History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Little Compton House, now the Reed Business School
Little Compton is a pretty village at the southern tip of Warwickshire, just east of Moreton-in-Marsh. The village is centred on Little Compton Manor, a superb Grade II* listed manor house dating to the Elizabethan period. The house was remodelled around 1620. It was once the home of William Juxon, Archbishop of Canterbury (1582-1663).
Juxon was not a native of Little Compton; he was born in Sussex and educated at St John's College in Oxford. He was a close friend of William Laud and followed Laud both as President of the College and later, as Bishop of London. He served under Charles I as Lord High Treasurer of England and First Lord of the Admiralty and was asked by the king to stand beside him on the scaffold and read him the last rites when Charles was executed in 1649.
By that time Parliament had deposed Juxon as Bishop of London, so he retired to Little Compton (then part of Gloucestershire but now in Warwickshire) where he bought the manor estate and ran a pack of hunting hounds. He was called back to office on the Restoration of the Monarchy and attended the king's coronation.
Juxon's former home now serves as the Reed Business School and is not normally open to thew public. You can, however, get excellent views of the house from the ornate gates on Oakham Road. Visitors are also invited to walk in the business school grounds on the south side of the road, opposite the gates.
St Denys Church
This delightful church stands immediately beside the manor house. And when I say 'immediately beside', I really mean 'immediately beside'; you could reach from one of the manor house windows and touch the church wall, the two buildings are so close. The church dates to the 12th century and features a striking saddleback tower, added in the 14th century.
Most of the interior furnishings date to a restoration by the architect EG Bruton in 1863-4, but the church retains its 13th-century font and there are fragments of 16th-century glass in the south-east chancel window. Set into the nave floor is a pair of 17th-century grave slabs.
There are 19 listed buildings in Little Compton, and all except the church and manor house are listed as Grade II.
Within the parish is the Four Shire Stone, an 18th-century column at the former meeting place of Oxfordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, and Gloucestershire. The county boundaries have been redrawn and today only three counties meet at the stone.
Less than a mile to the south-west of Little Compton is Chastleton, where the National Trust preserves historic Chastleton House, one of England's finest Jacobean houses, built around 1610. The Chastleton estate was once owned by Robert Catesby, one of the Gunpowder Plotters, and the house features an excellent example of a 17th-century long gallery. It was at Chastleton that the rules of croquet were first codified.
Two miles to the east is the Rollright Stones, a complex of ancient sites that include one of England's most famous stone circles, a solitary standing stone, and the remains of a cromlech known as The Whispering Knights.
Little Compton is located just off the A44 south three miles east of Moreton-in-Marsh.
About Little Compton
Address: Little Compton, Cotswolds, Warwickshire, England, GL56 0RZ
Attraction Type: Village
Location: Three miles east of Moreton-in-Marsh, off the A44.
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
Chastleton House - 1.2 miles (Historic House)
Long Compton, St Peter and St Paul - 1.2 miles (Historic Church)
Barton-on-the-Heath, St Lawrence Church - 1.4 miles (Historic Church)
Little Rollright, St Philip - 1.9 miles (Historic Church)
Salford, St Mary's Church - 2.1 miles (Historic Church)
Rollright Stones - 2.2 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Four Shire Stone - 2.2 miles (Historic Building)
Great Wolford, St Michael's Church - 2.7 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Holiday Cottages to Little Compton: