Historic England: Somerset
This illustrated history portrays one of England’s finest counties. It provides a nostalgic look at Somerset’s past and highlights the special character of some of its most important historic sites.
The photographs are taken from the Historic England Archive, a unique collection of over 12 million photographs, drawings, plans and documents covering England’s archaeology, architecture, social and local history. Pictures date from the earliest days of photography to the present and cover subjects from Bronze Age burials and medieval churches to cinemas and seaside resorts.
Somerset has a huge variety of landscapes, the flat marshlands of the Somerset Levels contrasting with the Mendip, Quantock and Blackdown hills and the moorlands of Exmoor, as well as a coastline along the Bristol Channel. Somerset was an important part of the Saxon kingdom of Wessex and the region became prosperous in the Middle Ages through the wool trade. Although coal mining was developed in the north of the county and Yeovil became a centre of the aircraft and defence industries, much of Somerset is still largely rural, with the county town of Taunton in the heart of the county. The county draws many visitors to its historic attractions, not least the city of Bath with its Roman remains and Georgian architecture, the cathedral city of Wells and the town of Glastonbury with its striking Tor and abbey ruins. This book will help the reader to discover its remarkable history.