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county (1991 pop. 459,100), 1,333 sq mi (3,453 sq km), SW England, on the Bristol Channel. The county seat is TauntonTaunton
, city (1991 pop. 47,793), county seat of Somerset, SW England, on the Trove River. Its industries include the manufacture of textiles, shirts, gloves, and precision instruments. Taunton is also a market and railroad junction. Tourism is economically important.
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. The terrain is generally low and flat in the center (the location of the Somerset Levels), with the Mendip Hills to the east and Exmoor National Park and the Quantock Hills to the west. The principal rivers are the Bristol Avon, the Exe, and the Parrett and tributaries, whose fertile valleys are devoted to agriculture. Dairy farming (cheddar cheese), cider production, and fruit growing are important, and much of the land is devoted to cattle grazing. Woolens, leather goods, and other products are manufactured. Coal and limestone were once extracted.

There are prehistoric remains at CheddarCheddar,
village, Somerset, SW England. It is chiefly a tourist center. Limestone is quarried, and strawberries are grown. Nearby Cheddar Gorge towers c.400 ft (120 m) high, with imposing limestone cliffs and numerous caves from which relics of prehistoric man have been
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 and GlastonburyGlastonbury
, town (1991 pop. 6,751), Somerset, SW England. It has a leather industry, but Glastonbury is famous for its religious associations and many legends. One legend tells that St. Joseph of Arimathea founded the first Christian church in England there.
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. BathBath,
city (1991 pop. 84,283), Bath and North East Somerset, SW England, in the Avon River valley. Britain's leading winter resort, Bath has the only natural hot springs in the country. Engineering, printing, bookbinding, wool-weaving, and clothing are among Bath's industries.
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, which historically was part of the county but now is administratively separate, is the site of some of the most important Roman remains in Britain; Bath reached its greatest importance as a fashionable watering place in the 18th cent. In the early Middle Ages the region became a part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of WessexWessex
, one of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England. It may have been settled as early as 495 by Saxons under Cerdic, who is reputed to have landed in Hampshire. Cerdic's grandson, Ceawlin (560–93), annexed scattered Saxon settlements in the Chiltern Hills and drove the
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. The county has associations with King Alfred and the legend of King Arthur, and Glastonbury is important in England's religious legend and history. The churches of the county are famous, notably Wells Cathedral. In 1974, Somerset was reorganized as a nonmetropolitan county.


1 City (1990 pop. 10,733), seat of Pulaski co., S Ky., in a farm, coal, and limestone area of the Cumberland foothills; inc. 1810. A railroad center, it has agriculture (tobacco, corn, wheat, livestock, poultry, and dairying) and diversified manufactures, including jewelry; metal, glass, and wood products; building materials; lumber; and granite monuments. 2 Residential town (1990 pop. 17,655), Bristol co., SE Mass., on the Taunton River; settled 1677, set off from Swansea and inc. 1790. It has varied manufacturing, including varnishes.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a county in Great Britain, in Cornwall, on the Bristol Channel. Population, 682,000 (1971). The largest city in the county is Taunton.



an island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, located south of Barrow Strait. Somerset Island covers an area of 24,300 sq km and rises to an elevation of 760 m. The small settlement of Fort Ross is located in the south.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1st Duke of, title of Edward Seymour. ?1500--52, English statesman, protector of England (1547--49) during Edward VI's minority. He defeated the Scots (1547) and furthered the Protestant Reformation: executed


a county of SW England, on the Bristol Channel: the Mendip Hills lie in the north and Exmoor in the west: the geographical and ceremonial county includes the unitary authorities of North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset (both part of Avon county from 1975 until 1996): mainly agricultural (esp dairying and fruit). Administrative centre: Taunton. Pop. (excluding unitary authorities): 507 500 (2003 est.). Area (excluding unitary authorities): 3452 sq. km (1332 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
For, remarkably enough, Margaret Harbin too, like her sister Anne, had married a Somersetshire gentleman with close links to Rochester: Sir Francis Warre, half brother of the poet's wife and one of the executors of his will.
The facts that Wiltshire shares borders with Gloucestershire, Somersetshire, and Hampshire, that Mary served as a patron for her literary circle and the Sidney family had a tradition of offering support to dramatic companies, that she was most likely in Wiltshire at the time, and that Jewell refers to Mary in his will cumulatively suggest that one of the Queen's Men troupes, of which Jewell was a member, may have performed at Mary Herbert's residence around July-August 1592.
East Coker is a Somersetshire village from which in the seventeenth century one of his ancestors, Andrew Eliot, went to America.
To further complicate Ellen's life, in July 1875 Georgina Chads, one of John Henry's daughters by his first marriage, arrived in Melbourne aboard the Somersetshire. In December 1877 the other daughter, Annie, arrived on the Highflyer.
Headstones in Harbour Buffett show that Thomas Bendle came from Hampshire, and that Thomas Harm came from Montacute, Somersetshire. Thomas E.
saved the hedgerows for Persuasion, set in Somersetshire, where
A similar scene occurs at the beginning of book 9 of Tom Jones where Tom stands at the top of Mazard Hill and traces his way back to Somersetshire which he has left behind.
Little wonder then, that, that Land's ears should have pricked up when he heard 'strange news out of Somersetshire' about supernatural messages for Bishop Atherton, or that he kept Wentworth closely briefed about developments, including the Justices' conclusion that it was all an 'imposture, device and fraud'.
The Southwestern dialect is here represented by texts from three regions: (a) Worcestershire, (b) Gloucestershire and (c) other dialects (Somersetshire, Wiltshire, Surrey, Devonshire and Oxfordshire).
As Margaret Wilson argues, 'When Frederick Wentworth re-enters Somersetshire, he displays the charms of the other man but he also demonstrates the solid qualities that denote a gentleman and an Austen hero.' (37)
the constable at the Police station goes daily to the Hospitals during the period a ship is in quarantine and returns among the population.' (9) These movements were also criticised by the people held in quarantine, as one anonymous author from the quarantined ship Somersetshire noted in August 1871: 'I cannot see what advantage a system of quarantine can be if any person whatever is permitted to come and go between the persons supposed to be secluded and the public.' (10)

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