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The Domesday Book of 1086 records the manor as Waredesford,[1] which the 18th-century historian John Hutchins interpreted as meaning a ford across the Varia, an alternative name for the River Frome. More recent opinion is that Waredesford referred to a ford belonging to a man named Weard. Two holdings were recorded, which have been interpreted as corresponding to East Woodsford (the current village) and West Woodsford (now Woodsford Castle).[2]

Woodsford Castle is the surviving range of a 14th-century fortified manor house. King Edward III granted William de Whitefield a licence to crenellate in 1335. The house has the largest thatched roof in the county[3] and has been restored by the Landmark Trust.[4] The house is a Grade I listed building[5]

Parish churchEdit

The Church of England parish church of St John the Baptist was 13th-century, but was largely rebuilt in 1862–63 to designs by the Gothic Revival architect Thomas Henry Wyatt. Remnants of the 13th-century church include the lower part of the west tower and an Early English Gothic lancet on the south side of the nave west of the south porch.[6] The parish is part of the Benefice of Moreton, Woodsford and Crossways with Tincleton.[7]

Economic historyEdit

In the Frome Valley at Woodsford there used to be a system of watermeadows.[8]


Dorset County Council's 2013 mid-year estimate of the parish population is 80.[9] The 2001 Census recorded the parish's population as 67.[10] In the 2011 census figures for Woodsford parish have been combined with those of neighbouring Tincleton parish; the population in this combined area was 236.[11]


St John the Evangelist parish church
  1. ^ Open Domesday: Woodford
  2. ^ RCHME 1970, pp. 397–402.
  3. ^ Rodger, MA (February 2009). "Some Lost Castles Of Dorset". Dorset Life. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Woodsford Castle". Landmark Trust. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  5. ^ Historic England. "Woodsford Castle  (Grade I) (1155314)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  6. ^ Historic England. "Church of Saint John the Baptist  (Grade II) (1155283)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  7. ^ Archbishops' Council. "Benefice of Moreton, Woodsford and Crossways with Tincleton". A Church Near You. Church of England. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  8. ^ Wightman 1983, p. 49.
  9. ^ "Parish Population Data". Dorset County Council. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Area selected: South West (Region): Parish Headcounts". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Area: Tincleton (Parish). Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 4 September 2015.


External linksEdit