The house now known as Higher Barton Hall was originally the village school and was built in 1845. In the early 1930s, dwindling numbers did not justify the continuation of a school in the village, and the building became the village hall. This fell into disuse, and in 1977 it was sold for conversion into a private dwelling. The proceeds of the sale were used to set up the Alton Pancras Village Hall Charity under the supervision of John Waterman, father of the then owner of Barcombe Farm. Other residents in the village were invited to serve with John Waterman as Trustees.
After some years it was found that the governing instrument of the Alton Pancras Village Hall Charity was too restrictive and it was difficult to find causes on which the income from the charity could legally be spent. At a public meeting in January 1988 it was agreed that the Alton Pancras Village Hall Charity should be dissolved, and that the assets should be transferred to a new charity to be known as the Alton Pancras Trust.
The formation of The Alton Pancras Trust, with a revised constitution and wider objectives as set out below, was approved by the Charity Commissioners and registered on February 22, 1989. The formation of the new charity was supervised by Major Michael Dangerfield, through his solicitors, and The Reverend Derek Parry became Chairman of the Trust, with Major Dangerfield as Secretary.
In 1998 the Board of Trustees was reconstituted. Since that date, some Trustees have retired, and others have been elected; details of Trustees currently serving can be found under Trustees.