An ex-mining village, it has a mixed community. Its most famous landmark is Wingfield Manor, a ruined manor house built around 1450 and now managed by English Heritage and only open to the public on one Saturday a month during the summer. It is situated about from Crich, and from Matlock. It sits astride one 'B' class road, the B5035, and the River Amber runs through the lower parts of the parish. The centre of the village is at the Market Place, where Manor Road, Church Lane, Inns Lane and the High Road meet. The village shop is on the Market Place, as is the Horse and Jockey public house (now closed). The Market Place has been recently renovated by the local authority with a flower bed and paved area.
Other notable places in the village are the parish church of All Saints, dating from the 13th century, the Methodist Chapel, a Baptist Chapel and a Gospel Hall. The three currently active pubs are the Blue Bell on Church Lane, the Old Yew Tree on Manor Road and South Wingfield Social Club on High Road. The village school was built in 1875 and is still thriving. The post office was on Inns Lane, but has recently closed. The parish of South Wingfield extends to cover the wider area covering the village of Oakerthorpe and the hamlets of Moorwood Moor, Wingfield Park and Uftonfields.
Some feel that the origin of the name of the village is derived from Sweinfeld (or similar spelling) from the ancient English for Swine Field. Alternatively, the name may derive from 'Wynn' field, a field of heather, i.e. a moor.
The so-called 'Pentrich Revolution' of 1817 should perhaps be called the Wingfield Revolution as two of the three ringleaders came from South Wingfield (the other was from Sutton, so none of the main characters were from Pentrich). The event started from Hunt's barn to the west of South Wingfield, the weapons were hidden in a quarry in Wingfield Park, and the only death on the night occurred in Wingfield Park.
South Wingfield Social Club on High Road hosts regular Friday night live music events. Local live bands perform at the venue.