Compton Abbas: St Mary the Virgin

Our church building is loved by our visitors and is especially well cared-for by our members. It was consecrated on 11th February 1868, by the Bishop of Salisbury. Its story began long before that. We hope you will enjoy a visit sometime.

There has been a church in Compton Abbas since Saxon times, when this village belonged to the Abbess of Shaftesbury. Originally, the church was in East Compton, at one end of the parish. By the mid 19th century, however, the old thatched church was in very bad repair. It was decided to replace it with a new building in a more central position, on the newly opened turnpike road – now the A350.

There is a picture of the old church in the porch. Its tower still stands in the old churchyard and can be found by turning right out of the car park and then, almost immediately, right again down Chapel Hill. It is about a quarter of a mile down the road, on the left hand side.

A considerable amount of stone from the old church was used in building the new one. The rest came from the quarry at Whitehall, on the main Shaftesbury road. The local landowner, Sir Richard Glyn, gave the land for the new church and £1,200 towards the total building cost of £2,430.

While the new church was being built, services were held in the village school and a temporary wooden bell tower was constructed ‘in order that the villagers should not be without their church bells.’

Get in touch

Shaftesbury Team Office

5 Gold Hill

Our website

What's on

Parish Communion

Monthly. Every Third Sunday at for 1 hour
Compton Abbas: St Mary the Virgin
Main Road Compton Abbas, SP7 0NL, United Kingdom

Service of Holy Communion using Common Worship


St Mary the Virgin is committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults from harm. We follow the House of Bishops guidance and policies and have our own Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO). Our Diocese of Salisbury’s safeguarding pages contain vital links and information including contacts for the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor who advises our PSO. If you are concerned that a child or adult has been harmed or may be at risk of harm please contact the PSO or the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor - Jem Carter. Jem works closely with the police, local authorities, and other bodies, undertaking safeguarding casework on behalf of the Diocese and Salisbury Cathedral. Jem provides advice and support to the Bishop, clergy, lay staff, and parishes. Email [email protected]. But if you have immediate concerns about the safety of someone, please contact the police and your local authority’s children or adult social care services."