About Taunton

Taunton is the county town of Somerset, England. The built up area of the town had a population of 64,621 in 2011 with Taunton Deane being over 110,000 population.

The town has over 1,000 years of religious and military history, including a monastery in the 10th century and Taunton Castle which has origins in the Anglo Saxon period and was later the site of a priory. The Normans then built a stone structured castle, which belonged to the Bishops of Winchester. The current heavily reconstructed buildings are the inner ward, which now houses the Museum of Somerset and the Somerset Military Museum. The town is undergoing a regeneration project with redevelopment of the town centre. It has various transport links which support its central role in economy and commerce. These have included the Grand Western Canal which reached Taunton in 1839 and arrival of the railway in 1842.

The town name derives from “Town on the River Tone” — or Tone Town. Cambria Farm which is now the site of a Park and ride close to Junction 25 of the M5 motorway was the site of a Bronze and Iron Age settlement and Roman farm. There was a Romano-British village near the suburb of Holway, and Taunton was a place of considerable importance in Saxon times. The Saxon town was a burh with its own mint. King Ine of Wessex threw up an earthen castle here about 700, but it was destroyed by his queen Æthelburg of Wessex in 722, to prevent its seizure by rebels.

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