We use cookies to improve your experience, some are essential for the operation of this site.

St Mary the Virgin, Cloford, Somerset

(51°11′40″N, 2°23′36″W)
ST 726 440
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Somerset
now Somerset
  • Robin Downes
08 August 2007

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=10924.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.

Feature Sets

The tiny hamlet of Cloford, comprising little more than church and manor house with farm, lies only a few hundred metres NW of the main A359, about 1km SE of its junction with the A361. Nunney village is about 2kms NE and Frome town a further four. The lane is only public to the church; there is no through vehicular route, which may represent the historic situation (the 1st 6˝ OS map showing details little different from those today). There is much quarry activity (carboniferous limestone for aggregate) in this area at the E end of the Mendips; disused quarries are within a very short distance of the manor house, and Holwell Quarry (just the other side of the A361) is hardly more than one field away. (According to Wikipedia: ‘Cloford Quarry was the main location used for the planet Lakertya in the Doctor Who story “Time and the Rani” in the Doctor's 7th incarnation as Sylvester McCoy. Shots filmed here include the exterior of the Rani’s laboratory.’) 3kms to the S and W runs the mineral line connecting the main line at Witham with the large Merehead Quarry (4kms W): a line which represents the former East Somerset Railway which used to carry passengers between the GWR main line (formerly the Wilts Somerset and Weymouth Railway) at Witham and Shepton Mallet (and beyond, through Wells and Cheddar, to join the other GWR main line at Yatton) until the 1960s.

The church occupies a NW-facing slope looking across a shallow valley to the manor house. It is a 15thc building rebuilt in a Decorated style in 1856. Construction is of Doulting rubble, and it comprises nave with E chapel and vestry, W tower and S porch and chancel. The interesting Victorian interior includies a fine set of oil lamps. Instrumental in the restoration in the 1860s was the patron of the church, the rector of nearby Mells. The only Romanesque feature is the font.


Cloford was held by 5 thegns in 1066 and by Alfred from the Count of Mortain in 1086. It was assessed at 10 hides; 5½ hides in lordship and the remainder rented to 3 cottagers, 12 villagers and 17 smallholders. The holding included a mill, 20 acres of meadow, 300 acres of pasture and 160 acres of woodland, 160 acres.





The font is not mentioned in Pevsner (1958).


English Heritage Listed Building 266881

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol. Harmondsworth 1958, 171.

Somerset County Council, Historic Environment Record 27481.