Hilton Manor and Common


Hilton has never been a separate manor, but was part of Fenstanton. The handsome red brick house, now called the 'Manor House', was originally Manor Farm belonging to the Manor of Fenstanton, where the real Manor House is a rather modest building by comparison. Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, the great landscape gardener, acquired the Manor of Fenstanton and Hilton in 1767 and is said to have laid out the Green at Hilton. However a map of Hilton that John Spyers made for him in 1778 gives no indication of this. In its prime, before some of the large elms and beeches succumbed to disease and to gales, Hilton Green certainly looked worthy of him.

The Hilton Green or Common, of around 27 acres, extends from Church Close, south-west of the Church, almost to the end of the village towards Fenstanton and includes the verges along the High Street to Hilton Hall. Originally part of extensive common land, most of which was enclosed into fields by 1840, the Green was preserved to "always be used as pasture land" and rights to graze one cow each are still attached to 13 properties in the village. There was formerly a pound, near where the cricket pavilion now stands, into which stray animals were penned until they were reclaimed upon paying a fine. Today the Green provides a beautiful setting for the cricket ground, for 'Feast Week' and for other village festivities.