35 COMPTON, NETHER (D.a.)
(O.S. 6 in. V, S.E.)
Nether Compton is a small parish and village 2½ m.
W. of Sherborne. The church is the principal monument.
(1) Parish Church of St. Nicholas stands at the
S. end of the village. The walls are of ashlar-faced
rubble with freestone dressings; the roofs are tiled.
The Chancel, Nave and South Porch were built in the
13th century. The church was much altered in the
15th century when the North Chapel and West Tower
were added and the nave partly rebuilt. The church
was restored in 1885 when the N. Chapel was extended
E. to form an Organ Chamber and Vestry, an arch
opened in the N. wall of the chancel, the chancel-arch
rebuilt and the chancel refaced.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (18¾ ft. by
15 ft.) has a partly restored 15th-century E. window of
two trefoiled lights in a four-centred head; the cinque
foiled rear-arch may be of the 13th century. In the
N. wall is a modern arch; further E. is a partly restored
13th-century lancet-window. In the S. wall is a 15th-century window of two cinque-foiled lights in a square
head; the 15th-century doorway has chamfered jambs
and two-centred head. The chancel-arch is modern.
The North Chapel has a 15th-century W. bay and a
modern extension to the E. built partly of re-used
material, and incorporating 15th-century windows, a
buttress and a gargoyle. In the E. wall of the vestry
is a reset 15th-century window similar to that in the S.
wall of the chancel; the modern doorway in the W.
wall incorporates a mediæval stone forming one half
of the trefoiled rear-arch. In the N. wall of the chapel
are two 15th-century windows, the eastern reset and of
three cinque-foiled lights in a square head with moulded
reveals and label; the western window is of three
cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with moulded reveals and label with
returned stops. In the W. wall is a window similar
to the eastern window in the N. wall; on the W. wall
are two original pinnacles with pierced bases.
The Nave (43 ft. by 17 ft.) has, in the N. wall, a 15th-century arch, moulded and two-centred and springing
from moulded and shafted responds; the N. face of
the arch has been cut back; high in the wall, E. of the
arch, is the 15th-century upper doorway to the rood-loft, with steps in the thickness of the wall, moulded
jambs and a four-centred head; in the western part
of the wall are two partly restored 15th-century windows
similar to the N.E. window of the N. chapel; the N.
doorway, now blocked, has chamfered jambs and
square head. In the S. wall are three windows similar
to those in the N. wall, but the middle window is
modern; the 13th-century S. doorway has jambs and
two-centred arch of two chamfered orders with a
Nether Compton, Parish Church of St Nicholas
The West Tower (8 ft. square) is of the 15th century
and of three stages with a moulded plinth, embattled
parapet, angle-pinnacles and gargoyles and an embattled turret at the N.E. angle. The tower-arch has
moulded responds and is two-centred; the reveals
and soffit have two rows of trefoil-headed panels.
The W. window is of three cinque-foiled lights with
vertical tracery in a two-centred head with moulded
reveals and label; the W. doorway has moulded jambs
and segmental-pointed arch in a square head with
trefoiled spandrels and a moulded label with returned
stops. In the S. wall of the second stage is 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 moulded reveals and label.
The South Porch has a 13th-century outer archway,
two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer
continuous and the inner springing from corbel-shafts
with moulded capitals and fluted bases.
The Roof of the nave is of the 15th century and of
barrel-form with moulded ribs forming eight bays
each of four panels; there are bosses at the intersections
carved with the instruments of the Passion, the holy
initials, foliage, lion, human face, a double-headed
eagle and a monkey; the wall-plates are embattled
and brattished and have carved heads under alternate
ribs. The ground-stage of the tower has 15th-century
moulded beams and a carved boss in the middle.
Fittings—Bells: five; 1st and 3rd by Thomas Purdue,
1658; 2nd from the Salisbury foundry, 15th-century
and inscribed "Sit semper sine Ue qui Michi dicit
Ave"; 4th dated 1585. Consecration Crosses: On
chancel—(a) on external S. wall, W. of S. window;
on N. chapel—(b) on N. external wall, W. of N.E.
window, reset; on nave—(c) on external N. wall,
between N.E. window and doorway; (d) on E. splay
of N. doorway; (e and f) on E. jamb of S. doorway,
two crosses; (g) on E. splay of S. doorway; (h) on
E. splay of S.W. window; on W. face of tower—
(i) against N. buttress; all formy crosses in circles
except second on jamb of S. doorway, mediæval.
Doors: In turret-staircase of tower—with ribs planted
on and strap-hinges, probably 16th-century; to second
stage of tower, of battens with ledges, 17th-century.
