An interesting walk around the town
Start in the Square and admire the Market Cross, Town Hall and Tudor Cottage in the middle of the area. Look at the Globe Inn – the French word “Telegraph ” may be seen above one of the loft doors – this is the only reminder of Somerton’s transformation into the French town Etaples for the filming of the “Monocled Mutineer” (1986). Now go round to the left until you come to The Red Lion – once a coaching inn, but now converted to housing – and continue into Broad Street. Just past the Red Lion you will see a sign over the door of the Wessex Rooms, which identifies the building as the Old Grammar School.
Turn right into New Street and continue straight on until you reach the Old School House on the left. There is a track just beyond which was once the main road into Somerton. In the angle between this track and Acre Lane there is a house called “Cockspurs”. This was once an inn and still had a cockpit until the 1930s. Return down New Street, turn right into North Street, passing the Scott Gould Almshouses on the corner and continue to the roundabout – if you step into the field opposite, there is a magnificent view over the Cary Valley and the viaduct. Go back along North Street and look at the buildings in Cow Square, reading the plaque on the wall of the Old Hall. Back in Broad Street, stop at “Collar Cottage” and note that the old collar factory was housed in the tall building to the right. Continue along Broad St and bear round to the right to reach the church, where there is much of interest including a fine wooden roof carved by the monks of Muchelney Abbey.
To the left of the church are the Parish Rooms – Lady Smith Memorial Institute -a plaque on the wall here notes the Monmouth Rebellion. Above the window you will see the sundial presented to the town by the U3A (University of the Third Age) to mark the Millennium.
Continue the walk along West Street passing Leavers Court, thought to be the oldest surviving building in the town. Turn into the Brunel Precinct to see what use has been made of the premises of an old brewery. Turn left, through the car park and at the main road (West Street) turn right. A short distance along on the left you will see the Hext Almshouses with an inscription over. At the Triangle take the left hand fork and look for the inscription over a doorway, “Salvation Army School Room”, then see the old Zion chapel before turning right along Bartlett’s Row and right again back to the Square.
APPROXIMATELY 1 MILE 1.5KM AND WILL TAKE ABOUT 1 HOUR
Updated May 2015