An introduction from Philip and Sally Gorton:
After decades of researching the history of Compton, the time has come to publish some of the results and this is the quickest, easiest and most flexible way of doing it. The content reflects our interests in the landscape, the houses within it and the people who lived in them. It is based on both documentary research and field work.
A great deal of the evidence comes from documentary sources; maps and pictures show us what a place looked like whilst records of ownership and occupation tell us who lived there. Parish registers and other genealogical sources tell us something about their lives. History is, after all, about people.
As well as the documents, we mustn't forget the physical evidence found through fieldwork in the countryside and amongst the buildings. Whether it be an ancient field boundary hidden in a more recent woodland, a medieval house platform or, in a house, the finding of some seventeenth century witch marks or medieval sooted timbers in the roof, what we see around us is as much a part of the evidence of past lives as are documents preserved in the record office. However, we will never have a complete picture and our knowledge of people and their motives will always be seen “through a glass, darkly”.
For many years, we have been taking commissions to investigate and write the history of houses. This work takes up much of our researching time but, now and again, there is the opportunity to do something for ourselves and some of this website will be devoted to that work.
A good part of our days are spent in the Surrey History Centre whose dedicated and expert staff devote their working lives to preserving and making accessible the evidence of our past. Our other favourite place is the Godalming Museum Library, which has a very useful collection of original documents and other sources for Godalming and the surrounding villages. However, an increasing amount of other material is also becoming available online, mostly through family history websites such as Ancestry and Find my Past.
This is not intended to be a static website and pieces will be added to it now and again. There are some more landscape and houses history items to post and we are currently uncovering the stories of some of the people who have memorials at the church. They will be posted on the site as each one is completed and other things will be added, as and when we have time.
If you would like to contact us about any aspects of this work, or if you have any photos, documents, etc. that you would like to share with us, please send an email.
Illustrations used on various parts of this site are produced by permission of the More-Molyneux family and Surrey History Centre.