if the tenants were sufficient and able                        men fully to stock and manage the same, but they are poore and live upon the spoyle and wast of                        wood & tymber and none looks after them.’             Parson’s survey confirms much of what Norden had noted nearly thirty years earlier. These surveys emphasize the importance and value of wood as a commodity essential for day to day necessities of life and nationally for house and ship building.   In spite of Parson’s disparaging remarks regarding the Wickhams, one at least seems to have had local authority as the following incident in 1630 indicates.  With the economy in a very poor state, poor harvests, disease and a consequent shortage of food, a mob of around a hundred local people tried to storm a train of waggons on Midford Hill. The waggons were loaded with corn on their way from Trowbridge to Bristol. Grain was in very short supply and it had been decreed that nothing was to be moved without magistrates’ permission.  These particular loads had such permission but the people were desperate.  The episode led to a government investigation which in its findings records how Mr Wickham was able to disperse the mob and allow the waggons to continue.           With the outbreak of the Civil War Lord Craven was deemed to be a ‘delinquent’ although he was living in the Low Counties and took no part in it himself.  His representatives in England argued to retain the property but eventually under an Act of Parliament of 1652 his lands were seized by the Commonwealth and yet another survey was carried out. This was far more detailed than Parson’s survey and gives a picture of a very large working farm which may well have still suffered from the shortage of labour and investment noted by Parsons.  By now William Mullins  was the tenant and the survey shows that he was farming rather less arable land than the Wickhams had struggled with.  The Grange itself with ‘two kitchings’ may have still been divided in two as it was when the Wickhams had been the farmers. All that Capitall Messauage or Tenement called the Grange House scituated on the  North side of the   Church…….consisting of an halle, a Parler, two kitchings A Butterye, a great Roome called Storyes  halle & A Cellar and alsoe five large Chambers and  three little Chambers With a Brew house, a Kilne house, a Dovehouse, A Gatehouse and  twoe other decayed  Roomes all built of rough stones & covered with Slates and allsoe twoe  Barnes consisting twelve Bayes of building with a Stabell and an Oxe house of 11 bayes & a cart house built of stone’.                 Here we get the first internal description of the Grange House and the only mention of a gatehouse – clearly a substantial complex but with a suggestion of deterioration with the two ‘decayed rooms’.   The farm buildings are much the same size as earlier. There was also a sheep house 120ft in length and 23ft in breadth, two gardens and a large yard, the whole site covering as before over 6 acres.  There are possible traces of a sheep house in the parkland to the east of the present house which can be seen when walking along the public foot path mentioned above.  The reference to ‘a great Roome called Storyes halle’ is surely a reference to Henry Storey who leased the Grange over sixty years earlier and suggests he may have added to an existing building, rather than that he built a completely new house.        In March 1653, a year after the Parliamentary survey, all Craven’s property in both Hinton and Norton was sold on behalf of the Commonwealth and John Warre of Westminster negotiated a sale as an investment for  five gentlemen living in different parts of England, for the sum of £6,472.12d.  How much these changes effected the tenants who worked the land is hard to tell but it may well be that they were minimal and life carried on as usual with no resident landlord.           The Restoration in 1660 saw Charles II on the throne and all land restored to those whose property had been confiscated – presumably those who had bought it earlier lost their capital investment.  However, Lord Craven just three years later in 1663 sold his property in both villages to Lord Edward Hungerford who was already leasing it.  Known as the Great Spendthrift, Lord Edward was finally bankrupted in 1684 by his gambling and extravagance at the Court.  Most of the land was bought by his son-in-law, Henry Bayntun of Spye Park who then sold it on to a number of different buyers.  In Hinton several local people benefited and acquired freehold land; these sales seeing the final break-up of the old open fields. Private Ownership of Hinton House – Harding & Day  c.1700-1846       As early as 1670 Lord Edward Hungerford had begun to sell land on long 99 year leases for money rather than the earlier twenty one year leases sometimes paid for in a mixture of money and  kind.   This was an opportunity for the newly married John Harding, only son of a well-to- do clothier from Broughton Gifford to acquire a sizable farming estate.   