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caption=Somerset shown within England

Somerset (/ˈsʌmərsɛt/ (About this sound listen) or /ˈsʌmərsɪt/) is a county in South West England. The county town of Somerset is Taunton, which is in the south of the county. The ceremonial county of Somerset borders the counties of Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the coast of the Bristol Channel and the River Severn estuary. The traditional northern border of the county is the River Avon, but the administrative boundary has crept southwards with the creation and expansion of the City of Bristol.

Somerset is a rural county of rolling hills such as the 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 Palaeolithic times, and subsequent settlement in the Roman and Saxon periods. Later, the county played a significant part in the consolidation of power and rise of King Alfred the Great, the English Civil War, and the Monmouth Rebellion.

Agriculture is a major business in the county. Farming of sheep and cattle, including for wool and the county's famous cheeses (most notably Cheddar), are traditional and contemporary, as is the more unusual cultivation of willow for basketry. Apple orchards were once plentiful, and to this day Somerset is known for the production of strong cider. Unemployment is lower than the national average, and the largest employment sectors are retail, manufacturing, tourism, and health and social care. Population growth in the county is higher than the national average. (more about Somerset...)

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In the 2009 season, Somerset County Cricket Club competed in four domestic competitions: the first division of the County Championship, the Friends Provident Trophy, the first division of the NatWest Pro40 League and the Twenty20 Cup. Their performance in the Twenty20 Cup saw them qualify for the Champions League Twenty20. They enjoyed a successful season, but fell short of winning in any of the competitions, prompting Director of Cricket Brian Rose to say "We've had enough of being cricket's nearly men."

Consistent performances in the County Championship helped Somerset remain challengers for the competition until the last few weeks of the season, but the batting-friendly pitch at Taunton saw the county finish with too many draws to claim their first Championship title. Consistency was also key for Somerset's success in one-day cricket, where they remained unbeaten in the group stage of the Friends Provident Trophy, but were eliminated in the first knock-out round, and finished runners-up by one point in the NatWest Pro40. In the Twenty20 Cup, Somerset qualified for the quarter-finals as one of the best third-placed teams, and eventually finished as losing finalists. This meant that they qualified for the Champions League Twenty20, where they progressed into the second group stage of the competition. They failed to win any matches in that phase of the competition, resulting in their elimination.

They were captained for the third successive season by their Australian overseas player, Justin Langer, who announced during the season that it would be his last with Somerset. Marcus Trescothick topped the batting tables, accruing almost 3,000 runs in all competitions in 2009, which saw him named as both Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) Player of the Year and the PCA's Most Valuable Player of the Year.

Selected biography

Savaric FitzGeldewin
B. unknown – d. 8 August 1205

Savaric (sometimes Savaric FitzGeldewin or Savaric FitzGoldwin or Savaric de Bohun) was an Englishman who became Bishop of Bath and Glastonbury in England. Related to his predecessor as well as to the German Emperor Henry VI, he was elected bishop on the urging of his predecessor, who urged his election on the cathedral chapter of Bath. While bishop, Savaric spent many years attempting to annex Glastonbury Abbey as part of his bishopric. Savaric also worked to secure the release of King Richard I of England from captivity, when the king was held by Emperor Henry VI.

Districts of Somerset


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Somerset(27 C, 7 P, 1 F)
Somerset-related lists(2 C, 33 P)
Bath, Somerset(15 C, 3 P)
Burials in Somerset(3 C, 21 P)
Crime in Somerset(1 C, 4 P)
Culture in Somerset(13 C, 19 P)
Economy of Somerset(5 C, 7 P)
Education in Somerset(8 C, 3 P)
Environment of Somerset(6 C, 14 P)
Geography of Somerset(12 C, 17 P)
Geology of Somerset(3 C, 46 P)
Health in Somerset(2 C, 13 P)
History of Somerset(26 C, 182 P)
Media in Somerset(4 C)
Music in Somerset(3 C, 3 P)
People from Somerset(24 C, 259 P)
Politics of Somerset(12 C, 22 P)
Religion in Somerset(3 C, 3 P)
Sport in Somerset(8 C, 18 P)
Transport in Somerset(12 C, 20 P)

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Clevedon Pier

Clevedon Pier is a seaside pier in the town of Clevedon, on the English side of the Severn Estuary. It was built in the 1860s, and – after a partial collapse in the previous decade – was fully restored in the 1980s.

Selected settlement

River Somer and War memorial at Midsomer Norton

Midsomer Norton
Co-ordinates 51°17′03″N 2°28′54″W / 51.2842°N 2.4817°W / 51.2842; -2.4817

Midsomer Norton is a town in Somerset 10 miles (16.1 km) south-west of Bath, 10 miles (16 km) north-east of Wells, 10 miles (16 km) north-west of Frome, and 16 miles (26 km) south-east of Bristol. It has a population of 10,458. Along with Radstock it is part of the conurbation and large civil parish of Norton Radstock, and the unitary authority of Bath and North East Somerset.

The town, on the Mendip Hills has a long history, shown by the early churches, but really started to grow, and become a transport hub, with the development of the Somerset coalfield with several pits providing employment until their closure in the 1960s. The town's railway stations have also closed. Midsomer Norton is now home to printing and other industries and provides shopping and service industries for the surrounding area.

It has a rich cultural history and supports several music venues and bands. The town has four primary schools, two large secondary schools and a further education college. Midsomer Norton is home to a leisure centre and several sports clubs. It has been the birth place or home to several notable people.


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The sun at the Somerset Space Walk

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