Worldlife is a new concept in awareness of conservation and the care of our surroundings, and Compton House has become known the world over for butterflies and conservation. Encounter shimmering butterflies, exotic plants and incredible prehistoric-looking insects. The deeper you look the more you see...
One of the few complete examples of a 15th cenutry Almshouse remaining in England which still fulfills its original role. Founded by Royal licence of King Henry VI in 1437 today it serves as a home for 20 old people from Sherborne and its environs.
The original building, built between 1440 and 1444, consists of a chapel, antechapel and dining hall on the ground floor. Above were the 'chamber of Accomptes' where the brethren met and kept their 'strong coffer' and a large dormitory for the old men which had no east wall but ended in a balcony overlooking the chapel below, so that the sick could still hear mass from their beds. A two-floored North wind (now rebuilt) contained the old women's dormitory, the housewife's room, kitchen and offices. The architect was Robert Hulle, master mason of Winchester Cathedral and chancel of Sherborne Abbey.
In 1864 a legacy enabled the brethren to build a considerable extension to the north of the old building. This makes a delightful addition with its intimate cloister, buttresses and chimneys and fine oriel window plus it enables the residents to have their own rooms.
The castle was built by the powerful Bishop Roger de Caen in the early 12th century, but it was seized by the crown at about the time of King Henry I's death in 1135 and Stephen's troubled accession to the throne. The castle was given to Sir Walter Raleigh by Queen Elizabeth I. The gallant knight built Sherborne Lodge in the deer park close by (now privately owned). The buildings were mostly destroyed in the civil war, but you can still see a gatehouse, some graceful arcades, and decorative windows.