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16-Jun-2017 21:15

This place had three royal charters from Saxon Kings, granting land to the Church in Sherborne.

In the Domesday Book, Compton was a prosperous agricultural community, although it is not clear as to where this settlement was.

The Comptons had a reputation as being strongly Protestant and then as a focus for Non-Conformists and there was an Independent chapel near the Half Way House, on the Yeovil Road. More recently, the Goodden family had found it difficult to maintain their estate.

A Butterfly Farm was established near to Compton House but this proved not to be viable.

In 1736, the Goodden family acquired the manor of Over Compton and this family has had a major influence over the affairs of both parishes, as landowners and by their control of appointments to the two churches. Michael’s and, together with two specimen trees and a sweeping drive, makes an attractive setting. Michael’s has a series of memorials to the Goodden family, including a life-like statue of Robert Goodden in the “Goodden family pew” –which is a large side chapel, off the nave.

The church also has “hatchments”, painted coats of arms which, on the death of a family member, were displayed during the mourning period. Nicholas’ church in Nether Compton is larger, with the nave, chancel and porch dating from the 13th century and an attractive carved stone screen.

The village school was set up in 1847, close to the church.

Perhaps the nearby malthouse functioned like the one in Hardy’s “Far From the Madding Crowd”.

The village of Wool is today spread out and is made up of a pleasant mix of old and modern properties.

The small village consists of old thatched cottages and its village pub, the Weld Arms.

The village is now dominated by the barracks of the Royal Armoured Corps Gunnery School who use a portion of the Purbeck Hills as a gunnery range.

The village of Wool stands near the south bank of the River Frome and is a mile and a half northwest of Coombe Keynes.

It is generally agreed that Wool derives its ancient name of Welle from the springs that abound there.Holy Rood church sits conveniently in gently rising ground in what is now the south part of Wool, although there is a tradition among villagers that the church originally formed the central point in the village.

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