Font: octagonal bowl with moulded under edge,
octagonal to square stem and chamfered base, 14th-century. Niche: In N. chapel—in N. wall, with
canopied head, 15th-century, modern front and restored
figure. Piscina: In chancel—modern but incorporating
old work. Plate: includes a cup of 1571 and a stand-paten of 1702. Pulpit: of oak, with two and a half
panelled sides, moulded and enriched cornice, upper
panels carved with arabesques and lower panels with
enriched arches, early 17th-century. Recess: In
chancel—in S. wall, rectangular recess. Screen (Plate
34): Under chancel-arch—of stone and of five bays,
including doorway, and finished with moulded cornice;
doorway with moulded jambs and four-centred head;
side bays with open upper panels, two bays on N. each of
two trefoiled ogee lights with tracery; bay next doorway
on S. with wide four-centred arch similar to doorway
and against wall a single light similar to those in N.
side-bays, late 15th-century. Seating: In nave—twenty
or more 17th-century pews made up with some modern
work. In chancel—bench made up with elaborately
traceried bench-end with fleur-de-lis poppy-head;
six panels with similar tracery incorporated in modern
stalls, early 16th-century. In tower—two 17th-century
coffin-stools with turned legs. Stoup: In S. porch
—in E. wall, recess with chamfered jambs and two-centred head, semi-circular projecting bowl, mediaeval.
Sundials: On jambs of entrance to S. porch—two
scratch-dials. Miscellanea: In nave—N. of chancel-arch, reset trefoiled head of panel, 15th-century. In
N. chapel—beast-corbel reset as roof-corbel. In
porch—over inner doorway, reset stone with dog-tooth and other ornament, 13th-century.
(2) Congregational Church stands on the S. side
of the parish, nearly 5/8 m. S.S.E. of the parish church.
The walls are of ashlar and the roofs are slated. It was
built in the 18th century and the N. vestry added later;
the interior was reconstructed in 1881. In the E. front
is a transomed window of two lights with square head
and moulded label; in the S. front are two doorways
with moulded four-centred heads and moulded labels
and two windows similar to that on the E. but of three
lights. A chamfered plinth is carried round the building. The E. and W. ends have hipped gables. In the
interior, N. side, there is a gallery with panelled front.
(3) Arches, rebuilt in the grounds of Compton
House S. of the village, are two in number. They
are of early 14th-century materials, but there seems to be
no evidence of their provenance. The more northerly
is on the E. edge of Home Coppice ¼ m. S. of the
church; it has double chamfered jambs and two-centred arch with a moulded label. The second archway stands on the parish boundary 260 yards S.W. of
the first; it is similar to that already described; set
in the wall W. of it is an early 15th-century window and
E. of the arch is a recess with a two-centred head.
(4) The Round House (Plate 125), a lodge 400 yards
E.N.E. of Compton House (Over Compton (2)) on
the parish boundary, with walls of roughly squared and
coursed stone and thatched roofs, was built early in
the 19th century. It is circular with a conical roof
and there is a thatched pent-roof over the ground floor
on rustic timber posts. The windows are of two
lights with stone mullions, transomed on the ground
floor, containing glazing with a Gothic design of interlacing bars; over the doorway is a round-headed niche.
(5) School and School-House stands 80 yards S.E.
of the church. The walls are of ashlar and the roofs are
tiled. It was built in 1848 in Gothic style. The School
windows have three lights with trefoil heads and square
labels over; the School-house windows have three
plain lights in square heads with moulded labels. The
walls are finished with an embattled parapet.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys;
the walls are of rubble and the roofs are thatched or
covered with modern materials. Some of the buildings
have exposed ceiling-beams and original fireplaces.
(6) Cottage, nearly opposite the church, retains two
original stone-mullioned windows with labels. A
panelled door in the upper S.E. room has an enriched
(7) House, on the W. side of the road, 90 yards N.W.
of the church, was built early in the 18th century. The
E. front is of roughly coursed dressed stone, the others
are of rubble. The windows retain original flush frames.
(8) Lower Dairy Farm, house on the E. side of the
road 230 yards N. of the church, has a tablet on the W.
wall with the initials and date A. 1661 R.R., W.R.,
(9) Griffin's Head Inn, 50 yards N. of (8), was built
probably in 1599, the date on a panel on the S. front.
(10) Buckler's Farm, house 100 yards N.E. of (9),
retains some original stone-mullioned windows in the
(11) Old Forge, house on the N. side of the road 540
yards S.E. of the church.
(12) Gateway, S.E. of (10), is of mid 18th-century date
and of ashlar with a round-headed arch flanked by
coupled Doric pilasters supporting an entablature and
(13) House, on the W. side of the road 380 yards E.S.E.
of (11), was repaired in 1664 as appears from a stone in
the E. gable with that date and the initials P.B. The
front retains its stone-mullioned windows, those of
the lower range with labels. A 17th-century addition
at the back has an ornamental apex-stone.
(14) House, nearly opposite (13), has been much
(15) Lynchets, on a N.W. slope about ½ m. N.E. of
the church. There are six terraces.
(16) Lynchets, in Home Copse 600 yards S. of the