Taunton was called Tone Tun and this began as a Saxon village. By the 10th century, this Taunton grew from a small village to a small town.
This was also a settlement which was fortified and termed as a ‘burh’. Alfred the Great created fortified towns across his kingdom in the late 9th century.
Taunton: 16th and 17th Century:
During this time, that is the 16th and 17th century, Taunton depended on the wool industry that was flourishing. A grammar school opened here in the year 1522 but Taunton priory in 1539 was closed. Taunton was granted a charter only in 1627 and was also given a mayor and a corporation. 1635 saw the building of the Grays Almshouses.
In the year 1642 there was a civil war between the parliament and the king, and you had Taunton siding with the parliament. Taunton surrendered to the royalists’ army in June in the year 1643. Taunton was in the hands of the royalists for a year. In the year 1644, in July the parliamentary troops captured Taunton.
The royalists tried capturing Taunton two more times but did not succeed in capturing the castle. This town was destroyed to a large extent due to these sieges but managed to recover.
With all the raids in Taunton, you need to be aware that in 1682 Taunton saw the market house being built.
Taunton: 19th century:
Amenities improved in Taunton only in the 19th century. In 1812 Taunton witnessed a hospital being built and in the year 1822 a new market house being built. Public parks were laid out in Taunton in the latter half of this century. It was during this time period you found many churches being built here and the railway reaching Taunton in the year 1842.
This time period saw a growth in Taunton and the Corporation Street being laid out in the year 1894.
During this time Taunton flourished due to the shirt collar making industry.
Taunton: and the 20th Century:
Taunton flourished and you had the electric trams running in the town between the years 1901 and the year 1921. In 1905 Taunton had its public library. The Taunton Market was shifted to Priory Bridge road in 1929. It was in the year 1935 that Taunton was declared the county town, a clear indication of its importance and the growth in size.
In 1939evacuated schoolchildren from nearby cities were shifted to Taunton as this place was considered to be a safe place from the German bombing.
Taunton Museum changed to Somerset County Museum in 1958. With better communications here, Taunton grew at a fast pace.
At present times, tourism plays an important role here. Besides which, it is also known as the regional shopping centre. The County Walk opened in the year 1985 and before that, in 1982, The old Market shopping Centre.
Going through the many historical events of Taunton, this place works out a ‘must’ visit for all those who are into history. You find almost seventy percent of the population describing themselves as ‘Christians’.