Holford is a village and civil parish in West Somerset within the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and about 10 miles (16 km) west of Bridgwater and 6 miles (10 km) east of Williton. The village has a population of 392. The village is on the Quantock Greenway and Coleridge Way footpaths. The parish includes the village of Dodington.
Alfoxton House (now Alfoxton Park Hotel) was built as an 18th-century country house and occupied by poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, between July 1797 and June 1798, during the time of their friendship with Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Dodington was the site of the Buckingham Mine where copper was extracted. The mine was established before 1725 and followed earlier exploration at Perry Hill, East Quantoxhead. It was financed by the Marquis of Buckingham until 1801 when it was closed, until various attempts were made to reopen it during the 19th century. The remaining engine house is now a listed building.
Dodington became a civil parish in 1866, but in 1933 the civil parish was abolished and absorbed into the civil parish of Holford.
The parish council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept (local rate) to cover the council’s operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security, and traffic. The parish council's role also includes initiating projects for the maintenance and repair of parish facilities, as well as consulting with the district council on the maintenance, repair, and improvement of highways, drainage, footpaths, public transport, and street cleaning. Conservation matters (including trees and listed buildings) and environmental issues are also the responsibility of the council.
The village falls within the non-metropolitan district of Somerset West and Taunton, which was established on 1 April 2019. It was previously in the district of West Somerset, which was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, and part of Williton Rural District before that. The district council is responsible for local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection and recycling, cemeteries and crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism.
Somerset County Council is responsible for running the largest and most expensive local services such as education, social services, libraries, main roads, public transport, policing and fire services, trading standards, waste disposal and strategic planning.
It is also part of the Bridgwater and West Somerset county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election, and part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament which elects seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.
Sites of Special Scientific Interest
Holford Kelting, just north of the village, is a 5.3 ha (13 acres) nature reserve run by the Somerset Wildlife Trust and is part of the Quantock Hills Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The Ge-mare Farm Fields SSSI consists of an unimproved species-rich flood pasture community with interest enhanced by the presence of a wetter area supporting a lowland mire community. These habitats are rare both nationally and within the county of Somerset.
The parish church of St Mary the Virgin was built in the 19th century on the site of an earlier church going back to the 12th century. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building.
All Saints Church in Dodington was rebuilt and enlarged in the 15th century. It has been designated by English Heritage as a grade I listed building. Dodington Hall was built in the 15th century and enlarged and refenestrated in 1581. It was the home of Sir Francis Dodington who fought for the king during the English Civil War.
- George Dodington (1662-1720), Whig politician
- George Dodington, 1st Baron Melcombe politician and nobleman
- Frederic Norton (1869-1946), British composer.
- John Cornish White, (known as "Farmer" or "Jack"), (1891 – 1961), English cricketer
- Lieutenant-General Noel Irwin, British Army officer
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Media related to Holford at Wikimedia Commons