Population: 1911, 296; 1921, 294; 1931, 288.
This parish was an isolated portion of the county of
Gloucester until about 1845, when it was transferred (fn. 1)
to Warwickshire, of which county it is the southernmost parish. It forms a long narrow strip from the Four
Shire Stone on the road from Moreton-in-the-Marsh
to Chipping Norton (part of the turnpike road from
Worcester to London), which road runs for over 3
miles south-eastwards just within the parish boundary.
It is hilly, varying between 400 ft. and over 600 ft., the
higher land commanding fine views.
In 1779 Rudder writes: (fn. 2) 'A considerable part of the
parish is uninclosed. There is a common about two
miles in length, and in some places above half a mile
broad, of very good land, and exceedingly improvable.'
In 1795 the parish was inclosed, under an Act obtained
in the previous year. (fn. 3)
A tribute to the amenities of the district may be seen
in the fact that in 1535 the parish was called Compton
'in the flowers (in Floribus)'. (fn. 4)
The houses and cottages in the scattered village are
mostly built of local ragstone and variously roofed with
thatch, stone tiles, pantiles, and slates. Few are of any
age and they have no architectural features except for
two or three 17th-century mullioned windows.
The Manor House stands west of the church and
faces south: it is of three stories and attics. The main
plan is half-H shaped, the middle block which contains
the hall, &c., being deeply recessed on the south front
between the wings: this plan dates from 1620 in its
form. Projecting northwards behind the east range is an
earlier wing dating from the early 16th century, and
north of the hall is a parallel wing containing the
entrance hall and main staircase added in 1927 when
the house was restored, apparently the south wall of
the hall-block entirely rebuilt, and the interior rearranged. There are traces of older walling incorporated in the west side and north end of the west
wing, perhaps even earlier than the north-east wing.
Alterations were made to the house late in the 17th
century. These are marked by several windows, some
now blocked or again altered. One window of this
period on the inside wall of the east wing, towards the
south courtyard, was partly destroyed when the south
wall of the middle hall-block was rebuilt, suggesting
that this block was narrower than it is now. Another
tall blocked window in the same wall, farther south, is
now crossed by the present first floor, showing that
there must then have been a difference in the floorlevels. The floor of the early-16th-century north-west
wing is several steps down from the main floor level of
the hall, &c., and this lower level may have been that
of the east range before the modern restorations. The
walls of the south gabled ends, the inner walls of
the wings towards the courtyard and the east side of the
east wing, are of coursed yellow Campden stone rubble
with angle dressings, presumably of 1620, the date that
is seen on several rain-water heads. The gable-heads are
coped and have ball finials; the modern south wall of
the middle block—of the same width as the wings—has a similar gable. The windows are of the normal
mullioned type, mostly renovated. The middle south
entrance has a moulded architrave and broken pediment with a cartouche of arms, presumably all modern,
but it has an ancient oak door of nine panels and a
carved semicircular top panel.
The west side of the west wing has earlier masonry.
The lower story of the south half of this elevation is of
rubble walling, including a buttress about midway in
the side and the lower part of a projecting chimneystack, which has large dressings to its north angle only.
At first-floor level of this stretch of wall is a moulded
string-course which is cut short at the south-west angle
and at the middle buttress. The upper part of the wall
and the north half of the elevation is more like the 1620
masonry and has a flush gabled dormer and a rainwater head with that date. In the gabled north end of
the wing the more ancient rubble is again seen, but the
windows are mainly of the late 17th century. One at
mezzanine height suggests that the staircase was formerly
in this wing. There are also two cellar doorways
with joggle-jointed lintels. The parallel entrance hall
and stair hall of 1927 has two of the 1620 mullioned
and labelled windows reset in its west wall, probably
from the north wall of the hall. The north-east wing,
of two stories, is of roughly coursed squared rubble but
more evenly set than that of the main west wall. Its
mullioned windows are restored and in its west wall is
a doorway with an iron-sheeted door. The north end
has a hipped roof and a 1620 rain-water head. There
are modern additions with the offices, &c., to the east
of this wing, but part of its east wall is exposed in the
east elevation of the house overlooking the churchyard.
Its masonry meets that of the 1620 south part of the
side with a vertical straight joint and it has an old threelight window with a transom to the ground floor: the
upper part has been repaired. The remainder of this
elevation has windows of various periods: one groundfloor window of two lights has ancient moulded jambs
and label, others are 18th-century windows with sash
frames, and others modern. In the head are two flushgabled dormers with ball finials. There is also a 1620
rain-water head. The roofs are covered with stone
tiles; the chimney-stacks have been rebuilt.