In the early deeds he is referred to as ‘yeoman’ but by the time of his death he had risen to the status of ‘gentleman’. As a clothier he would not have been accepted in landed county circles and an ambitious clothier needed either to buy land or marry an heiress to rise socially.  So it was in 1670 that this first of three generations of John Hardings bought a 99 year lease from Edward Hungerford for farmland in Norton St. Philip including land at Norwood.  For this, according to the lease, he paid the large sum of £700.  It is not known where John Harding was living when he and his new family first came to the area but it could have been at Norwood farm or in Norton St. Philip. However his oldest son, William, was baptised in Hinton parish church in 1672. This John bought another long lease for more land in 1674 and in 1681 he acquired yet another for Hinton Grange itself and the fields surrounding it.   Rather surprisingly the farm house is described as ‘all that new built house and barne thereto adjoining.’  This statement does not seem to refer to the previous house but to a new house attached to one of the two barns.       In a very dry summer in the 1970’s the outline of a large building could clearly be seen on the front lawn  by anyone standing on the roof of the present Hinton House.  Some amateur excavations revealed walls only a few inches below the surface and a channel which appeared to head east and may have led to the spring between the house and the church from which, in Victorian days and perhaps earlier, drinking water was drawn from a pump. Could this be the site of the old Grange House originally built by the Carthusians?  A geophysical scan of the front lawn might provide some answers                                                          John Harding I died in 1683 not long after this lease of the house and left his capable wife, Hannah, daughter of a successful clothier herself, with seven children under 15.   His grave slab lies in the floor of the tower in the parish church and also commemorates the death of a young daughter, Catherine, and uses the old alternative spelling of Harden.  Under his will his oldest son, William, inherited all the freehold family property in Broughton Gifford, while he left his second son, John II the leasehold property in Hinton and Norton.  However after her husband’s death his widow managed to acquire the freehold of most of the Hinton/Norton land from Lord Hungerford and Bayntun while John II was still under age.  His mother had sent him to London to train as a lawyer in Symons Inn and while in London he married Hannah Dowley, the daughter of a member of the Fishmonger’s Company.        The young couple appear to have returned to Hinton in 1701 or 2 and it was during the following years that John Harding II, never a farmer and trained as a lawyer, appears to have  built the present house in and around a barn –  presumably to which the ‘new built’ house of 1681 was attached.  On the south end of the barn he added the present south front of two rooms on both the ground and first floors. This addition was wider than the end of the barn and formed a wing on the east side of the house which was balanced by a similar additional wing consisting of a room with a bedroom above.  Thus with a central doorway an empty E shaped east frontage was created.  The wall between the two wings was rebuilt or altered so that the barn itself disappeared from view although still remaining in the centre of the whole structure.  The south front of the house would have looked much the same as to-day and  the east front, seen in the sketch painted  in the 1830’s, is probably much how it looked at the time it was changed more than a hundred years earlier. Was the ‘new built house’ incorporated into these developments or was it pulled down?  Interestingly the SVBRG inspection in 1990 noted that it appeared that there had been another building, joined to the north end of the present house where the barn ends, although only remnants of beams, etc. can be seen in the present wall. However  Harding’s  main additions were added to the south end of the barn and this perhaps suggests that ‘the new built house’ was added to that end.  Examining the present house plan there is an internal gap between the south end of the barn and Harding’s added rooms which might suggest this option.           Little is  known of the inside of the house at that time but with the south front addition of two reception rooms with bedrooms above and the east front adding a library and bedroom, it is likely that John Harding II   made alterations to the interior of the barn itself.  Confirmation of the barn within the house was discovered during alterations in 1887 when a pintle was discovered in a first floor wall (‘a pin or bolt on which something turns, as a hinge’) and in 1949 and 1951 during the laying of electrical cables the other three came to light, directly above one another in the walls on the ground and first floor, giving a clear indication where the two big doors would have hung in the centre of the west side of the barn.  