The Red Lion
Continue down the left hand side of the road and we come across the locally famous Red Lion.
This was built in 1768 and replaced an older one which had been built by Lord Ilchester. The arms of Lord Ilchester still hang above the door.
This was one of the most popular coaching inns in the town during the 18th century. During this time Somerton had about 16 inns, mostly surrounding the Market Place area. Two of these still survive – The White Hart and The Globe.
At this time Somerton was a thriving coaching centre, where coaches would stop to change horses and travellers could rest and drink . Somerton was ideal for this, because it was on a main route to many large towns of the time such as London, Exeter, Bath and Dorchester.
The Red Lion shut down in the mid 1990s, The fascia has been retained, the interior redevlopded and new houses built at the rear.
Beyond the Red Lion you will pass Freeman House, which was built in the early 16th century as two small cottages, but later refronted and converted to one dwelling.
Just beyond is Old Bell House, which was thought to be the Bell Inn during the time Somerton was a coaching centre. It was built in the 17th century and now serves the purpose of a house, one of the many houses in Somerton that carries a fascinating history with it.