Internally the house has been much modernized,
but the lower story of the north-east wing—the former
kitchen, now the dining-room—retains its early-16thcentury ceiling with fine moulded beams and joists.
The 'Juxon Room' above it is lined with late-16thcentury moulded and mitred panelling including the
overmantel and it has some cocks' head hinges, some
genuine and some copies. The middle hall has some
early-17th-century panelling: its apparently 17thcentury chimney piece is modern. The room east of
the hall, lighted by the two sash windows, is also lined
with late-16th-century panelling with carved pilasters
The south entrance gateway to the grounds, by the
roadside, has 17th-century stone pillars with moulded
caps and ball finials: the ironwork is not ancient.
North-west of the house is a 17th-century square
dovecote of coursed rubble stone, with a gable-head
on each face and a central lantern, now cemented up.
It retains a few of the nesting boxes of stone. In
the upper part are mullioned windows, presumably
The manor and church of LITTLE
COMPTON apparently formed part of the
endowment of the Saxon Priory of Deerhurst; with it they were given by Edward the Confessor
to the abbey of St. Denis of Paris. (fn. 5) William the Conqueror confirmed the gift, (fn. 6) and in 1086 the estates of
St. Denis in Deerhurst Hundred included 12 hides in
Compton. (fn. 7) An extent of the possessions of Deerhurst
Priory made in the reign of Henry III shows that
the monks had 2 carucates of land worth 20s., other
land in villenage producing £4 10s., and rents, &c.,
worth 52s. (fn. 8) Deerhurst escaped confiscation when most
of the alien houses were suppressed in 1415 and was
made denizen in 1443, but was eventually, in 1467,
bestowed on Tewkesbury Abbey, of which it remained
a cell until the dissolution of the abbey. (fn. 9) In 1546 the
manor was granted to Sir Thomas Pope, (fn. 10) subsequently
founder of Trinity College, Oxford. He had married,
as his second wife, Margaret widow of Sir Ralph
Dodmer, Lord Mayor of London, (fn. 11) and on his death
without issue in 1559 left the manor to (? his stepson)
John Dodmer, who died seised thereof in 1571, leaving
a daughter Elizabeth, then not quite 6 years old. (fn. 12)
Elizabeth married Sir Robert Cotton of Landwade,
Cambs., (fn. 13) and they and their son Sir Dodmer Cotton
were dealing with the manor in 1627. (fn. 14) Apparently by
1636 the manor had come to four coheiresses, as in that
year John Hartley and Elizabeth his wife conveyed
¼ of it to Charles Cock, (fn. 15) and Josiah Lamborne and
Alice his wife conveyed another ¼ to John Doyley. (fn. 16)
In 1641 Cock, Doyley, Lamborne and his wife, with
Richard Pope and Lucy his wife and Susan Oldfield,
widow, combined to convey
the manor to Thomas Juxon. (fn. 17)
Shortly after this it was in the
hands of William Juxon, Bishop
of London and afterwards
Archbishop of Canterbury, who
resided here during the Commonwealth period. (fn. 18) He left it to his
nephew Sir William Juxon, on
the death of whose son Sir William
without issue it remained with
his widow, Susanne daughter of
John Marriott. She married
Charles, Viscount Fane, and survived until 1792, (fn. 19)
when the Juxon estates passed to Sir Robert Haskett as
great-grandson of the first Sir William Juxon. (fn. 20) He
sold the manor in 1793 to Michael Corgan, from whom
it passed in 1815 to Sir John Shelley, who two years
later sold to William Harbridge. His son James
Harbridge married Clara daughter of Robert Yelf and
died in 1899, leaving the property to Leonard Lane
Yelf; (fn. 21) the manorial rights, however, were held in
1900 and 1936 by Mrs. Whitmore-Jones. (fn. 22)
Juxon. Or a cross gules between four blackamoors' heads with wreaths or.
The parish church of ST. DENIS consists of a chancel with a north vestry and
organ-chamber, long and narrow nave,
short south aisle of two bays, tower south of the middle
of the nave and west of the aisle, and a south porch west
of the tower, all of local Cotswold stone.
