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Portal:Somerset

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Somerset

caption=Somerset shown within England

Somerset (/ˈsʌmərsɛt/ (About this soundlisten) or locally /ˈzʌmərzɛt/; archaically, Somersetshire) is a county in South West England which borders Gloucestershire and Bristol to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east and Devon to the south-west. It is bounded to the north and west by the Severn Estuary and the Bristol Channel, its coastline facing southeastern Wales. Its traditional border with Gloucestershire is the River Avon. Somerset's county town is Taunton.

Somerset is a rural county of rolling hills, the Blackdown Hills, Mendip Hills, Quantock Hills and Exmoor National Park, and large flat expanses of land including the Somerset Levels. There is evidence of human occupation from Paleolithic times, and of subsequent settlement by the Celts, Romans and Anglo-Saxons. The county played a significant part in Alfred the Great's rise to power, and later the English Civil War and the Monmouth Rebellion. The city of Bath is famous for its Georgian architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Read more...

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Firepool Lock, where the canal joins the River Tone
The Bridgwater and Taunton Canal is a canal between Bridgwater and Taunton, opened in 1827 and linking the River Tone to the River Parrett. There were a number of abortive schemes to link the Bristol Channel to the English Channel by waterway in the 18th and early 19th centuries. These schemes followed the approximate route eventually taken by the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal, but the canal was instead built as part of a plan to link Bristol to Taunton by waterway.

The early years of operation were marred by a series of legal disputes, which were resolved when the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal Company and the Conservators, who managed the River Tone Navigation, agreed that the Canal Company should take over the Tone Navigation. The canal originally terminated at a basin at Huntworth, to the east of Bridgwater, but was later extended to a floating harbour on its western edge. Financially this was a disaster, as the extension was funded by a mortgage, and the arrival of the railways soon afterwards started the demise of the canal. The canal was rescued from bankruptcy by the Bristol and Exeter Railway in 1866.

Despite commercial traffic ceasing in 1907, the infrastructure was maintained in good order, and the canal was used for the transport of potable water from 1962. The Countryside Act 1968 provided a framework for Somerset County Council to start the restoration of the canal as a leisure facility, which was completed in 1994, when the canal was reopened throughout. Bridgwater Docks have been restored as a marina, but there is no navigable connection to the River Parrett, as the canal still transports drinking water for the people of Bridgwater.


Selected biography

Edward Sainsbury
B. (1851-07-05)July 5, 1851 – d. October 28, 1930(1930-10-28) (aged 79)

Edward Sainsbury was an English cricketer who represented, and captained, Somerset County Cricket Club in the late 19th century. During a 10-year first-class cricket career, he also represented Gloucestershire and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

Most commonly employed as a right-handed opening batsman, Sainsbury was one of Somerset's most talented batsman during their formative years. His slow underarm bowling was effective in second-class cricket, but in an era when overarm bowling was becoming the standard, he was used sparingly in the first-class game. During his time at Somerset, the county gained first-class status. After being led for three seasons by Sainsbury's Lansdown team-mate Stephen Newton, Sainsbury was given the Somerset captaincy for the 1885 season. A combination of poor results and not being able to raise a full eleven during that season led to the county's removal from the first-class game, although Sainsbury remained as captain until 1888. By the time Somerset had improved sufficiently to return to first-class cricket in 1891, Sainsbury had moved to neighbouring county Gloucestershire, where he saw out his county cricket career.


Districts of Somerset

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Somerset(27 C, 8 P, 1 F)
Somerset-related lists(3 C, 32 P)
Bath, Somerset(17 C, 2 P)
Burials in Somerset(5 C, 22 P)
Crime in Somerset(1 C, 3 P)
Culture in Somerset(13 C, 16 P)
Economy of Somerset(5 C, 7 P)
Education in Somerset(8 C, 3 P)
Environment of Somerset(6 C, 15 P)
Geography of Somerset(12 C, 18 P)
Geology of Somerset(3 C, 48 P)
Health in Somerset(2 C, 15 P)
History of Somerset(29 C, 189 P)
Media in Somerset(4 C)
Music in Somerset(4 C, 3 P)
People from Somerset(24 C, 282 P)
Politics of Somerset(12 C, 21 P)
Religion in Somerset(2 C, 3 P)
Sport in Somerset(11 C, 5 P)
Transport in Somerset(13 C, 19 P)

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Yeovil County Court

Yeovil
Co-ordinates 50°56′43″N 2°38′13″W / 50.9452°N 2.637°W / 50.9452; -2.637

Yeovil (/ˈjvɪl/ YOH-vil) is a town and civil parish in south Somerset. The parish had a population of 27,949 at the 2001 census, although the wider urban area had a population of 42,140. The town lies within the local district of South Somerset and the Yeovil parliamentary constituency.

It has palaeolithic remains, was on an old Roman road and was recorded in the Domesday Book as the town of Givle, and later became a centre for the glove making industry. During the Middle Ages the population of the town suffered from the Black Death and several serious fires. In the 20th century it developed into a centre of the aircraft and defence industries, which made it a target for bombing in World War II, with one of the largest employers being AgustaWestland who manufacture helicopters. Several other manufacturing and retail companies also have bases in the town. In the 21st century Yeovil became the first town in Britain to institute a system of biometric fingerprint scanning in nightclubs and the first English council to ban the children's craze Heelys. Plans have been proposed for various regeneration projects in the town.

Yeovil Country Park, which includes Ninesprings, is one of several open spaces in the town. There are a range of educational, cultural and sporting facilities. Religious sites include the 14th century Church of St John the Baptist. It is on the A30 and A37 roads and has two railway stations on two separate railway lines. Yeovil Pen Mill is on the Bristol to Weymouth line served by First Great Western train operating company services, whilst Yeovil Junction is on the London Waterloo to Exeter line served by South West Trains. There is also a small railway museum.

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