The opposite entrance in the east wall has disappeared in the rebuilding. This barn conversion had taken a major step towards the site becoming a gentleman’s residence rather than a working farm.  It was probably John Harding II who planted the cedar tree that grew to be a memorable feature on the lawn until its demise in the 1970’s.  Over the years many groups and tea parties were photographed beneath its wide branches.      When young John II and his wife returned to the house in 1701, his mother and youngest brother, Thomas, still only 19 or 20 moved to Iford where they leased a house that then stood in what is now the walled garden of Iford Manor.  The house had access to the river for the processing of wool and Thomas became a successful clothier, later described as ‘of Westwood and Holt’.  It was his granddaughters who were eventually to inherit the building that was now becoming Hinton House.   In 1706 John II bought the then valuable property of Norton Fair which his descendants were to keep until the fair diminished in importance and the rent of stalls etc. was reduced to a pittance by the late 19th century.  Many of the early rent books recording payments for the fair stalls were among the papers from Hinton House now in the Somerset Record Office.  Thomas Harding features as a stall holder in these selling his cloth.         In 1723 John Harding II died and was succeeded by his only surviving child, John Harding III. His grandmother, Hannah Harding, very much the family matriarch, wrote her will a few years later in 1728, shortly before she died at the age of 79. In this she mentions all her surviving descendants,.  She was still based in the house at Iford with her son Thomas and his children, William and Catherine, but had various possessions in her grandson John III’s house, described as in Norton, and also in Hinton House itself where his widowed mother was still living. In what appears to be a somewhat vindictive will,  John II had left his wife a life interest in another house in Hinton with a number of restraints; one being that she would lose all rights to this house if she dug up or altered the garden in any way!  It seems however that their son had settled in Norton and waited until his mother’s death to move back to Hinton House.          John Harding III finally confirmed the family’s social standing, becoming a J.P and High Sheriff for Somerset in 1751. Two years later he married at the age of 51, twenty four year old Anne, the daughter of his first cousin George Hodge.  No doubt he hoped for an heir but they had no children and he died in 1761 never having made a will.   During his lifetime his uncle, William Harding, who as mentioned earlier, had inherited the Broughton Gifford property on the death of his father in 1682, died unmarried and his property had eventually passed to John III.   For some reason John III’s widow, Anne, did not remain at Hinton House but lived in the house in Broughton Gifford.  Under intestacy laws she would have had a strong claim on her husband’s estate and it may be that it was only after her death that the two young women, Catherine and Mary Jacob, granddaughters of Thomas of Iford, inherited as joint heiresses. Thomas’s son, William, had predeceased John III and Thomas’s granddaughters were the children of his daughter, Catharine Jacob.  The elder sister, Catherine, married three times but had no children and her share of the property eventually ended up in the estate of her third husband who out- lived her.  In 1760 a year before John III’s death, she had married her first husband, Mr. Anstey, and her marriage settlement included the deeds to the Norton St. Philip Fair, which John III presumably gave to her, perhaps as a wedding gift.   However, Mary, the younger sister, barely a year after her cousin’s death, eloped with Stephen Skurrey of Beckington who had been John III’s agent.   The evidence for this elopement is on a small sheet of paper found among the records in the House.  It reads:                                                                                         September ye 15th 1762                         These are to Certify whom it may Concern that Stephen Skurrey and Mary Jacob were                          married According to the rubrick of the Church of England by mee.                                                                          S.D. Rees Minister of St. Andrew’s Chapel                                                                                                                 Edinburgh        This Marriage was solemnis’d in the presence of us                                                                                                                          Peter Ramsey A. Harding                   Attached to the document with a pin is the following note in the hand of Stephen Skurrey:                          Peter Ramsey kept the Red Lyon Inn near the Cow Gate in Edinburgh and                A Harding was the widow of John Harding Esq., of Charterhouse Hinton in the                   County of Somerset. Let this be delivered to my Daughter Mary Skurrey.           