36 COMPTON, OVER (D.a.)
(O.S. 6 in. V, S.E.)
Over Compton is a small parish 3 m. W. of Sherborne. The church is the principal monument.
(1) Parish Church of St. Michael stands in
Compton Park to the E. of the parish. The walls are of
local rubble, partly ashlar-faced and the dressings are of
the same materials; the roofs are covered with stone
slates. The Nave is of uncertain date the earliest details
being the 15th-century windows. The West Tower was
added in the first half of the 15th century. The North
Chapel or Goodden Pew was added by Robert Goodden
in 1776; he restored and largely rebuilt the church in
1821–2, the North Vestry was added and the Baptistery,
perhaps formerly a porch, was built or rebuilt at this
time. The Chancel was again restored in 1877.
In the N. chapel is a monument with a standing
figure in marble of Robert Goodden, erected in 1825,
which is an outstanding piece of portrait-sculpture.
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel is modern,
but the doorway to the N. vestry, with moulded jambs
and two-centred head, incorporates old material; the
reset E. window of the vestry is of the 15th century
and of three trefoiled ogee lights in a square head with
moulded reveals and label.
The Nave (46¼ ft. by 16¼ ft.) has an early 19th-century
arch to the N. chapel; flanking it are two 15th-century
windows each of three cinque-foiled lights in a square
head with a label and returned stops. In the S. wall
are two similar windows, but the eastern has head-stops; between the windows is an early 19th-century
The West Tower (8¾ ft. square) is of early 15th-century
date and of three stages with an embattled parapet,
pinnacles and gargoyles. The tower-arch is two-centred with shafted responds and panelled reveals
and soffit; it appears to have been largely restored.
The W. window is of three cinque-foiled ogee lights
with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with
moulded reveals and label; the W. doorway has
moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head
with a label and head-stops of a king and bishop.
The second stage has, in the S. wall, a square-headed
window. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window
of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a label.
Fittings—Bells: four; 1st dated 1618; 2nd unhung
and cracked, 17th-century, uninscribed; 3rd from the
Salisbury foundry, early 16th-century and inscribed
"Intersede pia pro nobis Virgo"; 4th dated 1596.
Communion Table: In N. chapel—with turned legs
and enriched top rails, 17th-century. Door: In bell-chamber—of double battens with strap-hinges, probably 17th-century. Font: octagonal bowl with
quatre-foiled panels enclosing shields, crosses or a rose,
probably 17th-century; splayed under-side with trefoil-headed panels and stem with similar panels, 15th-century; initials and date N.B., C.W. 1620 on rim.
Hatchments: five; in N. chapel, one, Goodden impaling Harbin; in nave, four, (a) Goodden impaling
Harbin, (b) Bishop and Goodden quarterly, (c) Goodden
and Bishop quarterly, (d) Goodden and Culliford
quarterly with a quartered scutcheon of Jeanes, 18th or
early 19th century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—(1) to Charles Abington, 1726, and
Isabella (Compton) his wife, 1720, wall-monument
(Plate 21) carved with gilded drapery and achievement-of-arms, supported on gadroon corbel. In N. chapel—
(2) to Wyndham Goodden, youngest son of Robert
and Abigail Goodden, 1839, and Mary, his wife, 1844,
erected by his eldest son John, white marble wall-monument in the form of a classical sarcophagus with
two shields-of-arms; (3) to Robert Goodden, 1828
(Frontispiece), white marble standing figure of an elderly
man with a stick, on a pedestal, in recess, dated 1825,
possibly by Flaxman or John Bacon the younger; (4) to
John Harbin Goodden, eldest son of Robert and
Abigail Goodden, 1766, Elizabeth, 1768, and Anne, his
sisters, white marble pyramidal wall-monument (Plate
110); (5) to Robert Goodden, 1764, and Abigail, his
wife, erected by their son Robert in 1777, black and
white marble wall-monument (Plate 110) with curved
pediment and urn, foliage decoration with C-scrolls,
tablet of arms and shaped apron. In S. chapel—(6) to
Onesiphorus Bicknell, 1805, and Susanna Bicknell, his
wife, 1821, erected by his master, Robert Goodden,
slate wall-monument. In nave—(7) to Mary, second
daughter of Robert and Abigail Goodden, 1812, and
Rev. John Culliford Goodden, third son, 1813, wall-monument with the figure of a weeping woman carved
in high relief. In churchyard—S. of church, (8) table-tomb, late 16th or early 17th-century; (9) to James
Hann, sen., 1701, headstone; (10) to Elizabeth,
daughter of Thomas Whillyar, 1712–3, headstone;
(11) to Ann, daughter of Thomas Wheeler, 1707, head-stone. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to Margaret, wife of
W. Somers, 17th-century; (2) to Mary Abington, 1599;
(3) to George Keate, J.P., 1698, with achievement-of
arms; (4) to Barbara, wife of George Abington, 1688,
with circular panel of arms. Painting: In second stage
of tower—section of plaster in modern frame with
remains of painted name Jehovah in Hebrew, with
rays, 18th-century, removed from chancel in 1821.
Plate: includes a cup of 1571, two cups and a paten all
of silver-gilt of 1752 and a flagon and an alms-dish of
1822. Pulpit: hexagonal with moulded framing and
enriched cornice, sides each with two panels, upper
carved with arabesques and lower with enriched arch,
17th-century; reader's pew incorporating 17th-century
carved panels and rail. Weather-vanes: On four pinnacles of tower—as many wrought-iron scrolled standards with small copper cocks, probably 18th-century.
(2) Compton House (Compton Hawy), just S. of the
church, was badly damaged by fire in 1827 and was
largely rebuilt about the middle of the 19th century.
It has a number of outbuildings of 18th and early 19th-century date. All are built of squared and coursed
stone or ashlar and the roofs are covered with slates or
tiles. The Stables form three sides of a square; the
coach-house in the middle of the E. range has a pair
of semicircular-headed doorways in a projecting pedimented bay containing a lunette-window in the tympanum. The other windows are of two lights with
stone mullions, those on the ground floor with segmental heads and transoms. The Granary and waggon-house is of very similar design. The Barn has segmental-headed openings and tall rectangular loops. The
Dovecot is circular with a conical roof and with a
number of dressed stone oval openings in the walls.
The Walled Garden has a substantial N. wall with heavy
weathered buttresses. In the grounds is a Pinnacle of
stone with a twisted shaft and moulded capital supporting a seated lion holding a shield with the initials J.H.
for John Horsey. It came from the demolished portion
of Clifton Maybank and dates from the first half of the
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys;
the walls are of rubble and the roofs are covered with
thatch or modern slates. Some of the buildings have
(3) Home Farm, house 380 yards W. of the church,
retains two three-light stone windows to the ground
floor and some windows with solid wooden frames to
the first floor; the doorway has a four-centred head.
(4) Cottage, two tenements immediately W. of (3),
retains some original stone-mullioned windows, those
of the lower range with labels; the doorway has a
(5) House, on the N. side of the road 670 yards W.
of the church, retains its original stone-mullioned
windows in front, the lower ones with labels.
(6) Barn, on the W. side of the road, 30 yards N.W. of
(5), is built of ashlar and the roofs are tiled. In the E.
gable are the initials and date R.G. 1787.
(7) Lower Farm, house 180 yards N.N.W. of (5),
retains windows similar to those of (5). On the S.E.
gable is a stone with the initials and date P. and E.A.
1665. The Barn, N. of the house, has stone walls and
tiled roofs and is initialed and dated P.G. 1804.