This site covers the two villages of East and West Woodlands in Somerset. It is for local people to contribute to and develop. Let us know what you want to see on the site, and please contribute your ideas and information.
Although small, they are home to vibrant communities. These two neighbouring hamlets are situated on the Somerset/Wiltshire border to the south of Frome and along the western edge of a private Estate. They are part of Selwood Parish. Mendip District Council is the local authority.
Part of East Woodlands forms the extreme northern edge of the Cranbourne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The two Woodlands are simple communities with little by way of remarkable history. Most of the area used to belong to the adjacent Estate, with many of the houses formerly owned by the Thynne family and used for estate workers. Many were built in the mid 18th century using the local stone and to a clearly identifiable pattern and scale. Much of the Estate on the Somerset side of the county line was sold in 1947 to meet death duties, the farms and workers’ cottages passing into private hands.
ST KATHARINE’S CHURCH
St Katharine’s Church is located on the ridge east of the town of Frome, in the village of East Woodlands.
Built between 1711 and 1714 for the benefit of parishioners who previously had to journey into the centre of Frome for their parish church.
The church itself was mostly rebuilt by the architect John Loughborough Pearson in 1880. Its tile pavement includes an enlarged version of the Bishop Ken monogram tile usually found as a single four-inch or six-inch tile, but here designed for multiple tile settings.
St Katherine’s is linked with St John’s in Frome, and is part of the Anglican Diocese of Bath & Wells.
There are regular services on the first and third Sundays of each month – usually Holy Communion on the first Sunday and a Family Service on the third.
THE VILLAGE HALL
The Village Hall stands opposite the church in this delightful setting on the edge of Selwood Forest. It is the former village school and Headmaster’s house built c 1835 for £588 and is Grade II listed. It is currently owned by the Thynne Educational Foundation and run by a committee principally made up of villagers past and present.
It was extended in 1989 to create a larger stage area with changing rooms. It is famous for hosting “The Woodlanders” music hall production during October. This is the longest running Music Hall in Somerset having started in 1977
In the Spring there is a beautiful show of snowdrops and daffodils on the lane up to the hall which were planted in celebration of the Millennium. The hall is renowned for its highly popular Cream Teas available every Sunday in August.
The hall is available for hire. It can accommodate 70 people seated at tables with a further 10 helpers and performers. There is a well equipped bar and kitchen. Parking is situated adjacent to the hall and the lawn can be made available for outside use by arrangement with the caretaker. Thelma Moore 01373 466136.
Hiring Rates (main hall, bar and kitchen):
9.00am-7.00pm £12 /hour
7.00pm – 12.00 midnight £18/hour
Wedding (3 days) £350
Bar staff £25 per session if requested when booking
Meeting room £7/hour
£100 deposit may be required
A reduction on these rates may apply for residents of the parish
THE HORSE AND GROOM
The local pub is a 17th century free house. and is known locally as ‘The Jockey’
It has two small rooms with a bar serving both of them with open Inglenook fireplaces. Flagstone floors, settles, and award winning gardens await your pleasure. There is a conservatory used as a dining room which seats parties of up to 30. The pub boasts an extensive menu.
All cask beers are served straight from the barrel.
Wheelchair access. Dogs welcome. Tethering for horses.
There are several archaeological sites within the East Woodlands area.
An Iron Age hill fort – Roddenbury Camp – and the early mediaeval Hales Castle are located near East Woodlands.
Roddenbury Camp is a univallate Iron Age hillfort. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and on the Heritage at Risk register. In the woods along the southern edge of East Woodlands are the remains of Dog Street, once a notorious haunt of robbers and villains. You can still see some of the remains of simple cottages deep in the woods.
For more information go to ‘About Us’ > ‘History’
West Woodlands is now home to the annual Frome Cheese Show in September.
East Woodlands Village Hall is home to the Woodlanders Music Hall, which began in 1977, and is the longest running music hall in Somerset. They hold their show each October.
Check out our “What’s on in Woodlands” page for forthcoming events.