Stephen Skurrey                                                                                              In 1762 the Cow Gate was a poor and run down area that was shortly to be redeveloped.   Present research has not discovered St. Andrew’s Chapel and it may have disappeared in the subsequent rebuilding in the area.        It seems likely that there were family objections to Stephen as a husband for a girl with expectations.  Stephen Skurrey would surely have known of Mary’s inheritance as both he and his father before him had been employed by John III, looking after his interests and collecting the Norton Fair rents each year. There had been continual disputes over the Fair with others who wished to share in the stall rents and Stephen Skurrey had been very much involved in this on behalf of his employer.     An intriguing story - and there are many questions left unanswered, not least the willingness of recently widowed Anne Harding  to support her young relative.  On their return to Somerset the couple settled in Beckington and in 1765 Mary Skurrey gave birth to their only child Mary who was to play an important part in the history of Hinton House.             After the death of John III  the house was let for over twenty years.  With female joint heiresses both married with their own homes, letting the house was likely to have been the best option as the revenue from the estate could be fairly divided.  It was during this period  that an advertisement appeared in The Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette for Thursday 16 April 1778, advertising a Capital Mansion House situated in Charterhouse Hinton, lately occupied by Richard Salter Esq. It goes on to describe the accommodation:       ….a hall, three parlours, a tenants hall, two kitchens, eleven bed chambers, two garrets, a brew house, and other offices; two coach houses, stabling for fifteen horses, with two acres of garden      ground walled around and stocked with fruit trees, also twenty acres of pasture ground, tythe free.     Anyone interested in renting the property was asked to apply to either Captain Hay of Westwood  (Catherine’s 3rd husband) or Stephen Skurrey of Beckington; and for a sight of the property those interested should apply to the gardener, William West. The advertisement mentions a walled kitchen garden which presumably had been built either by John II or III.                               The advertisement also describes the house as being only 200 yards from the main road to towns to the south and that the ‘Salisbury, Southampton and Weymouth Machines pass by there several times in a week’. These were the stage and mail coaches that stopped at the Rose and Crown.  The turnpike road from Bath to Warminster, which still runs through Hinton and Norton had been built in 1752 and connected with roads going south.     The stabling for fifteen horses seems excessive and suggests that many of the big farm buildings were still standing as it does not relate to the present stables.  One explanation could be that the oxen stalls described earlier and which were no longer needed had been converted into stabling now that the Grange had become a private house.  The eleven bed chambers would seem to confirm that John Harding II had  built more than the south and east fronts of the house.           In 1786 Mary and Stephen Skurrey’s daughter, Mary, married Samuel Day of Burnett, near Keynsham.   Samuel Day’s family seems to have had mercantile connections with Bristol but his property in Burnett was only ‘life land’ which was at an end and after the wedding the young couple took up residence in Hinton House , either immediately after their marriage or more probably some years later perhaps when they acquired the other half of the estate from Captain Hay, or when a lease expired.   Their son, Samuel Skurrey Day, was born in 1787 and later a daughter, Mary.           Samuel Day became a local JP.........

New Surge In Number Of Seized Fake IDs In Somerset

Recently, there been reports of increasing number of confiscated fake IDs in UK. Falsified identity documents, such as student cards or driving licenses, are often used by youngsters who wish to bypass age verification restrictions to be able to buy alcohol or attend the venues where alcoholic drinks are served. Further investigation revealed Freedom Fakes website that sells fake identity documents online. A wide selection of USA fake IDs is being sold in the open. Some examples of such student-oriented forgeries are state of California ID Card on sale and this craftily replicated New York card, which are popular among Americans and Brits. We issued an appeal to local bar and wine shop operators to engage in a thorough verification of customers IDs.

a brief version of the history is contained at the end of this section