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Taunton, the county town of Somerset, is a bustling market town situated on the River Tone between the Quantock, Blackdown and Brendon Hills.

With a population of more than fifty thousand Taunton is Somerset’s largest town, a fact reflected in her wide variety of shops, of both the interesting and department-store variety, and numerous markets.

Welcome to Somerset

The town was established in the 8th century by King Ine of Wessex who built earthwork fortifications here. A generation later Queen Frithogyth founded a minster here and some time later a monastery was created under the control of the Bishop of Winchester.

Taunton’s Saxon castle, which dates back to the 12th century and was the scene of many a bloody uprising particularly during the English Civil War when the castle was held siege. A particularly blood thirsty episode in the castle’s history were the Bloody Assizes carried out by Judge Jeffreys. After the battle of Sedgemoor and the defeat of the Duke of Monmouth around 1,300 of his supporters were tried here with many of them executed by drawing and quartering. Queen Victoria is said to have drawn the curtains whenever she passed through Taunton on the train.

Today the castle is home to the County Museum and the Castle Hotel, considered one of the twenty best places to eat in the whole of the British Isles and made famous by celebrity head chefs such as Gary Rhodes and Phil Vickery.

A weekly farmer’s market sells local produce, from cheese, bread and cakes to vegetables and, of course, cider. There is also a thrice-weekly ‘county market’ on the picturesque Bath Street and, on Silver Street, one of the West Country’s largest antique markets, boasting more than one hundred and thirty dealers.

Guest Houses:

Brookfield House, 16 Wellington Road, Taunton, Tel: 01823 272786
Burnworthy Manor, Taunton, Tel: 01823 601394
Cutsey House, Cutsey, Trull, Taunton Tel: 01823 421705
Fursdon House, 88-90 Greenway Road, Taunton Tel: 01823 331955
Hillview Guest House, Bishops Hull Road, Taunton, Tel: 01823 275510
Lowdens House, 26 Wellington Road, Taunton Tel: 01823 334500
M E James, 14 Billetfield, Taunton Tel: 01823 272083
Orchard House, Fons George, Taunton Tel: 01823 351783
Slimbridge, Station Farm, Station Rd, Taunton Tel: 01823 432223
Staplegrove Lodge, Staplegrove, Taunton Tel: 01823 331153
The Blorenge Guest House, Staplegrove Rd Tel: 01823 283005

Hotels:

Avebury Taverns, 46 Waterloo Road, Wellington Tel: 01823 662297
Bindon House Hotel Ltd., Wellington Tel: 01823 400070
Crown & Sceptre Hotel, 74-76 Station Rd, Taunton Tel: 01823 333384
Falcon Hotel, Henlade, Taunton Tel: 01823 442502
Forte Posthouse, Deane Gate Avenue, Taunton Tel: 01823 332222
Holiday Inn, Blackbrook Business Park, Taunton Tel: 01823 624000
Lowdens House, 26 Wellington Road, Taunton Tel: 01823 334500
Meryan House Hotel, Bishops Hull Road, Taunton Tel: 01823 337445
Premier Travel Inn, Taunton Deane Mway Services Tel: 0870 1977250
Royal Mail Inn, Station Road, Taunton, Tel: 01823 331567

Royal Ashton Hotel, 90 Station Road, Taunton Tel: 01823 272456
Rumwell Manor Hotel, Rumwell, Taunton Tel: 01823 461902
Taunton Travel Lodge, Herongate, Taunton Tel: 01823 444702
The Blue Mantle, 2 Mantle Street, Wellington Tel: 01823 662000
The Castle Hotel, Castle Grn, Taunton Tel: 01823 272671
The Cleeve Country House Hotel, Wellington Tel: 01823 662033
The Corner House Hotel, Park Street, Taunton Tel: 01823 284683
The Mount Somerset Hotel, Henlade, Taunton Tel: 01823 442500
The Ring of Bells, 16-17 St James Street, Taunton Tel: 01823 253303
Travel Lodge, Riverside Retail Park, Taunton Tel: 01823 444702
Waggon & Horses Inn, Dorchester Road, Taunton Tel: 01823 284506
White Hart Hotel, West Street, Wiveliscombe Tel: 01984 623344

 

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