Come back to the town centre and the 21st century, and you might bump into wizards swishing their gowns along the pavement, leather-clad warriors, elegant ladies and other exotics – characters from the late Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. Wincanton is twinned with Ankh Morpork, a city state in the fantasy world.
So this is Wincanton – “a pleasant town by the Cale,” according to the Domesday Book. It has seen centuries of trade and travel, culminating now in the 2020s with fuel, food and hotel services for the busy A303 to the south west, known by locals as “the motorway” and by tourists as “the highway to the sun.”
It is a lovely, friendly, happily un-gentrified Somerset town, welcoming to visitors and new residents alike, whether they are Bosnian, Syrian or, now, Ukrainian refugees, or metropolitan incomers seeking a better quality of life, while still connected to the busy world.