The Parish of Wanstrow lies midway between Frome and Bruton, in an agricultural area of gently rolling countryside.  The Parish covers 2054 acres and includes the village of Cloford and the hamlets of Weston Town and Leighton.  The population in 2007 was 506, an increase of  10% over the previous five years but still not much above the nineteenth century peak of 471 reached in 1851.

Whilst Cloford is now a quiet settlement alongside a dead end lane, Wanstrow is very much a working village and the main agricultural activity in the parish is intensive pig and dairy farming and the attendant maize and grass crops that go with it.   Recently more sheep and some beef cattle have appeared as dairy becomes ever more unattractive.  Horses and their livery stables are a common feature and there is a nascent rare breeds centre developing on the outskirts of the village.

Read Agriservices and Burns garage are in Wanstrow and the large limestone quarries of the Mendips lie just outside of the parish boundary.  Although the majority of stone quarried nearby is exported via the rail line that skirts the village to the south and west there is a large haulage industry with two large lorry sites in the north of the parish near the quarries.

Whilst many inhabitants work locally there is a significant number of people who work from home in a wide range of employment and a few that commute to London.  There is also a large older population and more than 24% of residents are over 60.

The Street forms the backbone of Wanstrow running from the Church across the A359 and down across the ford to where it splits into Mead Lane and Studley Lane.  The A359 follows the old turnpike from Nunney Catch to Bruton, built in the early 1850’s, which cuts across the village and as a result saved The Street, the main lane through the village, from becoming a busy thoroughfare.  Originally there were several farms along The Street but these have now gone and the farmyards have been used to provide infill housing.

The small lanes surrounding the villages formed the transport network before the Turnpikes and many are now used principally for agricultural and local traffic.  However, the A361, a major east-west lorry route through Somerset, runs along the northern boundary of the parish and bisects the small community of Leighton.

All the villages date from at least Saxon times, when Selwood forest reached into the parish, and feature in the Domesday book.  Old maps of the area can be viewed here and an informative, and at times amusing, guide to the local history of Wanstrow has been written by local residents and can be downloaded here.

There are several footpaths around the parish please click here for the link to Explore Somerset – rights of Way Map.

There are occasional roadworks in the area, to be kept up to date please click here for the line to One.Network