Roads within the Parish
Map evidence suggests that Yadley Lane is one of the oldest roads in the parish. It forms the southern half of one continuous road line linking Sandford, Woodborough, Shute Shelve and so on. This route links two of the most important crossing points of Mendip - the Sandford 'Gap' and Shute Shelve - both of which are known from archaeological evidence to have been in use as routes across Mendip, certainly in Roman and probably in Prehistoric times and, therefore, this lane may be of equal antiquity. It provided a link between settlements and their seasonal grazing land on Sandford Moor. Secondary lanes joining Yadley Lane are: The Lynch (Saxon 'ridge'), which links the hamlets of Woodborough and Ford; Eastwell Lane, which occurs in Medieval documents, refers to a prolific big spring which must have been an important early cult centre; Church Lane (now known as Fullers Lane) is probably Medieval and this forms almost a crossroads with Yadley Lane and Eastwell Lane linking Winterhead and Sidcot with Winscombe and its church by a direct route; the Bridgwater Road has been a main road since Medieval and earlier times but prior to the 19th century, there were many small diversions eg. up Fountain Lane and through Sidcot village. Documentary evidence is lacking but the road certainly ran past Hale and over Shute Shelve and was virtually on its present line by 1792. It had probably been made with a turnpike road across the parish in the late 18th century and was still being improved in the 19th century. Here the coach road to Exeter went through with changes of horses at Cross and later the turnpike also took this route. There is still at least one milestone in the parish. Hangings took place at Shute Shelve in the 17th century.
The earliest estate map of Winscombe was produced, on behalf of the Dean & Chapter of Wells Cathedral, in 1792. This map shows the regular plans of some of the settlements such as Barton, Sidcot and Winscombe with regular plots laid out along a lane or green. On this map the hamlet of Woodborough, now known as Winscombe, shows post-medieval cottages built around a common or green and "squatters" cottages erected on former waste land alongside roads. Most information for the farms and cottages can be taken from documentary evidence of the 16th-18th centuries in addition to post-1600 houses still remaining in the parish.
Industry and Quarrying
Archaeological evidence shows that mining has taken place in the area since at least the Roman period. The first known documentary evidence for the extraction of lead ore in Winscombe is taken from mining licenses granted by the Dean and Chapter of Wells during the late 16th century. During the Commonwealth period the mines in Winscombe were owned by the State and in 1650 specific reference was made to 100 tons of lead ore being extracted from Woodborough Green during a 12 week period. There are still 'bell-pits' on Sandford Hill which probably relate to ochre mining there in early times.
Sandford Quarry has been in existence since the mid 1800s. The carboniferous limestone of Sandford Hill was used in the construction of many large building projects such as Avonmouth Docks and several railway stations including Temple Meads, Bristol. This stone was also used for making lime, and many lime kilns can still be found in Winscombe.
The largest, latest kilns are in Quarry Road but there are earlier small ones dotted about the parish near Star, Shipham Lane and Shute Shelve.
The parish was last most drastically changed in the 1960s when many new housing estates and new roads were laid out. A new school was also built at Woodborough. These developments, in a short period, enlarged the settlements far more than had happened in the previous 1000 years.