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St John the Baptist, Hinton Charterhouse, Somerset

(51°19′24″N, 2°19′17″W)
Hinton Charterhouse
ST 777 583
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Somerset
now Bath and North East Somerset
  • Robin Downes
23 June 2008, 30 June 2008

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The place-name is ‘Hantone’ in the Domesday Survey (i.e., ‘tun on the high ground’), ‘Charterhouse’ being added some time after the 1232 foundation of the nearby Charterhouse of Locus Dei by the widow of William Longespee. The Priory ruins are about 800m N of the church. Both the priory and the secular settlement occupy a prime level position on the plateau of Forest Marble at the NE extremity of the Mendip Hills. Hinton Charterhouse church lies at an altitude of 135m OD above the L bank of the River Frome, 1.5km distant to the NE (the Frome joins the Avon less than 2.5km to the NE). The extremely busy A36 trunk road linking Bath with Salisbury and Southampton runs 700m to the E; a route which must be ancient. The village itself straddles the B3110 between Norton St Philip and Bath via Midford. The church is adjacent to Hinton House, built at the beginning of the 18thc on the site, it is thought, of a monastic grange.

The church consists of a chancel, nave with S chapel and porch, and N aisle. and a W tower. The oldest parts, including a S doorway, are 12thc. The tower dates from the late-12thc or early-13thc and was restored in 1770. The N aisle was added in 1825 and restored in 1846. Construction is of rubble and coursed rubble with freestone dressings. Romanesque work is found on the S doorway and the font.


The manor of Hinton Charterhouse was held by Wulfwynn in 1066 and by Edward of Salisbury in 1086. It was valued at 10 hides, and also had 2 mills, 12 acres of meadow and woodland 1 league by half a league. The manor also included 2 houses in Bath. Edward of Salisbury was the Sheriff of Wiltshire, who might have been part-Saxon as he was listed as a Justice before the Conquest. As Wulfwynn preceded him in many of his holdings in Wiltshire, she might have been his mother. Edward's descendants became Earls of Salisbury, and were closely associated with the court throughout the later 11thc and 12thc.


Exterior Features





The style of continuous rolls on the doorway may be compared with that of both N and S doors at nearby St John the Baptist, Frome, although there is no keeling here.


Historic England Listed Building 32516

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol. Harmondsworth 1958, 206.