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The local area guide to living in Verwood

The pretty little town of Verwood is in the country of Dorset and sits 15 miles to the south of seaside town Bournemouth. Verwood is part of a civil parish that also includes the charmingly named village Three Legged Cross, which could refer to either a type of gibbet known as a ‘three-legged mare ‘ that may have existed in the area, or a boundary stone that marked the spot where three country estates met.

Verwood is a very old town and was first recorded as ‘Beau Bois’ in 1288, which means ‘Beautiful Wood’ in Norman French. Whatever forest stood in this area, it was clearly much admired as the town was later recorded as both Fayrwod and Fairwod before becoming Verwood. The town become famous for its pottery industry throughout its early history, and this helped develop the town’s early prosperity. An attractive place to live, the town lies within very easy reach of the wonderful Dorset coast and the New Forest National Park.

Information about the local residents

The village of Three Legged Cross is counted alongside Verwood during the census as they belong to the same civil parish. At the 2011 count, the combined parish had 14,852 people. Many older people live in the area, with almost 25% of residents being 65 and over. However, it is also popular with families, and 21% of the population is below the age of 17.

Within the last four decades the town has grown very rapidly; there are now 14,852 people living there, compared with only 6,110 in 1981. The crime rates here are also very low compared to the rest of the nation, with only 2.8 burglaries per 1000 households in 2011/12 compared to 10.5 at the national level.

Nearby schools

Verwood is the largest town in Dorset to not have an upper school, but the education facilities it does have are highly regarded. Education in the area is based on the two-tier system like much of Dorset, with first schools that take children aged 4-9 and middle schools for children aged 9-13.

Trinity First School was classed as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, and Verwood Church of England School and Hillside Community First School were both rated as ‘good’. The Middle School, Emmanuel Church of England, was classed as being ‘good’. The nearest upper school is six miles away in Ferndown and was rated ‘good with outstanding features’ by Ofsted.

Getting around

Whilst Verwood doesn’t have a train station of its own, there is one in Christchurch, which is only around 12 miles away, as well as Bournemouth, situated roughly 13 miles away. There are a few good bus routes serving the town, with regular routes to both Poole and Bournemouth. Verwood sits on the crossroads of the B3072 and B2081, and connects to the A338 and the A31 towards the south east. It is 15 miles away from the nearest motorway junction, which joins the M27 at Cadnam.

Local shops

For a real shopping trip, a visit to Poole or Bournemouth will be in order, both of which have a huge selection of popular high street brands and are easily accessible from Verwood itself. Verwood has a small selection of shops, including a butchers, a bakery, a wine shop and a small branch of Morrisons. However, it has a wide selection of pubs for those who like a tipple, including the Three Swans and The Fayrewood, plus a couple of small cafes. There is also a weekly country market to visit on every Saturday, selling vegetables, plants, toys, cakes and crafts.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.


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