Local History

The land within the boundaries of what is now the Parish of Compton has had more than 4,000 years of human settlement. In all those years it has seen Stone Age burial mounds, Anglo Saxon settlements, Roman villas and Elizabethan country houses. On the north eastern boundary lie several Tumulii and Apple Down contains an Anglo-Saxon cemetery. Bevis's Thumb -  Towards the Northern boundary of the parish lies a Neolithic long barrow named after a legendary local giant named Bevis, or Beavis. The old tales tell that Bevis ate an ox washed down with two hogshead of beer every week. This same Bevis was said to have cast his sword off the parapets of Arundel Castle. The burial mound is an elongated barrow, rather than the round barrows which are generally more common in the Sussex downlands. The site has also been called Solomon's Thumb.Watergate Hanger, just south of West Marden is the location of the site of a Roman Villa dating from the 2nd-4th Century AD. It is probable Compton is the village of that name which was bequeathed by King Alfred to his nephew Ethelm and then passed to Godwin son of Wulfnoth in 1015 and in the time of Edward the Confessor the manor of COMPTON was held by Earl Godwin. In 1086 it formed part of the holding of Earl Roger.