Wincanton: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 51°03′21″N 2°24′37″W / 51.0559°N 2.4102°W / 51.0559; -2.4102

Street scene with white and pink buildings.
Wincanton High Street
Wincanton is located in Somerset

 Wincanton shown within Somerset
Population 4,643 [1]
OS grid reference ST712286
District South Somerset
Shire county Somerset
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district BA9
Dialling code 01963
Police Avon and Somerset
Fire Devon and Somerset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Somerton and Frome
List of places: UK • England • Somerset

Wincanton is a small town in south Somerset, southwest England. The town lies on the A303 road, the main route between London and South West England, and has some light industry. The town has a population of 4,643.[1]



Windmill Hill was the site of a Bronze Age Beaker culture burial, and contemporary artefacts have been found on the Selwood Ridge.[2]

Prior to the Norman Conquest Wincanton and was frequently the scene of battles between the Britons, Danes and Saxons.[3] During the reign of Edmund Ironside, the English, under his command, defeated the Danes forcing them to leave England.[4]

In the Domesday Book the name of the town was spelled as Wincaleton thought to mean Pleasant town on the Cale.[5]

Wincanton was probably the site of a market in the medieval period but did not gain a market and fair charter until 1556.[6]

The town is also the point where the William of Orange gained his first advantage over King James II, in 1688.[5]

A great part of the town was destroyed by fires in the years 1707,[5] and 1747.[7]

It is also noted for having been a depot for French officers, prisoners on parade, during the Napoleonic Wars; there were between three or four hundred here.

The principal seats in the vicinity are, Roundhill House, the residence of George Wyndham, Esq.; and Holbrook House, the mansion of Henry Hall, Esq. There is a view southward, over Blackmoor Vale, uninterrupted for upwards of twenty miles.


Wincanton is within the area of Somerset County Council and the Non-metropolitan district of South Somerset, with its own town council.[8]

It is part of the Somerton and Frome a constituency of the House of Commons.

Residents of Wincanton also form part of the electorate for the South West England constituency for elections to the European Parliament.[9]


Wincanton is situated on the north east edge of Blackmore Vale, 15 miles (24 km) north east of Yeovil, and 12 miles (19 km) north west of Shaftesbury on the extreme southeast of Somerset close to the borders of Dorset and Wiltshire.


Wincanton has given its name to Europe's second largest logistics company, Wincanton PLC, where it still has a base, although its head office function moved to Chippenham, Wiltshire in 2005. Wincanton is also home to North Downs Dairy, producer of the Pilgrim's Choice brand of Cheddar cheese, the second best selling brand in the UK. There has been an influx of foreign nationals in the last two years, especially Portuguese and Polish citizens.


The Dogs (also called The Old House) was built around 1650, and was reshaped internally by Nathaniel Ireson in 1740-50. It is a grade I listed building.[10]


The town had a railway station on the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway but this closed on 7 March 1966.

The town lies on the A303 road, the main route between London and South West England.


Primary education, up to the age of 11 is offered by Wincanton Primary School and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Primary School.[11]

Wincanton has one secondary school, King Arthur's Community School, which is Somerset's first specialist Sports College.[12]

Religious sites

Church of St Peter and St Paul

The Church of St Peter and St Paul was almost totally rebuilt 1887-91 by J. D. Sedding, however parts of the tower may be remnants form an earlier church, dating from 1313, on the same site.[13] In 1793 the tower was raised by 12 feet (4 m) making it 50 feet (15 m) high, five bells were cast and a sixth added. The additional carving and north porch were added in subsequent years.[14] The churchyard include a self designed monument to the local architect Nathaniel Ireson who died in 1796.[15]

The Roman Catholic Church and Presbytery of St Luke and St Teresa was built in 1881 by the priest/architect A.J.C Scoles.[16]

There are also places of worship for Methodists, Baptists and Quakers in the town.[17]


The town is the home of Wincanton Racecourse.

