Marshfield first gained market status in 1234 commanding a position on the road from Bristol to Chippenham and strategically located in wool country. Its wealth in the 17th and 18th Centuries came from woollen manufacture, candles and malted barley. This influenced the layout of the village with fine houses mixed with more humble dwellings and long malting sheds which can still be seen today. Much of the character has been preserved along the High Street with its many listed buildings. With a population of over 1000 in 1800, this was an important community in the area at that time.
Up until the 1930’s the Parish was largely self sufficient with a mass of shops and mainly agriculture oriented businesses. Those have declined dramatically with greater personal mobility and more people working outside the Parish.
The current population is around 1700 living in around 700 households. 90% of the residents live within the Conservation area. Of the above, roughly 22% are in the Youth (0-18) group, 56% of Working Age and 22% of Retirement Age.
Whilst overall population has grown by 5% over the period 2001-9, youth numbers have declined by around 6% over the same period whilst the retirement age group has grown by around 25% leaving the Working Group essentially static. These trends, which are likely to continue, have significant implications for the future of the Community.