In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Somerton like this:
SOMERTON, a small town, a parish, a sub-district, and a hundred, in Somerset. The town stands on an eminence adjacent to the river Cary, 5 miles ENE of Langport r. station; was a residence of the West Saxon kings, and gave name to Somersetshire; suffered devastation by the Danes in 877; had anciently a castle, in which King John of France was confined; is now a seat of petty-sessions; and has a post-office‡ under Taunton, a banking office, two chief inns, a town hall, an ancient market cross, a recent police station, a decorated English church, three dissenting chapels, an endowed school with £30 a year, a national school, alms houses with £50 a year, charities £59, a weekly market on Tuesday, and nine annual fairs.The parish includes the tythings of S.-Borough, S.-Earl, and Hurcott, and the hamlets of S.-Door, Catsgore, Highbrooks, and Midney. ...
Acres, 6,925. Real property, £11,973. Pop., 2,206. Houses, 480. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bath and Wells. Value, £279.* Patron, the Earl of Ilchester. -The sub-district contains nine parishes, and is in Langport district. Acres, 20,744. Pop., 5,797. Houses, 1,266.-The hundred comprises 24,917 acres. Pop., 5,929. Houses, 1,271.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Somerton has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of South Somerset. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Somerton and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Somerton in South Somerset | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 28th July 2014
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