Somerset III

Somerset III
Edited by: 
R.W. Dunning
First Published: 
1 January, 1974

This is the first volume of the Victoria History of the County of Somerset to be pub-lished since 1911, and is the result of the revival of the History under the patronage of the County Council. It provides a com-prehensive and detailed account of twenty-one parishes towards the southern boundary of the county and lying in the ancient hundreds of Pitney, Somerton, Tintinhull, and part of Kingsbury (East). The land is partly in the valleys of the Parrett and the Yeo and partly on the hills. The lower ground, still liable to flood on occasions, has gradually over the years been drained and converted into the 'moors' that are a feature of the area and provide unusually rich grazing. From the hills in the south comes the celebrated Ham stone. The volume includes the history of two small towns that can each claim to have served at some time as the county centre: Somerton, whose name is linked with that of the county, and the diminutive Ilchester at the junction of the Foss Way and another Roman road. Lang-port, a commercial centre on the navigable river Parrett, is also an ancient settlement. Other parishes that figure in the volume include Montacute, with its fine Elizabethan mansion, and Muchelney, with the remains of its medieval abbey, and there are National Trust properties at Lytes Cary (in Charlton Mackrell) and Tintinhull. The test is illus-trated with line-drawn maps and with plates that include both photographs, old and new, and reproductions of paintings and drawings.