the Village of Verwood.
Verwood or Fairewood is recorded in 1841 as :-
"a hamlet or
tything of Upwimborne hundred, four miles east of
It consisted of two small
manors and was under the Priory of Cranborne. The old family
Bosco or BeauBois held this estate and manor in the
fourteenth century and it is presumed that the village was
named after this family, as translated it means fair wood.
This name has had many variations during the centuries:-
The Feet of fines
, record 1329 to 1436 reads "Fairwood".
The Feet of fines
record 1436 reads "Fayrwood".
The Feudal Aids record of
1284--1431 reads "Fairewode".
1805-1823 records in 1416 "Le
William Camden's map of
Dorsetshire 1607 reads as "Wrtwood". Kelly', map of Dorsetshire 1610 reads as "Wierwood". Even today many older inhabitants
pronounce Verwood as Ver'ood or Ver'ud.
By a charter at Fairwoode on
December 8th 1377:-
"Williain dc Bello
Bosco granted to Walter Vicar of Cranborne, John Kcnne and
John Boghler and their kin, all the lands, tenements,
meadows, woodland, heath, marsh, pasture, rents and
services which lie then had in Lcstcsford,
Other charters must have been
made as Huchins records that 'William Filial of Woodlands
held at his death in 1417 the manor of Lestesford - juxta - Fairewoode.
In 1739 the manor called
Cray's Farm belonged to Jeremiah Cray of Ibsley, and the
manor called Pottcrne, previously Wimborne
Potterne, to the widow of
General Sir George Bingham K.C.B., Sarah Cray. Both these manors
became the property of William Fryer esq. Fairewoode had
a Chapel of Ease situated in the grounds of Cray's Farm but
it was in ruins by 1666. This property was called Chapel
Close and remains could be seen in 1841, but today nothing
remains, not even the name Chapel Close.
At the end of the nineteenth
century the villagers were able to rent land from the
landowners on a life-hold basis, that is, the property was
taken out on any three people in the village and when those
three people died, the land passed back to the owner of
"fell into hands". A little ground rent was paid
but not on a weekly basis, in one case it was one pound a
year. The only
conditions seem to have been that the property had to be
maintained in proper order, although the landowner or
"squire" had never actually built the house
The villagers built their cottages
from local mud or cob which was dug from adjoining land or
from a suitable patch on the common.
The car park (see
Picture) which was for many years was in the centre of the
village was once a large mud pit of this kind called Ferrett's Green.
This car park which was in front of the current Heritage
Centre was re-sited behind the Centre in 2002 and the
original car park returned to a garden area retaining its
original name of "Ferrett's Green". The picture
below shows the new Ferrett's Green with the Verwood
Heathland Heritage Centre in the Background.
Much of the principal landowners'
estates has now been sold although a little of each remains
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