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Visitors' Historic Britain: Somerset (Paperback)

Stone Age to WWII

P&S History > British History P&S History > Social History World History

By Mick Davis, David Lassman
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 162
Illustrations: 30
ISBN: 9781526706164
Published: 18th March 2020


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Every inch of legendary Somerset is steeped in history, from the towns of Dunster and Taunton in the west, to those of Shepton Mallet and Frome in the east; while also contained within its county boundaries are the cities of Bath and Wells and the mystical and magical Isle of Avalon: Glastonbury.

The county, located in southwest England and part of the Ancient Kingdom of Wessex, has played a significant role in many of the nation’s most formative events. These include the Roman occupation, Alfred the Great’s rise to power, the English Civil War and the Monmouth Rebellion.

And all this epoch-making activity has been played out against a landscape of dramatic and breath-taking beauty, from vast tracts of land such as Exmoor, hill ranges such as Mendip and Blackdown and an abundance of incredible rivers, lakes and streams; many situated within the famous Somerset Levels.

Wordsworth, Coleridge and Austen, among many others, have immortalised the county in literature, while everyone from the Celts, Cavaliers and Saxons, to the Roundheads, Romans and rebels have fought over its sought-after resources.

The authors, both living in Somerset, guide you on a fascinating and illuminating trip into the past of this most historical and legendary of counties, which boasts among its attractions the last battle fought upon English soil, the scene of the Bloody Assizes and the final resting place of King Arthur.

There is a good selection of maps, photos and prints plus a bibliography. Of practical use in each chapter are the sections about notable historic places to eat and drink.

Bristol and Avon Family History Society

I enjoyed this little book very much so that next year my wife and I are planning to visit a few of the places, stopping off for a couple of nights at a hotel and covering sites in that area we are interested in. As neither of us have been to Somerset before we thought it looked good enough for a visit, so that’s what we’re going to do. We don’t mind what historical period it covers, we’ll more than enjoy it. As for the book it is very good, all the information is clear and laid out well, there is a bit of history with each place, but not a huge amount but then I suppose they want you to visit and find that out, but a very good book overall. 4 out of 5 stars from me.


Read the full review here

UK Historian

Latest volume in Visitors' Historic Britain series sees Mick Davis and David Lassman taking a look at the county of Somerset. Although my home county was Gloucestershire, and Somerset was next door, I don't recall venturing into Somerset except, perhaps, on a school day trip, so this packed volume is a welcome addition to my library, with Somerset steeped in legend, particularly that of King Arthus, one of my favourite possibly real characters from Dark Age Britain.

Books Monthly

About Mick Davis

Mick Davis spent many years working in the criminal law before retiring with his wife Lorraine to Frome in Somerset where he pursues his interest in restoring historic buildings, local history and archaeology. He now spends his time researching and writing full time. His first book was The Historic Inns of Frome and his collaboration with David Lassman has so far produced The Awful Killing of Sarah Watts and Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in and around Frome, both published by Pen and Sword. Current projects include a survey of the prehistoric barrows of North Somerset.

 David Lassman

About David Lassman

David Lassman began his writing career freelancing for newspapers and magazines, before studying screenwriting at Bournemouth University. He spent three and a half years on a Greek island writing his first novel, is author of Frome in the Great War and co-created the ‘Regency Detective’ series with Terence James. His collaborations with Mick Davis include The Awful Killing of Sarah Watts, one of the most infamous crimes of the Victorian period and Visitors’ Historic Britain: Somerset.

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