Nunney has a vibrant community life, well-run schools, low crime and unemployment rates and a terrific location, making it a great place to live and work.
Nunney is one of the prettiest villages in Somerset. It lies approximately 2 miles from Frome and 18 miles south of Bath.
The village is famed for its moated castle, built in the late 14th Century and described by the renowned architectural historian Niklaus Pevsner as aesthetically the most impressive castle in Somerset.
People living and working here enjoy some of the best overall quality of life in the country. The village has a combination of relative prosperity, employment, good health, active community life and good local education.
On 30 September 2007, it was the subject of a BBC Radio 4 report, asking whether “the prettiest village in England” is a place where we can learn “how to mend our broken society”.
Green and pleasant land
Nunney is located in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The wooded slopes of Nunney Coombe are popular with walkers and groups of ramblers are often seen around the village.
Nunney lies on the edge of the Mendip Hills. To the south of the village, the vast Longleat and Stourhead estates provide an appealing green space for recreation. A golf course nearby recently closed, but another is located 2 miles north west of Frome at Orchardleigh.
Nunney has a long and fascinating history, much of which is still on display today. Dominated by the moated 14th century Nunney Castle – rated in the Top 10 Best British Castles by Visit Britain’s BRITAIN magazine -, the village has over 30 listed monuments and most of the village centre is covered by a conservation area.
A Roman villa was discovered in 1830 on land that is now part of Nunney. Saxons and Normans also settled here. The wool industry became important around 1750 and iron tool manufacturing thrived here until the end of the 19th century.
Higher life expectancy
People in the South West have among the highest life expectancies. Life expectancy at birth in the South West in 2007–2009 was among the highest of the UK at 83.3 years for females and 79.2 years for males.1
In 2009, the South West had the highest proportion in England of households that were married/cohabiting couples with no children (32.9 per cent).
High employment rate
The South West had one of the lowest proportions of workless households at 11.2 per cent in Q2 2010, compared with the UK average of 16.1 per cent. The unemployment rate in the South West stood at 6.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010, lower than the UK rate of 7.9 per cent.
For those looking to work from home, Nunney has had an upgrade to super-fast broadband, although reported results vary. The Salthouse offers serviced office space in the heart of the village for anyone who prefers to use a desk or meeting room away from home.
Nearby Frome is considered a major hub for small to mid-size digital and creative business activity, supported by a buzzing online and offline networking community.
In March 2018 the Sunday Times ranked Frome as the best place to live in the southwest of England. The hugely popular Frome Independent Market takes place on the first Sunday of the month.
Low crime rate
Crime rates in the South West were among the lowest in England. In 2009/10 there were 2,300 household offences per 10,000 households, substantially lower than the England average (2,600 incidents). The rate of recorded crime was the second lowest of the English regions. In 2009/10 there were 66 recorded crimes per 1,000 population compared with 79 per 1,000 population across England.
www.crime-statistics.co.uk has the latest figures on crime in Nunney, including street levels updates, trends and crime rates.
Active community life
Nunney has a very active community life, with many and varied activities taking place for people of all ages throughout the year. The community association organises – among many other events – an annual community quiz, Easter Sunday Bonnet Parade and Duck Race, and the hugely popular Nunney Street Market & Fayre that was rated as one of the best village fetes in the country in The Times.
Whereas can you find a village that gets together inside a castle at Christmas to sing carols, accompanied by a large and excellent band?
Nunney Village Hall plays a central role within the local community. The monthly film club attracts capacity crowds with a line-up of recent box office hits. Nunney Acoustic Cafe continued the success of the Jazz Cafe some years ago as a relaxed, family-friendly musical afternoon at the village hall on the second Sunday of the month.
The Nunney Players have won countless awards – including the regional Award of Excellence – with performances ranging from panto to Shakespeare. These and original productions, such as the epic open air drama Man of Stone and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, involve up to 70 members of all ages onstage and backstage.
Jazz and classical concerts also take place in Nunney Church, while concerts and other events take place during the summer in the recently transformed Old Quarry Gardens. A library bus visits the village regularly for those who are unable to visit Frome library.
