History of Verwood

The history of Verwood is something that draws people to the area and something that the residents like to keep as part of their town. Such as the spacious outdoor areas and the railway bridge still standing 60 years after being shut down.

Verwood was formerly known as Fayrwood until 1329, and until the late 19th century used to be a part of Cranborne. In 1985, Verwood then twinned with the French town Champtoceaux.

In 1987, Verwoods population grew to 9,856 from a village size to then becoming a town when the Parish Council passed the necessary resolution to become a Town Council. This then helped Verwood to grow more in population, allowing for further housing to be built as well as shops and local businesses. Verwood then continued to grow by over 1000% throughout the 20th century. In 1891 the population was only 1,191 whereas in 2011 the population had grown to 14,990.

Verwood is the home of pottery and the last pottery finished producing in 1952. The crossroads pottery which was the main site for all pottery made in Verwood is now known as the Verwood Heathland Heritage Centre. Clay was dug within the village as well as Holwell, Sherborne and Corfe Mullen. Clay from these areas were all brought together in Verwood Village due to the variety of colours dug. Clay from the village itself was yellow, clay from Holwell was blue and the clay brought in from Corfe Mullen was blue/grey. All these colours would then be mixed to create the different colours in the final product. The clay brought in from the outside areas were brought in via horse and cart.

In 1886/7 Verwood became a Parish and the St Michael’s Church was built which replaced the Chapel of Ease. The church now works closely with the Church of England schools in Verwood and holds services all year round for the residents of Verwood to join.