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County in South West England / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Somerset (/ˈsʌmərsɪt, -sɛt/ i SUM-ər-sit, -set;[2] archaically Somersetshire /ˈsʌmərsɪt.ʃɪər, -sɛt-, -ʃər/ SUM-ər-sit-sheer, -set-, -shər) is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is bordered by the Bristol Channel, Gloucestershire, and Bristol to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. The largest settlement is the city of Bath, and the county town is Taunton.

Quick facts: Somerset, Sovereign state, Constituent countr...
Somerset within England
Coordinates: 51°06′N 2°54′W
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth West England
Time zoneUTC±00:00 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST)UTC+01:00 (British Summer Time)
Members of Parliament
PoliceAvon and Somerset Police
Ceremonial county
Lord LieutenantMohammed Saddiq
High SheriffMary-Clare Rodwell[1] (2020–21)
Area4,171 km2 (1,610 sq mi)
  Ranked7th of 48
Population (2021)965,424
  Ranked22nd of 48
Density232/km2 (600/sq mi)
Ethnicity98.5% White
Districts of Somerset
  1. Somerset
  2. North Somerset
  3. Bath and North East Somerset

Somerset is a predominantly rural county, especially to the south and west, with an area of 4,171 km2 (1,610 sq mi) and a population of 965,424. After Bath (101,557), the largest settlements are Weston-super-Mare (82,418), Taunton (60,479), and Yeovil (49,698). Wells (12,000) is also a city, the second-smallest by population in England. The county contains three unitary authority areas: Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, and Somerset.

The centre of Somerset is dominated by the Levels, a coastal plain and wetland, and the north-east and west of the county are hilly. The north-east contains part of the Cotswolds AONB, all of the Mendip Hills AONB, and a small part of Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB; the west contains the Quantock Hills AONB, a majority of Exmoor National Park, and part of the Blackdown Hills AONB. The main rivers in the county are the Avon, which flows through Bath and then Bristol, and the Axe, Brue, and Parrett, which drain the Levels.

There is evidence Paleolithic human occupation in Somerset, and the area was subsequently settled 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. In the later medieval period its wealth allowed its monasteries and parish churches to be rebuilt in grand style; Glastonbury Abbey was particularly important, and claimed to house the tomb of King Arthur and Guinevere. The city of Bath is famous for its Georgian architecture, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The county is also the location of Glastonbury Festival, one of the UK's major music festivals.