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Verwood is a town and civil parish in Dorset, England. The town lies 15 miles (24 km) north of Bournemouth and 19 miles (31 km) north of Poole. The town has a population of 14,820 (2009).

Verwood was originally recorded as Beau Bois in 1288, and it was not until 1329 that it got the name Verwood, which developed from Fairwood or The Fayrewood.

The East Dorset Pottery Industry, known collectively as “VERWOOD POTTERY” thrived from earliest time on the clay soils of the neighbourhood and with ample firing material close at hand. The major production was of domestic earthenware although finer and more unusual pieces have been found from earlier times. In the latter days ornamental and novelty items were produced

Until the end of their useful life, the methods of production had not varied from Roman times, all the processes being carried out with no mechanisation or electrification. For example, the clay was always trodden by foot and not mixed in a pug mill. The wheel was turned by an assistant with a pole or handle. The kilns were wood fired. As such the Crossroads Pottery, then the last remaining in the area, attracted national and local newspaper attention in the early to mid 20th century.

The industry was not confined to a local sales base. Hawkers, or “higglers” took the wares for sale over a wide area of southern England. It was also exported abroad, especially to Newfoundland which had a thriving trade with the nearby port of Poole.

The towns (then known as a village) first supermarket opened, which was then a Safeways (now a Morrisons). In 1985, Verwood twinned with French town Champtoceaux. In 1987, Verwood had reached a population of 9,856. The Parish Council passed the necessary resolution to become a Town Council under provisions made in the 1972 Local Government Act. In 1992, the new Verwood Town Council offices were open. Later that year, the town twinned with German town Liederbach am Taunus. Verwood Heritage Centre was opened by Rt. Hon, the Viscount Cranborn. The centre is used as a museum of local history and a coffee shop. A country market which is open from 10:00 to 11:30 is held each Friday in the Memorial Hall. The market sells locally produced seasonal vegetables and fruit, plants and cut flowers, homemade cakes and jams and craft items.

The town has two shopping areas. One in the town centre, and the second being at Pennine Way.

Verwood is home to The Hub, a community facility which opened in April 2007. The Hub houses the 300 seat Merryfield Theatre, a 100 seat hall and a number of other smaller rooms. These facilities are used for films, plays, concerts and many other activities and the rooms can be hired by various organisations. In the centre of the Hub is a bistro area, surrounded by art displays and various exhibitions.

Verwood also hosts three large family events, Verwood Carnival takes place on the last Saturday in June, the Rustic Fayre on August Bank Holiday Monday and Flameburst the last Saturday in October.

Verwood once housed its own railway station, however this was closed as part of the Beeching Axe in 1964.

Note: this page is partly based on a Wikipedia page. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Where possible, text is being updated to original, fully referenced research. ‘Our photos’ means we took the photographs. The Street View and street map visuals are courtesy of Google.

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