Hinton Priory
Refectory today

The Priory by Isla Tuck
The Priory was duly built, as was an Abbey at Laycock and Ela herself is said to have attended the dedication ofboth establishments on the same day in 1232, spending the morning in Laycock and riding over to Hinton in the afternoon. The deer park provided the monks with a high outer boundary wall which seems to have lasted for the whole of their time at Hinton. Even to-day these boundaries, imposed on Hinton for at least 400 years, can be seen in the shape of the village.
The Carthusians belonged to one of the most austere Orders; founded by St. Bruno in 1090, it had its roots in the solitary hermits who frequented deserts and bleak mountainous regions. Their cloisters were surrounded by little four roomed cottages rather than the traditional cells. Their church was small and they ate together infrequently. Their diet was almost vegetarian -no flesh allowed although they had fish and cheese on feast days. In the 1950's when Major Philip Fletcher owned the Priory, he carried out excavations over several summers and identified the extent of the cloister and uncovered a number of the cells. At the present time it is not possible to see over the ruins.
Hinton Priory was only the second Carthusian foundation in England -the fIrst being at Witham. These two earliest foundations followed the Continental pattern and each had a Correrie at some distance from the Priory .Here the lay-brothers lived with their own cells and church and it was via the Correrie that all visitors would have had to approach the Priory and gain permission to proceed. The Correrie at Hinton is ,about half a mile from the Priory at a place now known as Friary Green in a wooded area near the river Frome. It is however thought that the Correrie ceased to be used by the lay-bothers after a hundred years of so, when they may have moved to the Priory itself.
The Priory's land in Hinton was farmed from the Grange Farm which was on the site of the present Hinton House. The Carthusians had a similar Grange in Norton St. Philip and also owned water mills in Hinton, Midford, and Iford. Over the years they were given land in surrounding villages and they also owned sheep runs at Green Ore where they may have had a small cell.
At the Dissolution the Priory buildings were largely demolished and a few years later a house was built around the Gate House and eventually came into the hands of the Hungerfords. The Grange seems to have remained a large farm until about 1700 when it too was demolished and was rebuilt as a gentleman's residence by its new owner, John Harding.

Refectory 1800
House c. 1800
House c. 1800
House c. 1800
House today
Hinton Abbey 1887
Refectory 1950
House c. 1910
Refectory 1950
Refectory 1840
Refectory 1880
House 1950
Refectory 1830
House 1830