Sister cities of Somerton
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Somerton // is a small town and civil parish in the South Somerset district of the English county of Somerset. It gave its name to the county of Somerset, was briefly, around the start of the 14th century, the county town, and around 900 AD was possibly the capital of Wessex. It has held a weekly market since the Middle Ages, and the main square with its market cross is today an attractive location for visitors. Situated on the River Cary, approximately 8.8 miles (14.2 km) north-west of Yeovil, the town has its own parish council serving a population of 4,706 as of 2002, and an acreage of 6,620 acres (2,679 ha) as of 1894. The civil parish includes the hamlets of Etsome and Hurcot.
The history of Somerton dates back to the Anglo-Saxon era, when it was an important political and commercial centre. A local legend has it that Ine, a Wessex king, was originally a farmer in Somerton. After the Norman conquest of England the importance of the town declined despite being the former county town of Somerset in the late thirteenth century and early fourteenth century. Despite losing county town status, Somerton then became a market town in the Middle Ages, whose economy was supported by transport systems using the River Parrett, and later rail transport via the Great Western Railway, and by light industries including glove making and gypsum mining.
In the centre of Somerton the wide market square, with its octagonal roofed market cross, is surrounded by old houses, while close by is the 13th century Church of St Michael and All Angels. Somerton also had links with Muchelney Abbey in the Middle Ages. The BBC drama The Monocled Mutineer was filmed in Somerton from 1985 to 1986.
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