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Compton Abbas, Dorset

Historical Description

Compton-Abbas, a parish in Dorsetshire, 2½ miles S by E of Shaftesbury, and 5½ S of Semley station on the L. & S.W.R. It includes Twyford hamlet, and its post town is Shaftesbury, under Salisbury; money order office, Fontmell Magna, Acreage, 1491; population, 299. The manor belonged to Shaftesbury Abbey. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Salisbury; net value, £170. The church is good. There is a Wesleyan chapel.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyDorsetshire 
DioceseBristol1542 - 1836
DioceseSalisbury1836 -
Ecclesiastical parishCompton-Abbas St. Mary 
HundredSixpenny Handley 
Poor Law unionShaftesbury1836 -
Registration districtShaftesbury 
Registration sub-districtFontmell 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The parish register of baptisms, marriages and burials begins in 1640. The original register books are now deposited with the Dorset Archives Service, but have been digitised by and made available on their site (subscription required).


Church of England

St. Mary (parish church)

The parish church of St. Mary, built and opened in 1867, is of stone, and consists of apsidal chancel, nave, north aisle, south porch and a tower, with spire, containing 5 bells: the nave is divided from the aisle by two fine arches springing from cylindrical piers, and is seated with open benches : in the chancel is a brass tablet to the Rev. William S. Hadley M.A. who, as curate and rector, ministered to the parishioners of Compton Abbas for thirty-five years : there is also a silver cross mounted on ebony to Canon Hook Dyke, rector 1871 to 1895: there are 250 sittings.

St. Mary, Compton Abbas St. Mary, Compton Abbas

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Compton Abbas was in Shaftesbury Registration District from 1837 to 1937 and Sturminster Registration District from 1937 to 1974

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Compton Abbas from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Dorset is available to browse.


Online maps of Compton Abbas are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the Dorset County Chronicle and the Sherborne Mercury online.

Villages, Hamlets, &c


Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Dorset, 1623 is available on the Heraldry page.

DistrictNorth Dorset
RegionSouth West
Postal districtSP7
Post TownShaftesbury