The village is eight miles away from Nottingham and has a population of some 230 residents.
It has one pub, the Earl of Chestefield Arms and one Village Hall, previously the Church of England School, built in 1873 by the Earl of Carnarvon and later taken over by the Notts Education Committee, the school closed in 1964. The building belongs to the Crown Estate and was leased first to the Church and then to the Parish Council to be used as a Village Hall.
Shelford still has three farms in the village itself, which was the site of an important incident during the Civil War in the 17th century. The Stanhope family lived at Shelford Manor and were staunch Royalists. As such they were a thorn in the side of the Parliamentarian Colonel Hutchinson at Nottingham Castle. With a view to stamping out Royalism everywhere in the county the Roundheads invaded the village in 1645. They burned snipers out of the church tower, and advanced on Shelford Manor, where a fierce battle was fought with some 140 men being killed, including Philip Stanhope. The church contains a chapel dedicated to the Stanhopes and many of the family are buried there. The Sealed Knot have held a re-enactment of the 1645 battle in 1995, 2000, and 2005 and will hopefully do so again in 2010.
Water plays a dominant part in the landscape, with the River Trent nearby and the surrounding fields heavily punctuated with floodbanks and drains. At the side of the church, Stoke Ferry Lane leads to the River Trent with Stoke Bardolph on the other side. Near the riverside are the wooden remains of the chain ferry which was still working in the first half of the last century. Opposite Shelford Manor are marshes – the remains of 30 acres of willow beds. A number of people from the surrounding villages once worked there making rods for baskets and other purposes.
The Primitive Methodist Chapel was established in 1840 although it now forms part of the Earl of Chesterfield Arms. The original date stone was removed and is now in the parish church.