Wonford is an area in the centre of Exeter covering parts of St Loyes and Heavitree. Originally, Wonford was a royal estate named after a stream (now called Mincinglake) that rose on the southern slopes of Stoke Hill and flowed through Northbrook Park. In 937, the name was wynford meaning fair stream. The land surrounding Exeter had been part of the Celtic kings estates from before the Roman occupation and in 7th century these lands continued to be a large royal estate of the Saxon Kings. These lands were gradually reduced in size, until the only remaining hunting ground remaining at the Norman invasion was Duryard, north of the city. Historically it was part of Wonford Hundred, as was Exeter itself.
Although St Michael's Church in Heavitree is Victorian, it stands on the place of one of the oldest churches outside Exeter. The Wessex King Cenwealh, established a chapel at this position near the sacred head tree in Wonford in about 660. The area became known as Heavitree, and Wonford shrank as Heavitree grew.
Exeter's main hospital, the Royal Devon and Exeter, is situated in Wonford. Wonford had a population of 7,686 in 2011, taking almost all of the Priory ward and the western edge of the St Loyes ward. Wonford is situated in a large area of Exeter which remains unserved by rail which means all public transport in the area is bus based.
It is now home to one of Exeter's council estates. Coordinates:
- Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 192 Exeter & Sidmouth (Exmouth & Teignmouth) (Map). Ordnance Survey. 2013. ISBN 978-0-319-23139-5.
- "Exeter Memories: Wonford". www.exetermemories.co.uk. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
- Wonford is made up of 4 output areas in the St Loyes ward http://www.ukcensusdata.com/st-loyes-e05003505#sthash.N5gzCCLd.5PIH14r9.dpbs
- Wonford is made up of 20 output areas in the Priory ward http://www.ukcensusdata.com/priory-e05003501#sthash.EagPxIMQ.dpbs
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