The George at Nunney is a well-run pub with rooms that has been transformed by the new owners into a slick, modern restaurant and bar in an historic country inn. Outside Nunney, there are many other excellent pubs and restaurants within easy reach.
Nunney First School was built at the end of the 19th century after a long battle to end child labour in and around Nunney. You can read all about it in our article, based on fresh research and first-hand accounts.
Nunney Pre-School and Nunney First School are both rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted. Nunney First School was praised in its latest Ofsted report for “a delightful family feel that both pupils and parents really appreciate” and an atmosphere within which “pupils develop confidence and a very positive attitude to learning so that their personal development and well-being are good.”
The Pre-School has hailed for its “calm, relaxed and happy atmosphere”. Mucky Pups is a very popular out-of-school gardening club for pupils of both Nunney Pre-School and Nunney First School.
In the South West, 51.8 per cent of pupils achieved five or more grades A*–C at GCSE level or equivalent including English and mathematics in 2008/09, compared with 49.8 per cent for England as a whole. In the second quarter of 2009, the proportion of the South West’s working-age population that had no qualifications was the lowest in any English region or country of the UK (8.1 per cent compared with the UK average of 11.8 per cent).2
Nunney is only 3 miles from Frome, an historic market town that was recently ranked the UK’s 6th coolest place to live in by The Times. Frome has been transformed in recent years and has an active cultural scene and many one-off shops.
Bath and Bristol are within easy reach. London can be reached in two hours by rail and car. The proximity to the M4, M5 and A303 give access to the North, South West and South East.
The nearest railway stations are in Frome (3.9 miles/6.3 km, 10 minutes by car), Warminster (12.3 miles/19.8 km, 25 minutes by car) and Westbury (12.2 miles/19.6 km, 27 minutes).
Bristol International Airport is 29 miles (46.7 km) away, just under an hour by car through the beautiful Burrington Coombe.
Nunney has a good range of property on offer, both for sale and rent. New housing development, including social housing, at the top of the village near Nunney Catch is in the pipeline.
The village has two distinctive areas, the historic centre and more modern housing towards Nunney Catch.
Our Property section lists some of the properties currently for sale or rent in the village. It typically covers a good range of houses.
Nunney Parish Council is still in negotiations with developers to add affordable housing, after an aggressive bid by Barratt Homes to build 100 houses at Green Pits Lane in Nunney was defeated at the very highest level after an inquiry.
The average house price in the South West in 2009 was £175,000 compared with the England figure of £170,000. Average gross household income in the region was £838 per week in 2008/09, above the UK average of £703 and one of the highest, after London.
Nunney is part of the Church of England Parish of Postlebury. Religious services alternately take place in All Saints Church, Nunney, and other churches within the Parish.
Lively, less traditional family services takes place regularly. Methodist services take place in All Saints Church, Nunney.
Roman Catholic church services are held in Mells and Frome. The nearest mosques are in Trowbridge and Bath; synagogues are located in Bristol and Exeter.
Frome Medical Practice is one of the largest medical practices in the UK, while Coleford Health Centre is also increasingly popular with Nunney residents. Frome Community Hospital has a Minor Injuries unit, although the nearest A&E department is at the Royal United Hospital in Bath. Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is almost entirely funded by public donations and provides an invaluable service in the countryside.
Veterinary practices for both domestic pets and larger animals are located in Trudoxhill (2 miles/3.4 km, 8 minutes by car) and Frome (3.7 miles/6.0 km, 10 minutes).
Superstores Sainsbury’s and Asda are available in Frome, however, and shoppers will enjoy Catherine Hill’s quirky selection of shops in Frome. Bath and Bristol are the major retail centres closest to Nunney.
You may also like to know that Nunney has excellent household waste and recycling services. Local authorities in the South West recycled or composted 44 per cent of household waste in 2009/10 compared with an England average of 40 per cent.
For anything you no longer want or need there’s the Frome Freecycle group which covers Nunney. The email and internet service was founded in 2008 and currently has almost 7,500 members. The group is part of The Freecycle Network, a nonprofit organisation and a movement of people interested in keeping good stuff out of landfills.