Three miles south-west of Guildford in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty lies the village of Compton. Earlier forms of the name indicate a farmstead (‘tun’) in a hollow between hills (‘cwm’) and suggest it was the site of early occupation. By Saxon times settlement had moved south to the lower, more open land around what is now Compton Common, and parts of the church of St. Nicholas date from the 11th century and are probably Saxon. The church has a chancel in two tiers, a vaulted chamber below and a separate chapel above, open to the chancel and separated from it by a late 12th century guard rail. This two-tier arrangement is extremely rare and may be unique in Europe.
Click here to see the catalogue of the St Nicholas, Compton Parish Records (1552 -1975) held at the Surrey History Centre.
Compton is also associated with the Victorian painter G F Watts (1817-1904), whose work is immortalised in the highly individual terracotta memorials and the cemetery chapel to the north-east of the village, designed by his wife Mary.
Buildings in the village street are of a variety of ages, styles and construction with a unity given by the consistency of brick, stone and clay tiles that have been used.Edward Hassell painted a watercolour showing the interior of Compton church in the 1820s. Click here to find out more.