Hinton St. George is known to have been a settlement as far back as the 12th century. As a feudal village well into the 20th century, essentially under the control of the Poulett family in Hinton House, the community has a heritage rich in listed buildings, ancient trees, and mature agriculture.

A Short History of Hinton St George

First mentioned in the Domesday Book as the village of Hanstone and was owned by William of Ow. It then transferred to the Powtrell family during the reign of Richard I and came to the Poulett family through marriage during the 1400’s. The family remained in the village until 1968 and occupied Hinton House for over 500 years.

During the Middle Ages a number of the village points of interest were built. The church dates to the 13th century and a guide book is available at the Church. The preaching cross once marked the medieval village centre. Opposite the preaching cross is The Priory, a medieval manor house with a chapel. The parish once contained the hamlet of Craft, which was to the south west of the village.

Hinton St George used to hold cattle fairs and many cattle were brought in along the droves of South Somerset. A fair was held annually on St George’s Day until the late 1940’s. The wide village main street is a legacy of those former days when drovers herded their cattle into the village.

In recent times rural communities have undergone change in their way of life at a fast pace. Since the post-war years, Hinton St. George has evolved from a feudal to a freehold community. All of the five working farms within the village are now private residences – the last of these provided the sight of a dairy herd walking to and from pasture through the High Street as recently as 2000.

The Almshouses were situated near the church and dated from 1648. The present Almshouses in Gas Lane date from 1872 and were provided by the 6th Earl Poulett and his aunt, Lady Augusta.

The school was built in 1850 but there is evidence that the Poulett family provided education for the village children from 1776. In 1863 a gas manufacturing plant was built in Gas Lane, at Gas House, which supplied gas to Hinton House and the rest of the village. As a result, Hinton became the first gaslit village in England. Today, most of the village lies within a conservation area. There are 234 properties in Hinton, many of which are listed buildings.

Written by Bill Newey on behalf of Hinton St George Parish Council