Somerset

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A map showing where Somerset is in England. The main county is coloured red. The special unitary authorities linked to Somerset are coloured orange.

Somerset is a county in South West England.

The main town of Somerset was Somerton, but it is now Taunton. There are two cities in Somerset. They are Bath and Wells.

History[change | edit source]

The name "Somerset" comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase Sumorsaete. This means "the land of the summer people", because in the past people could only live on the land in the summer. In the winter, the land was flooded.

In the past, the northern border of Somerset was the River Avon. However, as the city of Bristol has grown, the border moved south.

In 1974 parts of north Somerset, the city of Bristol and parts of south Gloucestershire were joined into a new county. This county was named Avon. In 1996 Avon was split into 4 parts, which are now unitary authorities. People usually say that 2 of these parts (named North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset) are part of Somerset, even though they have their own councils.

The oldest prison in England which is still used is in a town named Shepton Mallet in Somerset. Somerset also has the world's oldest road which people built. It is called the Sweet Track; it was built in about 3800 BC.

Industry and tourism[change | edit source]

The Dunster Yarn Market was built in 1609 for the trading of local cloth

There is not much large industry in Somerset, but Bridgwater is a port, and Yeovil is important in building helicopters.

Tourism is an important industry in the county; in 2001 about 23,000 people worked in tourism. Tourists like Somerset because it is very beautiful, with much countryside and few big towns. Somerset has many places to visit:

Farming is an important industry in Somerset, but not as many people work in this industry today. Somerset is famous for its cider (an alcoholic apple drink) and it has many apple orchards.

Interesting places in Somerset[change | edit source]

Key
National Trust Owned by the National Trust
English Heritage Owned by English Heritage
Forestry Commission Owned by the Forestry Commission
Country Park A Country Park
Accessible open space An Accessible open space
Museum (free) Museum (free)
Museum Museum (charges entry fee)
Heritage railway Heritage railway
Historic house Historic House

Politics[change | edit source]

Districts of Somerset[change | edit source]

A map showing the districts of Somerset

The numbers on the map are linked to the numbers below.

  1. South Somerset
  2. Taunton Deane
  3. West Somerset
  4. Sedgemoor
  5. Mendip
  6. Bath and North East Somerset (Unitary)
  7. North Somerset (Unitary)

Cities, towns, and villages[change | edit source]

This is a list of the main towns and cities in Somerset:

Other websites[change | edit source]