Compton Street

Aspects of the history of Compton in Surrey

Landscapes of Compton

The landscape that we see around us is not natural and almost every part of these islands above the high water mark has been greatly influenced by human activities over tens of thousands of years.

These are articles about the development of parts of the Compton landscape and how it came to be the way it is.

Compton Common (pdf).
In the 1960s, the common was mostly open grassland and Mr Jackson of Poplar Cottage kept cattle on it. Since grazing ceased over fifty years ago, the land has reverted to woodland.

Compton's parklands (pdf).
The land between the Street and the wooded ridge to the south of the village is now landscaped parkland. It was not always so.

The enclosure of the Pease Marsh (pdf).
Until the early nineteenth century, the bottom of the valley stretching from Compton to the Old Portsmouth Road was common land. It was enclosed following an Act of Parliament of 1803 which created the landscape that we see today.

The allotment gardens (pdf).
The decades following the Napoleonic wars, after 1815, was a time of great hardship for working people. The allotments were created in the early 1830s in an effort to alleviate the plight of Compton's poor.

Ancient woodlands (pdf).
Ancient woodlands have been a part of Compton's landscape for hundreds of years. Once managed to produce regular crops of underwood and timber, the economics of the modern world have rendered them largely redundant. However, they still show evidence of man's activities and they are an important ecological resource.

Compton churchyard (pdf).
Like many churches, the churchyard of St Nicholas church in Compton is an unspoilt piece of ancient grassland that has been uncultivated for many centuries, in this case since before the Norman Conquest of 1066. Consequently, there is a wide diversity of plant life to be found there and a new management plan has recently been adopted to protect and conserve it.

Slideshow of the churchyard flowers in the spring.

© Philip & Sally Gorton 2022