Village Archive

Compton Abbas over time


A great man once said, “History is not a burden but an illumination of the soul”.

The history of Compton Abbas begins in the Bronze Age and it is still possible to experience that time by merely walking on Compton and Clubmen’s Downs. More recently we have the benefit of the census records and for the last 200 years we have had photographs. The census records tell us that in 1851 the population of the village was 465 living in 92 homes growing to a peak of 482 in 1871 in 93 homes. From this maximum the population and number of homes has steadily fallen to its current total of 216 living in 86 homes in 2011. Much of this change would have been due to the mechanisation of the farms meaning fewer workers were required. Accordingly, the need for other crafts reduced over time. The village blacksmith ended in 1948 and the shop and Post Office closed in 1990 and 1991, respectively.

We have gathered together a collection of photographs and documents to enable you to see the former residents who lived in the homes that remain to this day, they played when they had time and celebrated when they had cause. This collection would not have been possible without the loan of the originals by generous residents to whom we owe our thanks. This archive now means these images can never be lost.