Somerset is a historic county in the south west of England. There is evidence of human occupation since prehistoric times with hand axes and flint points from the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic eras, and a range of burial mounds, hill forts and other artefacts dating from the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages.
Following the Roman Empire's invasion of southern Britain, the mining of lead and silver in the Mendip Hills provided a basis for local industry and commerce. Bath became the site of a major Roman fort and city, the remains of which can still be seen. During the Early Medieval period Somerset was the scene of battles between the Anglo-Saxons and first the Britons and later the Danes. In this period it was ruled first by various kings of Wessex, and later by kings of England. Following the defeat of the Anglo-Saxon monarchy by the Normans in 1066, castles were built in Somerset.
Expansion of the population and settlements in the county continued during the Tudor and more recent periods. Agriculture and coal mining expanded until the 18th century, although other industries declined during the industrial revolution. In modern times the population has grown, particularly in the seaside towns, notably Weston-super-Mare. Agriculture continues to be a major business.
For more history on Somerset please visit http://www.visitsomerset.co.uk/explore-somerset/history