In 1931, Hilton's mother Louisa purchased a cottage in Dorset, in the village of Litton Cheney near Dorchester, where the family visited over the summers. Hilton certainly painted here during the 1930s, with his Baglake Farm, 1934, exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery in March 1974. At this time he was studying at the Slade, London, and his palette was full of soft greens and yellows, and earthy browns. The landscape of Dorset and Devon had a profound influence upon him, both in his early landscapes and through to his crucial move to abstraction after the war. The colours and tones of this early environment remained a constant feature of his work throughout his career.