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12 Historical Places To Visit In Taunton Somerset, UK

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Taunton, Somerset’s county town, has a lot of historic sites that you can cover in a day or two of sightseeing. Here are some of the best ones:

1. Taunton War Memorial

There are 490 names of Taunton residents who perished in World War I (490), and 162 names perished in World War II (162). There are three names from the conflict between Great Britain and Ireland. Most of them were built after the First World War. Additionally, the names of those who died in World War II were added to the memorial.

2. Woodlands Castle, Taunton

Woodlands Castle is a 17th-century country house wedding venue nestled in 12 acres of private parkland in the heart of Somerset. With its proximity to Taunton and all its amenities as well as transport links, this is an idyllic setting for your special day.

3. Bath Place

Until Corporation Street was cut in 1894, Bath Place was the main thoroughfare west of the town. Most of the current buildings date from the 18th century when the street was straightened and widened. The shopfronts have remained surprisingly untouched by time. Several Georgian-style buildings still retain their octagonal glazed fanlights. Similarly, the houses and gardens at Bath Place also take us back in time.

4. St Mary Magdelene Church

Ina, king of the West Saxons, probably built St. Mary Magdalene church in the early eighth century when Christianity was established in Taunton.

Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester, reorganised Taunton in 1180 and built the church in stone.  By 1308, Bishop Hazelshaw of Winchester changed the church’s legal standing from a chapel of Taunton Priory to a parish church with its own rector; the Revd Simon of Lyme became its first rector.  A legal process called the ‘Ordination of the Vicarage’ allowed this to happen.

Besides the pillars that line the four aisles of the church – a rare feature in a parish church – it is primarily built of sandstone and painted interior. There are many statues and stained glass windows from the Victorian era.


5. Vivary Park

Taunton, Somerset, England, is home to the public open space Vivary Park.

In this 7.5 hectare (19 acres) park near the town centre, the Sherford Stream, which is a tributary of the River Tone, runs. The park has two large open spaces and a war memorial dating from 1922, a miniature golf course, tennis courts, two children’s playgrounds, a model railway track added in 1979, and a par-63 golf course.

Each year, approximately 56,000 spring and summer bedding plants are used in the park’s trees, rose beds, and herbaceous borders. A Provincial Trial Site is located in the Park’s Rose Garden. The garden is part of the European Garden Heritage Network.

6. St. James Church

has been on the present site since 1175 (12th century). Archaeological excavations inside the present church revealed the archaic foundations of this church. In the fifteenth century, the nave (main body of the church) was rebuilt on these foundations.  Over the centuries, the church has undergone several extensions and reconstructions.

Taunton has two medieval churches, the other being St. Mary Magdalene. Quite heated debates have often ensued about which of them is the oldest. A priory was refounded to the northeast of the town in 1158, just west of St. James, which is outside medieval defences.

The church’s main legacy is, however, the continuing Christian worship on this site for all those years, which they strive to pass on to future generations.

7. Trull Waterfall

Trull Waterfall is just a 10-minute drive from Taunton Town Centre. Trull Waterfall is a place of personality since it is the setting of ancient folk law. During herding across the bridge above, it was said that trolls lived between the rocks of the falls and would steal the sheep and cows. An afternoon visit to Trull Waterfall with your family on a sunny afternoon is made even more enjoyable by the proximity of a local pub and Community Cafe.

8. Taunton Castle

Taunton Castle guards the town of Taunton in Somerset, England. It was built in the Anglo-Saxon period and later became a priory. Following this, the Normans constructed a castle of stone that belonged to the bishops of Winchester. The Museum of Somerset and the Somerset Military Museum are located in the heavily reconstructed inner ward of the hospital. In 1952, it was designated a Grade I listed building.

9. French Weir Park

There are 2.4 hectares of land in French Weir Park, a small neighbourhood park. The park is located along the River Tone. It’s a neighbourhood park that is enjoyed by those of all ages and serves as a way to connect residential neighbourhoods, shops, schools, and colleges.

You can play with your family and children here, and a play park is available. You can also enjoy a cup of coffee and a pastry at the Weir Cafe. Enjoy a riverside picnic. You can also take a walk along the river with your dog.

10. West Somerset Railway

There is a heritage railway line called West Somerset Railway (WSR) in Somerset, England. It is 22.75 miles (36.6 km) long. It was opened in 1862 between Taunton railway station and Watchet railway station. British Rail closed the line in 1971 and reopened it as a heritage line in 1976. As a standard gauge historic railway, it is the longest in the country.

11. Hestercombe Gardens

Based near Taunton in Somerset, Hestercombe House and Gardens features a unique combination of 300 years of garden design, a contemporary art gallery and award-winning visitor facilities.

In the Gardens Shop, you’ll find beautiful things for the home and garden. And in the Plant Centre, you’ll find a wide variety of plants. Entry to these facilities, along with a well-appointed picnic area and a playground for children under seven, is free. In the heart of the gardens is a restored 17th-century watermill complex that displays the original working mill machinery and showcases the use of renewable energy in the past.

You can enjoy the Somerset Gardens all year long (except Christmas day), there are many exciting events, and dogs are welcome!

12. Hestercombe House

The historic Hestercombe House is located in west Monkton, close to Taunton in Somerset county. The town is located on the Quantock Hills, England’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The gardens overlook the Blackdown Hills to the south.

As an open-air Jekyll-Lutyens garden, Hestercombe House’s elegant gardens have been restored using Jekyll’s original plans (1904-07) and are visited annually by 70,000 people.


These 12 historical places to visit in Taunton Somerset are sure to make your trip memorable. These places will give you a glimpse into the city’s history and its surroundings. So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets today!

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