HINTON CHARTERHOUSE SCHOOL In   1826   the   Revd.   Thomas   Spencer   accepted   the   ‘perpetual   curacy’   of      Hinton   Charterhouse.      A   clever energetic   man,   a      Fellow   of   St   John’s   College,   Cambridge,   he   had   taught   for   a   period   at   his   father’s commercial   school   in   their   home   town   of   Derby   –   a   town   at   the   forefront   of   manufacturing      and   invention.      He himself came from a long line of Dissenters although the family were now Wesleyan Methodists. Hinton   in   1826   was   a   poor   rural   parish   with   about   600   inhabitants,   mainly   agricultural   labourers,   their   families, six   or   seven   tenant   farmers   and   a   few   small   traders.      Stage   and   mail   coaches   rattled   through   on   rough   and muddy   roads,   and   the   A36   had   yet   to   be   built.      Mrs.   Day   at   Hinton   House   was   the   main   landowner,   owning several farms and cottages in the village as well as her house and ground. Once   installed   and   after   overseeing   the   building   of   his   vicarage,   Spencer   determined   to   build   a   school   and   in January   1827   preached   a   sermon   to   raise   money   towards   his   objective.      He   considered   the   £7   raised   ‘a handsome   sum’   for   so   poor   a   parish.      However,   the   National   Society   for   Promoting   the   Education   of   the   Poor added   a   grant   of   £100   and   Spencer   himself   gave   much   of   the   stone   from   his   own   small   quarry   by   the vicarage.      Mrs.   Day   gave   the   land   which   lay   on   the   north   side   of   Wellow   Lane   where   a   terrace   of   three cottages   now   stands.   The   school   consisted   of   two   rooms   20ft   by   14ft   and   20ft   by   12ft.         However,   there   had been   a   hiccup   in   the   enterprise   as   sometime   during   the   building   Mrs.   Day   told   Spencer   she   had   assumed   it was   to   be   a   Sunday   school   rather   than   a   day   school.      In   a   rather   odd   letter   Spencer   wrote   offering   to   return the   land   and   build   elsewhere   referring   to   the   benefits   a   school   would   bring   to   ‘the   ignorant   and   degraded population   of   Hinton’!      This   incident   reflects   the   general   attitude   of   some   of   the   more   affluent   classes   who doubted   the   wisdom   of   educating   the   poor.         However   nothing   came   of   this   and   the   school   was   opened   in   May 1828   with   140   children   -   110   children   from   Hinton   and   the   rest   from   Freshford   and   surrounding   villages.      Mr. and   Mrs.   Gane   had   been   appointed   as   Master   and   Mistress,   and   the   children   were   to   be   taught   on   the recognised   Monitorial   System,   whereby   those   more   able   pupils   taught   the   rest.   The   main   subjects   were reading, writing, sewing, knitting. The   Master   and   Mistress   were   paid   by   local   subscriptions   which   amounted   to   £16.7.6d   p.a. To   this   was   added the   1d   per   week   paid   by   Hinton   children   (with   1/2d   more   by   those   from   other   villages).   Subscribers   were entitled   to   sponsor   a   free   place   for   a   child   for   every   10/-   subscribed.      Some   years   later   when   the   numbers   had dropped   to   a   more   manageable      95,   Spencer      advertised   that   the   children   would   knit   stockings   for   those   who provided   the   yarn,      at   a   charge   of   9d   for   men’s   and   7d   for   women’s,      half   of   this   going   to   the   Mistress   and   half to   the   child.   This   first   National   School   continued   in   much   the   same   way   until   Thomas   Spencer   left   the   village in 1847. In   1848   it   became   the   boys’   school,   with   the   girls   moving   to   an   adapted   malt   house   near   the   church.      In   1860 the   girls’   school   was   demolished   and   a   new   school   for   both   boys   and   girls   was   erected   and   remained   in   use until it was finally closed in 1982.