Dinton with Ford and Upton
A number of prehistoric artefacts have been found around Dinton. Neolithic to Bronze Age flint flakes, blades and cores were found in fieldwalking near Springhill Farm; a Neolithic to Bronze Age flint blades, scrapers and cores were found digging a way-mark post near Starveall Farm; Mesolithic blades, Neolithic to Bronze Age flint scrapers, arrowheads, flakes and cores and a Neolithic polished stone axe fragment from a fieldwalking survey near Dinton Castle; and a Mesolithic to Bronze Age flake and scraper was found in the spoil from a pipeline near Springfield Farm. These have not been associated with many features, though some of the finds near Dinton Castle may have come from a Neolithic pit that was discovered there and there is an enclosure or ring-ditch known as a crop-mark on aerial photographs at Upton.
Some Late Iron Age to Roman artefacts have also been found in Dinton. Roman stonework and pottery was found after ploughing at Ford Farm, Iron Age metalwork and Roman pottery was found at Lower Farm, Upton and Roman pottery was found near fieldwalking at Springhill Farm. An enclosure and possible road are known from aerial photographs west of Stone that may be Roman or may be modern.
An Early Saxon cemetery has been known around Dinton Castle since its construction in the eighteenth century when some burials were found. Evaluation trenches were dug in advance of the construction of a golf course more recently and more Saxon burials were found with associated artefacts. The same evaluation found an Iron Age ditch and pottery. A Saxon ditch was also found in the section of a pipeline trench along with associated pottery near Springfield Farm. Roman, Saxon and medieval pottery has been found at Aston Mullins where house platforms identified in field survey can be matched to buildings on seventeenth century maps. It seems to have been a larger settlement until these houses were abandoned and a separate manor. Compton and Ford were other medieval manors in this modern parish. Upton manor was also a separate manor and was recorded in Domesday, which also recorded the presence of a watermill in Dinton.
There are many earthworks surviving from the medieval period. Earthworks of a medieval village that has since been abandoned have been recorded in geophysical survey at Moreton Farm, where there is also the house platform and moat of the manorial residence. There are also fourteenth century records of a grange and attached barn. Moat Farm has a medieval moat and fishpond. The house itself dates to the fifteenth century. Medieval house platforms, a moat, tracks and ridge-and-furrow were recorded in field survey at Waldridge Manor. Medieval house platforms, fishponds and hollow-ways are known from field survey at Lower Farm in Upton and a medieval moat, house platforms and fishpond are known from aerial photographs at Wallace Farm and Aston Mullins Farm. A medieval moat is known in the park of Dinton Hall. The fishpond at Pasture Farm in Dinton may be medieval or slightly later and the formal gardens and wall footings of a great house is known from aerial photographs. The church of St Peter and St Paul is the oldest standing building in the parish. It was a twelfth century building but now only a door remains of that period. The thirteenth century saw the building of the chancel and the rebuilding of south aisle and south arcade, which were altered in the nineteenth century, and the north aisle and north wall of the nave were built in the fifteenth century. The tower is also nineteenth century.
Many of the other listed buildings in the parish date to the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Many are built of witchert, such as Biggs Cave, The Pightle and Rose Cottage. Some are slightly earlier, such as the fifteenth century house called The Spinney or the sixteenth century Waldridge Manor House. There is a sixteenth century record of a chapel at Ford. Dinton Hall is also a sixteenth century house with later alterations. It has a sixteenth to seventeenth century dovecote in the grounds and an eighteenth century garden. Two unusual monuments are the Hermit’s Cave that is known from seventeenth to eighteenth century records, and Dinton Castle, an eighteenth century sham gothic castle known as an ‘eye-catcher’.
Come the nineteenth century, industry had more of an impact on the landscape. Several large clay-pits have been identified at Moreton Farm, which may be the area that is said to have been used for coprolite washing. A slurry dump and fertilizer works is known near Fox Covert and a couple of windmills are known in the parish, one from field-name evidence at Windmill Field. A social conscience also developed, reflected in Dinton with the School House, a nineteenth century school-master’s house and the almshouse that was on the south boundary of the churchyard and was taken down in 1927.