Motorhomes for sale in Somerset. Somerset (/ˈsʌmərsɛt/ (listen) or locally /zʌmərzɛt/; archaically, Somersetshire) is a county in South West England which borders Gloucestershire and Bristolto the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east and Devon to the south-west. It is bounded to the north and west by the Severn Estuary and the Bristol Channel, its coastline facing southeastern Wales. Its traditional border with Gloucestershire is the River Avon. Somerset's county town is Taunton. Somerset is a rural county of rolling hills, the Blackdown Hills, Mendip Hills, Quantock Hills and Exmoor National Park, and large flat expanses of land including the Somerset Levels. There is evidence of human occupation from Paleolithic times, and of subsequent settlement by the Celts, Romans and Anglo-Saxons. The county played a significant part in Alfred the Great's rise to power, and later the English Civil War and the Monmouth Rebellion. The city of Bath is famous for its Georgian architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Somerset's name derives from Old English Sumorsǣte, short for Sumortūnsǣte, meaning "the people living at or dependent on Sumortūn (Somerton)". The first known use of Somersæte is in the law code of King Ine who was the Saxon King of Wessex from 688 to 726, making Somerset along with Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset one of the oldest extant units of local government in the world. An alternative suggestion is the name derives from Seo-mere-saetanmeaning "settlers by the sea lakes".
The Old English name is used in the motto of the county, Sumorsǣte ealle, meaning "all the people of Somerset". Adopted as the motto in 1911, the phrase is taken from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Somerset was a part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex, and the phrase refers to the wholehearted support the people of Somerset gave to King Alfred in his struggle to save Wessex from Viking invaders. Somerset settlement names are mostly Anglo-Saxon in origin, but numerous place names include Brittonic Celtic elements, such as the rivers Frome and Avon, and names of hills. For example, an Anglo-Saxon charter of 682 refers to Creechborough Hill as "the hill the British call Cructan and the Anglo-Saxons call Crychbeorh". Some modern names are Brythonic in origin, such as Tarnock, while others have both Saxon and Brythonic elements, such as Pen Hill.