Somerset

Smart Home Protection is available for Smart Alarm Security System Burglar alarm installation for homes in the county of Somerset.

Somerset borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the River Severn. Its traditional northern border is the River Avon, but the administrative boundary has crept southwards with the creation and expansion of the City of Bristol, and latterly the county of Avon and its successor unitary authorities to the north. Somerset’s county town, Taunton, is in the south.

Somerset is a rural county of rolling hills such as the Blackdown Hills,  Mendip Hills,  Quantock Hills and Exmoor National Park, and large flat expanses of land including the Somerset Levels. There is evidence of human occupation from Palaeolithic times, and of subsequent settlement in the Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods. The county played a significant part in the consolidation of power and rise of King Alfred the Great, and later in the English Civil War and the Monmouth Rebellion.

Agriculture is a major business in the county. Farming of sheep and cattle, including for wool and the county’s famous cheeses (most notably Cheddar), are traditional and contemporary, as is the more unusual cultivation of willow for basket weaving. Apple orchards were once plentiful, and Somerset is still known for the production of strong cider. Unemployment is lower than the national average; the largest employment sectors are retail, manufacturing, tourism, and health and social care. Population growth in the county is higher than the national average.

The caves of the Mendip Hills were settled during the Palaeolithic period, and contain extensive archaeological sites such as those at Cheddar Gorge. Bones from Gough’s Cave have been dated to 12,000 BC, and a complete skeleton, known as Cheddar Man, dates from 7150 BC. Examples of cave art have been found in caves such as Aveline’s Hole. Some caves continued to be occupied until modern times, including Wookey Hole.

 The county has many rivers which feed and drain the flat levels and moors of mid and west Somerset. In the north of the county the River Chew flows into the Bristol Avon. The Parrett is tidal almost to Langport, where there is evidence of two Roman wharfs. At the same site during the reign of King Charles I,  river tolls were levied on boats to pay for the maintenance of the bridge.

The 64 km (40 mi) coastline of the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary forms part of the northern border of Somerset. The Bristol Channel has the second largest tidal range in the world. At Burnham-on-Sea, for example, the tidal range of a spring tide is more than 12 metres (39 feet).Proposals for the construction of a Severn Barrage aim to harness this energy.

Somerset has few industrial centres, but it does have a variety of light industry and high technology businesses, along with traditional agriculture and an increasingly important tourism sector.  Somerset is an important supplier of defence equipment and technology.  Agriculture and food and drink production continue to be major industries in the county, employing over 15,000 people. The towns of Taunton and Shepton Mallet are involved with the production of cider, especially Blackthorn Cider, which is sold nationwide, and there are specialist producers such as Burrow Hill Cider Farm and Thatchers Cider. Gerber Products Company in Bridgwater is the largest producer of fruit juices in Europe, producing brands such as “Sunny Delight” and “Ocean Spray.” Development of the milk-based industries, such as Ilchester Cheese Company and Yeo Valley Organic, have resulted in the production of ranges of desserts, yoghurts and cheeses,  including Cheddar cheese.

Attractions include the coastal towns, part of the Exmoor National Park, the West Somerset Railway (a heritage railway), and the museum of the Fleet Air Arm at RNAS Yeovilton. The town of Glastonbury has mythical associations.