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Which is situated on the edge of Cranborne Chase.

Author & (c) :- Pamela Reeks 
(Written in 1968 - with updates ).


Verwood did not. become a Civic Parish until 1894 when the Local Government Board transferred it from Cranborne, one of the largest parishes in Dorset.   Any earlier history, therefore, can only be found under 'Cranborne Chase'.   This was connected with the New Forest and extended to Salisbury, Wilton, Tisbury, Kingsettle, Blandford, Wimborne Minster, Ringwood and Fordingbridge.   Cranborne Chase belonged to the Crown from 1199, when King John hunted there, to 1603.   In that year it was given to the Earl of Pembroke and was handed down to lord Rivers.

Enquiries were hampered by a succession of fires in Blandford which destroyed all records of the area.   There were two large fires in 1579. and 1731, and two lesser fires in 1676 and 1713.   I understand that children orphaned by these fires, and who could not be identified, were given the surname Blandford. 

It was felt that Verwood must have some history and from the small snippets heard from village folk the search began.

There is still much to find out; Mr Lavender Curator of the Red House Museum, Christchurch said in 1968, "There is still a lot to find out about the potteries.". There is a distinct possibility that excavated pot shards may throw more light on when the potteries began, and on the types of glazes used on the pots.

It is surprising to find that so many crafts are being kept alive today. In 1968 the Evening Institutes were playing a large part in encouraging craftwork and this has continued. From Verwood many potential weavers, potters and wrought-iron smiths travel to Ringwood, Cranborne or Ferndown to spend evenings learning the old skills.

As Verwood develops even more evidence of past village life will be erased including the remaining remnants of Verwood as a village. Verwood has now of course been designated a Town and while there is always progress it is sad to see some of the inevitable changes.





  • Huchins Vol. I

  • Huchins Vol. III - J. Huchins M.A. pub. - 1868

  • Chronicle of Cranborne ~ Dr. Wabe Smart M.D. - 1841 (Physician of Cranborne)

  • Cranborne and the Chase - F. C. Warren . -1940

  • Imperial Gazette of England and Wales 1860 and 1872

  • Industrial Archaeology of Southern England - Hudson 1965

  • Hunt and Company's Directory of Dorset 1851

  • Kelly's Directories of Dorset - 1875, 1886, 1890, 1895, 1903, 1915 & 1927.

  • Industries of Dorset - F. C. Warren. -  1936

  • Anecdotes respecting Cranborne Chase - W. Chafin 1816

  • Celtic tumuli of Dorset - Charles Warne P. S. A. - 1866.

  • Field Guide No. 1 of Cranborne Chase - Alan Penny

  • The Place names of Dorset, 1935 Anton Fagersten (Swedish).

  • The old roads of Dorset - Good 1966

  • The "Wimburnian" Lent term. -- 1898

  • First report on a land use and transportation study of Southeast Dorset and south-west Hampshire - April 1967.   The Bournemouth County Borough Council, Dorset County Council andHampshire County Council.


Copyright P Reeks.     



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