Place:Cloford, Somerset, England

Alt namesHolwellsource: from redirect
Leightonsource: from redirect
Coordinates51.193°N 2.39°W
Located inSomerset, England
See alsoFrome Hundred, Somerset, Englandhundred in which it was located
Frome Rural, Somerset, Englandrural district in which it was located 1894-1933
Wanstrow, Somerset, Englandcivil parish in which Cloford since 1933
Mendip District, Somerset, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog

Since 1933 Cloford has been a village in the civil parish of Wanstrow. Prior to that date it was a separate parish in Frome Hundred and Frome Rural District.

The parish contained the hamlets of Leighton and Holwell, both redirected here.


Historic Descriptions

1822 - Somersetshire Delineated by Christopher and John Greenwood

A parish in the hundred of Frome, and part of Hillhouse liberty, situate 4½ miles S.W. from Frome, on a brook that rises in the parish of Wanstrow: it contains two hamlets, Leighton and Holwell; the latter is romantically situated in a deep and narrow valley, to the south-west of the parish of Nunney; it is called in old writings Holy-waters, from a well there, over which was a chapel formerly visited by pilgrims. On the east-side of Cloford-common is a very extensive wood, called Postlebury, the remaining vestige of a considerable Roman villa. The church is dedicated to St. Mary, and consists of a nave, chancel, and side aisle or chapel. The living is a vicarage, in the deanery of Frome; Rev. Thomas Williams, incumbent; instituted 1801. Population, 1801, 257 — 1811, 308 — 1821, 312.

1875 - Somersetshire edited by Edward Robert Kelly

CLOFORD is a village and parish, 118 miles from London, 2 north-east from Wanstrow station on the East Somerset railway, and 5 south-west from Frome, in the Eastern division of the county, hundred, union and county court district of Frome, rural deanery of Frome, archdeaconry of Wells, and diocese of Bath and Wells, situated on the high road from Bruton to Frome. The church of St. Mary is a stone building, in the Third-Pointed style, restored in 1856, and has a chancel, nave, and an embattled tower with 2 bells, organ and vestry on the north of the chancel: the nave was rebuilt in 1856, and a new chancel was erected in 1809, at the cost of the late Rev. J. S. H. Horner; on the north side of the nave is the Horner chapel, wherein lie interred members of that family; it contains an altar monument to Maures Horner, esq., who died In 1621, and a quaint monument to Sir George Horner, knt., who died in 1676, and of his lady, who survived him some years. The register dates from the year 1561. The living is a vicarage, yearly value £100, with residence and 7 acres of glebe land, in the gift of John Francis Fortescne Horner, esq., and held by the Rev. Richard George Boodle, M.A., of Oriel College, Oxford. There is a National school for boys and girls, wherein a Sunday school is held. In 1797 a sura of £1,000 was left by Mr. Thomas Harris, Alderman of Bristol, who was born at Broadgrove Farm, In the parish of Cloford, to women, natives of Cloford, upon their marriage: a new scheme for the guidance of the trustees in the distribution of this charity was issued by the Charity Commissioners in 1862 : the present ex-officio trustees are the vicar, churchwardens and overseers of the parish of Cloford; The Earl of Cork; J. F. F. Horner, esq., and Richard Horner Paget, esq., are appointed trustees by the Charity Commissioners. John Francis Fortescue Horner, esq., lord of the manor, and the Earl of Cork, are the principal landowners. The soil is stiff clay; the subsoil is limestone. The principal part of the land is in pasturage for dairy purposes. The area is 2,243 acres, rateable value, £2,291; the population in 1871 was 193.

1929 - Somerset by George Woosung Wade & Joseph Henry Wade

Cloford, a small village, 2 m. N.E. of Wanstrow. The church, rebuilt in 1856, has a tiny side chapel, containing a monument to Maurice Horner (d. 1621), and a tablet with some quaint-coloured busts to Sir G. Horner and his wife (1676). LEIGHTON is a hamlet, a mile and three quarters west, with a Primitive Methodist chapel.

HOLWELL is a hamlet, half a mile north.

Research Tips

  • The Somerset Heritage Centre (incorporating what was formerly the Somerset Record Office and the Somerset Local Studies Library) can be found at its new location at Langford Mead in Taunton. It has an online search facility leading to pages of interest, including maps from the First and Second Ordnance Survey (select "Maps and Postcards" from the list at the left, then enter the parish in the search box).
    The Heritage Centre has an email address:
  • Three maps on the A Vision of Britain through Time website illustrate the changes in political boundaries over the period 1830-1945. All have expanding scales and on the second and third this facility is sufficient that individual parishes can be inspected.
  • Somerset Hundreds as drawn in 1832. This map was prepared before The Great Reform Act of that year. Note the polling places and representation of the various parts of the county.
  • Somerset in 1900, an Ordnance Survey map showing rural districts, the boundaries of the larger towns, the smaller civil parishes of the time, and some hamlets and villages in each parish
  • Somerset in 1943, an Ordnance Survey map showing the rural districts after the changes to their structure in the 1930s

Online Transcriptions

Other Resources

Picture Gallery

Cloford Church
Cloford Church