Somerton in 1841
Somerton is in the hundred of Somerton, 127 miles west by south of London, and 17½ miles east by north of Taunton. It was a fortified town in the time of the Heptarchy, and the West Saxon kings had a palace here. It was plundered by the Danes about A.D. 877, but recovered it's importance, which is attested by it's having given name to the county. It is called Summertone in Domesday. The town has a neat and respectable appearance : it stands on a hill on the left bank of the river Carey, over which is a stone bridge, and consists of about five narrow streets, the houses of which are built of blue lias from quarries in the neighbourhood. The church is ancient, and consists of nave, chancel, side aisles, porch, and vestry, with an octangular embattled tower on the south side. There are an Independent meeting-house, and a range of alms-houses.
The parish comprehends an area of 6,030 acres, with a population 1831, of 1,786. The market is on Tuesday, and there are seven fairs in the year. Alabaster and lias are quarried near the town.
The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Wells, in the diocese of Bath and Wells, of the clear yearly value of £259.
There were in the parish in 1833 an infant-school, partly supported by contribution, with 40 boys and 30 girls ; an endowed day-school, with 12 boys ; three other day schools, with 21 boys, 40 girls, and 60 children of sex not stated ; and two Sunday-schools, with 93 boys and 90 girls.