Hinton Martell, part of the parish of Hinton, lies four miles north of Wimborne. The history of the village dates back to Saxon times – details of which can be found via online sites. In Old English ‘Hineton’ means ‘Monk’s Farm’ and Martell (meaning ‘hammer’) a manorial link to Eudo Martel a Frenchman whose family owned the land in the 11th century.
The village consists of approximately eighty homes ranging from 18th century to present-day construction. The Church of St. John the Evangelist was rebuilt in 1870 by G.R. Crickmay for whom Thomas Hardy was working as an apprentice.
The church houses a 13th century font made of Purbeck marble. Next to the church, and built in 1847, is one of the few remaining rural Shaftesbury Schools. In 1977 the school was bought by the villagers and has since served as the village hall. It is a popular venue for regular meetings, clubs, arts and social events.
One of the villages more unusual features is a large, circular fountain located near the centre of the village. The fountain’s history is often disputed but its origin is usually attributed to Henry Charles Burt, an owner of Witchampton Paper Mill, who wanted running water piped to the village. The fountain acted as an overflow and many claim it was used as a drinking-place for sheep. The fountain has been restored several times.
Hinton Parva & Stanbridge
Hinton Parva and Stanbridge, part of the parish of Hinton, are two small settlements three miles north of Wimborne Minster with The River Allen flowing through their water meadows.
Hinton Parva, tucked away from the main Wimborne to Cranborne road, hides its old-world charm from most travellers. The Latin, ‘Parva’ for ‘little’ distinguishes the area from the larger Hinton Martell. The settlement mainly consists of working livestock farms and associated cottages belonging to the Glyn estates.
Travelling from Wimborne to Cranborne along the B3078, Stanbridge lies either side of the road just before the left turn into Hinton Parva. At Stanbridge we find St. Kenelm Church. In 1860 Sir Richard Glyn took down the old church and replaced it with an estate church. It retains the Norman chancel and supports a spire and bell-tower. Opposite the church is The Rectory, a 19th century building which, for many years, was the home of England’s longest-serving rector—Carr John Glyn. A little further north of the church we find three estate cottages whose stone architecture reflects the neo-Romanesque style of the church.