Compton Street

Aspects of the history of Compton in Surrey

Images of Compton

Images are one of the most immediate windows onto the past, be it a 1930s Box Brownie snapshot, a mid nineteenth century daguerreotype or an artist's interpretation of a village scene. Photographs, particularly, can show us the faces of Compton's past inhabitants, as well as giving clues about their work or their status within the village society.

There are many old pictures of Compton that are very familiar but here are a few that aren't quite so well known. We will add to them if we find something new, unique or unusual.

Brook Cottages
This picture of Brook Cottages in New Pond Road was painted around 1930 by Leslie Gilbert. Philip's mother lived in one of the middle block of cottages from 1924 until 1945. She recalled that the road was a sandy track before the Second World War and, with so little passing by, it was safe to play in the road. It was widened in the early 1940s to accommodate wartime traffic. The smaller picture, taken in the 1920s, shows his grandmother, Dorothy Batchelor, standing outside the left-land cottage.

Compton Street in 1830 painted by Edward Hassell.
Another view of the road through Compton, minus the cars and juggernauts. This view of the village street looking eastwards was painted by John Hassell in 1830 and the view is still recognisable even though some of the buildings have changed or disappeared. Mission Cottage is clearly recognisable to the left of the picture. The image is reproduced by permission of John Thorp.

Oakcroft by Sally Gorton c.2000
This cottage, which is in Compton Street, was known as Groves in the records of the manor of Compton Westbury.

Field Place by Sally Gorton, 2010
Sally painted this picture as a part of our commission to research the history of Field Place.

Two undated photographs of the Withies.

Ellis's shop.
Mr & Mrs Ellis were running this general grocery shop when Philip moved to Compton in 1961. He remembers that they closed the shop in 1971 because they didn't want to be bothered by the change to decimal currency. It became an antique shop ran by Mr Hancock and Mr & Mrs Ellis continued to live in the cottage next door.

Cypress Farm, The Street, in 1911.

1911 and now: a house, now long demolished, in The Avenue at Binscombe. The back of the house was the subject of a popular Edwardian postcard.

Brook House by Sally Gorton, 1992.
Brook House was Philip's first foray into the world of house history research and Sally's illustration graced the title page.

A Compton birdbath by Sally Gorton.
A charming example of Compton Pottery work.

View from church spire
When the church spire was re-shingled in 2004, it presented Philip with a once-in-a-century opportunity to photograph the views from the top.

© Philip & Sally Gorton 2022