Compton Chamberlayne is a beautiful small Wiltshire village lying approximately 5 miles west of Wilton nestling next to the river Nadder. The village lies in a small valley running south from the river, and lying until the later 18th century either side of an unnamed tributary of the main river, which may be the Luing Lac referred to in a Saxon charter of Baverstock. The village is in the north of the parish, and there is some scattered settlement elsewhere.

 

Compton House, at the northern end of the village and next to the parish church of St Mary's is probably located on the ancient manorial site. To the east of Compton House, straddling the valley, lies Compton Park, a medieval deer park landscaped in the 18th century in Arcadian style, with two large lakes which still form the focus of the park.

 

The flat alluvial soils of the river valley in the north of the parish are given over to water meadows, to the south of which runs a thick strip of woodland and hilly pasture. The village’s arable and pasture lies to the south of these, surrounding the main settlement on three sides and rising gently to the steep slopes of Compton Down, a crescent-shaped ridge which divides Compton Chamberlayne from Broad Chalke to the south.

 

The presence of the Penruddockes at Compton House has drawn the village into national affairs, most famously in 1655, when Col. John Penruddocke led a small group of royalists to capture the Sheriff of Wiltshire at Salisbury and to proclaim Charles II king of Great Britain.