The Parish of Great Shefford comprises Great Shefford village itself, the hamlets of Shefford Woodlands and East Shefford and a number of outlying farms. It is set in beautiful countryside that is part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The area is able to offer a rural setting lifestyle for those who choose to live there.
Great Shefford Parish from the north
The village of Great Shefford is situated in the Lambourn Valley on the Berkshire Downs where the A338 crosses the river Lambourn. It lies just under 2 miles north of Junction 14 of the M4 motorway which provides direct access east to London and west to Bristol. There are also good routes to Southampton, Oxford and the Midlands via the A34 and the M40. These good transport links have attracted a commuting population who venture every day to such destinations as London and Bristol and have encouraged businesses to locate within the Parish. Those wishing to travel by train can choose between the stations in Hungerford, Newbury, Didcot and Swindon. Unfortunately, only Newbury can easily be reached by public transport.
The B4000 follows the route of the Roman road known as Ermin Street from east to west at the southern end of the Parish and along it for some two miles stretches the settlement of Shefford Woodlands. The main concentration of houses is around the crossroads with the old Hungerford - Wantage road, but since the construction of the M4 motorway (which forms the southern boundary of the Parish), this part of the hamlet has been closed to through traffic, but not to the blight of motorway noise. Shefford Woodlands is served by the small church of St. Stephen’s and the Pheasant Inn but has no other facilities. Wickfield is an outlying settlement, formerly agricultural, with some seven dwellings and a small commercial business park. Because of their location, residents at this end of the Parish tend not to look to Great Shefford village for entertainment, services or facilities.
Over 950 people live in the Parish, in some 370 households, the majority of which are owner-occupied and detached or semi-detached. The Parish has its share of “character” housing with several centuries-old, thatched houses. In addition to the traditional village activities of farming and breeding racehorses, the area has attracted many local small businesses such as a micro-brewery, suppliers of equine equipment, and a variety of service and light industrial businesses. With the advent of broadband, a new trend in working patterns has emerged over the past couple of years with many former commuters now having the flexibility to be able to work from home wherever this is possible and feasible. The village has a good community spirit, combining a strong sense of tradition with a welcoming attitude towards newer residents from outside the area.