The tower dates from the 14th century. The
remainder of the church was rebuilt in 1863–4, when
it was lengthened 30 ft. to both east and west and
widened a little to the north. The old nave showed
traces of Norman work, with many later alterations;
the chancel arch was 'of horse-shoe shape with Norman
semi-columns of poor design'; the chancel was apparently of the 14th century. The windows on the south
side were re-used at the rebuilding. (fn. 23)
The chancel (24½ ft. by 15½ ft.) has a modern east
window of three lights and tracery with shafted splays
of 13th-century type. The north wall has a modern
archway to the organ-chamber. In the south wall are
three windows with re-used material: the easternmost,
a small trefoiled light, has a moulded 13th-century
rear-arch. The second, a trefoiled light, has 13thcentury splays with a filleted and deeply undercut
edge-roll which is continued in a trefoiled rear-arch,
all of hard white stone: some of the outer masonry may
also be old, retooled. The western window is a similar
light of which the head is ancient, also the splays, that
differ from the others in having attached shafts with
moulded capitals but have a similar trefoiled rear-arch.
The chancel arch is modern.
The nave (69½ ft. by 22 ft.) has a modern north wall
with three windows of two lights and tracery, a westernmost of one light, and a doorway west of that. In the
west wall are twin windows, each of two trefoiled
lights and tracery, all under a main two-centred head
in which is a small bullseye light.
In the east half of the south wall is a modern two-bay
arcade to the aisle, which is lighted by an east and two
south windows with tracery in four-centred heads.
West of the arcade is a 14th-century archway to the
tower with square responds having bevelled edges and
a distorted pointed head of three chamfered orders: its
west reveal is flush with the west tower-wall.
The pointed south doorway next west is modern, but
farther west is a reset 14th-century window of two
trefoiled ogee-headed lights and a quatrefoil in a twocentred head.
All the roofs are modern.
The 14th-century tower (about 10½ ft. square inside) is built of yellow rubble in small courses and is
of three stages divided by splayed string-courses and
having a chamfered plinth. At the south angles are
later diagonal buttresses of a harder grey ashlar. The
top of the tower is gabled on the north and south sides
and has a plain coping.
The lowest stage originally served as a small chapel.
In the east wall is a 7¼-ft. recess, for the former altar,
with chamfered jambs and a two-centred head. Above
it is a window of two plain square-headed lights (seen
in the aisle), now boarded up, and with a segmentalpointed chamfered rear-arch. The window in the south
wall is of two plain elliptical-headed lights set back
outside in a segmental-pointed chamfered outer order.
East of it inside is a tiny pointed piscina with remains of
the basin. At the south end of the west wall is a modern
doorway. On this wall, against the nave, is a bit of the
sloping weather-course of the former nave-roof that
extended about 2 ft. south of the present nave wall face
and was lower than the existing eaves. The second
stage, slightly diminished in width, and the top stage
have plain rectangular narrow lights in all the outer
walls. On the west face of the second stage is a shallow
buttress or wide pilaster over the present nave wall: it
stops at the top a yard short of the upper string-course.
About a yard below the east and west eaves are the
remains of another string-course to the north of the
bell-chamber windows, for which the string-courses
are cut short, so that presumably the windows are later
than the original arrangement.
The round font, probably 13th century, is a peculiarly dumpy one, 29 in. high and 34 in. diameter. The
20-in. bowl has a moulded lower edge and is set on a
3-in. stem and 6-in. moulded base.
In the middle of the nave are some old grave-slabs:
(1) to Thomas Juxon, 1643; (2) his daughter Elizabeth,
wife of Robert Pory, 1652, aged 30; (3) Sir William
Juxon, 3 February 1739(40), in his 79th year; (4)
John Jones, 10 February 1755, aged 57.
In the south-east window of the chancel are reset
some fragments of 16th- and 17th-century coloured
glass brought from a church at Villers that was destroyed
by the Germans in 1918. In the modern glass in the
south aisle is represented the execution of King
Charles I with Bishop Juxon attending him.
There are five bells by Rudhall, dated 1720 (one
re-cast 1810). (fn. 24)
The registers date from 1588, the earliest book
being small, of badly gnawed and worn parchment.
The second is from 1657 to 1762.
The advowson was given with the
manor (see above) to Deerhurst Priory.
After the dissolution of Tewkesbury
Abbey it was retained by the Crown until 1546, when
it was granted to Henry VIII's college of Christ
Church, Oxford, (fn. 25) which still owns it. The church was
valued at £7 13s. 4d. in 1291, (fn. 26) and in 1535 the rectory
was farmed for £8; (fn. 27) there was no vicarage, the benefice being a perpetual curacy.