A look at the history of Taunton in Somerset

England, as with numerous nations across the world, has been shaped and defined by a history filled with military upheaval and religious conflict. The English way of life has survived throughout the years, despite the nation once holding dominion over half the world and thus coming into contact with a huge array of different languages and cultures.

Taunton, in Somerset, preserves some of England’s oldest traditions, despite also embracing progress in the 21st century, and this makes it an excellent place to observe and experience some of what the real England is like.

The name ‘Taunton’ is actually an altered form of ‘Tone Town’ – a shortened name from the fact that the town lies on the river Tone. Taunton was a particularly significant town around the year 700 AD, during the reign of the Saxons, and the following centuries saw a number of different rulers. History’s centrepiece in the area was built around 1107 AD; Taunton Castle did however have to be repaired during the Civil War centuries later having deteriorated.

On the subject of conflict, many bloody skirmishes and battles were fought in the area, contrasting dramatically with the peaceful and serene environment now witnessed at Taunton. In fact, it was only after the authorities named the town a ‘Strategically Important City’ that sufficient funds became available for regeneration, with the town left in a state of disrepair following the conflicts.

Many of these battles took place during the 15th century, however the town tells a more contemporary military tale; it served as a ‘stop line’ should the German’s move in to England, and pillboxes are still present, dotted around the area. The money from the regeneration has not gone to waste, and Taunton is a leading town in both business and culture in the South West of the country.