Wincanton Sports Centre was opened in 2002,[18] funded by National Lottery grant.[5]

The Sports Ground in Moor Lane provides facilities for cricket, tennis, football, rugby union and bowls.[5]

There is also a Youth Football Club which plays at Moor Lane.


Wincanton is unique in the fact that it was twinned in 2002 with a town which can only be found in fiction. As well as Gennes / Les Rosiers in France and Lahnau in Germany, Wincanton is twinned with Ankh-Morpork,[5] a fictional city state near the Circle Sea on Terry Pratchett's Discworld.[19] On 5 April 2009, a number of roads were retitled with names taken from Ankh-Morpork, such as Peach Pie Street and Treacle Mine Road,[20] after a short-list was voted upon by fans.[21] There is a shop in High Street called The Cunning Artificer, which sells collectors items relating to the Discworld.


  1. ^ a b "South Somerset population estimates for 2002". Somerset County Council. Retrieved 27 December 2009.  
  2. ^ "Wincanton". A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 7:. British History Online. Retrieved 2008-10-16.  
  3. ^ "Wincanton". Victoria County Histories. British History Online. Retrieved 2009-03-15.  
  4. ^ "Wincanton". Somerset Guide. Retrieved 2009-03-15.  
  5. ^ a b c d e f "About Wincanton". Wincanton Town Council. Retrieved 2008-10-16.  
  6. ^ Richardson, Miranda. "Wincanton". Somerset Urban Archaeological Survey. Somerset County Council. Retrieved 2008-10-16.  
  7. ^ Havinden, Michael (1982). The Somerset Landscape. The making of the English landscape. London: Hodder and Stoughton. p. 139. ISBN 0340201169.  
  8. ^ "Town Council's Role". Wincanton Town Council. Retrieved 2008-10-16.  
  9. ^ "UK MEPs for the South West". European Parliament UK Office. Retrieved 2008-01-11.  
  10. ^ "The Dogs". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 2008-10-16.  
  11. ^ "Education". Local Authority Publishing. Retrieved 2008-10-17.  
  12. ^ "2007-2008 Prospectus". King Arthur's Community School. Retrieved 2008-09-30.  
  13. ^ "Church of St Peter and St Paul". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 2008-10-16.  
  14. ^ "Stroll around Wincanton". Local Authority Publishing. Retrieved 2008-10-17.  
  15. ^ "The Nathaniel Ireson Monument". Somerset Historic Environment Record. Somerset County Council. Retrieved 2008-10-17.  
  16. ^ "Roman Catholic Church and Presbytery of St Luke and St Teresa, Wincanton". Somerset Historic Environment Record. Somerset County Council. Retrieved 2008-10-17.  
  17. ^ "Churches". Wincanton Town Council. Retrieved 2008-10-17.  
  18. ^ "About". Wincanton Sports Centre. Retrieved 2008-10-16.  
  19. ^ BBC NEWS | England | Pratchett city twins with real town
  20. ^ BBC NEWS | England | Somerset | Roads named after Discworld books
  21. ^ I Name This Street... - - Google Groups

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Wincanton is a town in Somerset.

Wincanton is a town in Somerset. Midway between Alfred's Tower and Glastonbury Tor

==Get in== Arrival to Henstridge International Airport and Taxi through to Wincanton. Regular Bus Service using the Yeovil - Gillinham Service.

  • Wincanton Under 18s Motor Raceing Association Bayford - Memorial Hall circuit
  • American Airforce WW2 Crash Site
  • A303 Bypass
  • Cale River Waterfall
  • Horse racing
  • Monthly Farmer's Market - first Friday of the month
  • The Cunning Artificer's Discworld Emporium Beware the army of cats: Flo, Daughter of Molly, Tipu, Dundee and Molly.
  • Follow the trail of discarded take-away wrappers along the streets
  • George Inn Mill Street.
  • The Railway Inn - Popular with travellers on the Burton on Trent - Bournemouth Line
  • The Bear Inn Meet the Leonberger which ensures a peacefull time at the bar.
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