Shepton Mallet
Overview
Shepton Mallet is a small rural town
Town
A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

 and civil parish in the Mendip
Mendip
Mendip is a local government district of Somerset in England. The Mendip district covers a largely rural area of ranging from the Mendip Hills through on to the Somerset Levels. It has a population of approximately 110,000...

 district of Somerset
Somerset
The ceremonial and non-metropolitan county of Somerset in South West England borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the...

 in South West England
South West England
South West England is one of the regions of England defined by the Government of the United Kingdom for statistical and other purposes. It is the largest such region in area, covering and comprising Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. ...

. Situated approximately 18 mi (29 km) south of Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

 and 5 mi (8 km) east of Wells
Wells
Wells is a cathedral city and civil parish in the Mendip district of Somerset, England, on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills. Although the population recorded in the 2001 census is 10,406, it has had city status since 1205...

, the town is estimated to have a population of 9,700. It contains the administrative headquarters of Mendip District Council
Non-metropolitan district
Non-metropolitan districts, or colloquially shire districts, are a type of local government district in England. As created, they are sub-divisions of non-metropolitan counties in a so-called "two-tier" arrangement...

. Bowlish is a hamlet on the A371 road
A371 road
The A371 is a primary road in England running from Wincanton in Somerset, to Weston-super-Mare in North Somerset.The A371 starts at the A303, then passes Castle Cary, Ansford, Cannard's Grave , Shepton Mallet, Croscombe, Wells, Easton, Somerset, Westbury-sub-Mendip, Rodney Stoke, Draycott, Cheddar,...

 between Shepton Mallet and Croscombe
Croscombe
Croscombe is a village and civil parish west of Shepton Mallet and from Wells, in the Mendip district of Somerset, England. It is situated on the A371 road in the valley of the River Sheppey....

.

The Mendip Hills
Mendip Hills
The Mendip Hills is a range of limestone hills to the south of Bristol and Bath in Somerset, England. Running east to west between Weston-super-Mare and Frome, the hills overlook the Somerset Levels to the south and the Avon Valley to the north...

 lie to the north, and the River Sheppey
River Sheppey
The River Sheppey has its source in a group of springs west of the village of Doulting, near Shepton Mallet in Somerset, England. It flows through the wetlands to the north of the Polden Hills and ultimately joins the River Brue.- Route :...

 runs through the town.
Encyclopedia
Shepton Mallet is a small rural town
Town
A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

 and civil parish in the Mendip
Mendip
Mendip is a local government district of Somerset in England. The Mendip district covers a largely rural area of ranging from the Mendip Hills through on to the Somerset Levels. It has a population of approximately 110,000...

 district of Somerset
Somerset
The ceremonial and non-metropolitan county of Somerset in South West England borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the...

 in South West England
South West England
South West England is one of the regions of England defined by the Government of the United Kingdom for statistical and other purposes. It is the largest such region in area, covering and comprising Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. ...

. Situated approximately 18 mi (29 km) south of Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

 and 5 mi (8 km) east of Wells
Wells
Wells is a cathedral city and civil parish in the Mendip district of Somerset, England, on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills. Although the population recorded in the 2001 census is 10,406, it has had city status since 1205...

, the town is estimated to have a population of 9,700. It contains the administrative headquarters of Mendip District Council
Non-metropolitan district
Non-metropolitan districts, or colloquially shire districts, are a type of local government district in England. As created, they are sub-divisions of non-metropolitan counties in a so-called "two-tier" arrangement...

. Bowlish is a hamlet on the A371 road
A371 road
The A371 is a primary road in England running from Wincanton in Somerset, to Weston-super-Mare in North Somerset.The A371 starts at the A303, then passes Castle Cary, Ansford, Cannard's Grave , Shepton Mallet, Croscombe, Wells, Easton, Somerset, Westbury-sub-Mendip, Rodney Stoke, Draycott, Cheddar,...

 between Shepton Mallet and Croscombe
Croscombe
Croscombe is a village and civil parish west of Shepton Mallet and from Wells, in the Mendip district of Somerset, England. It is situated on the A371 road in the valley of the River Sheppey....

.

The Mendip Hills
Mendip Hills
The Mendip Hills is a range of limestone hills to the south of Bristol and Bath in Somerset, England. Running east to west between Weston-super-Mare and Frome, the hills overlook the Somerset Levels to the south and the Avon Valley to the north...

 lie to the north, and the River Sheppey
River Sheppey
The River Sheppey has its source in a group of springs west of the village of Doulting, near Shepton Mallet in Somerset, England. It flows through the wetlands to the north of the Polden Hills and ultimately joins the River Brue.- Route :...

 runs through the town. Shepton Mallet lies on the route of the Fosse Way
Fosse Way
The Fosse Way was a Roman road in England that linked Exeter in South West England to Lincoln in Lincolnshire, via Ilchester , Bath , Cirencester and Leicester .It joined Akeman Street and Ermin Way at Cirencester, crossed Watling Street at Venonis south...

, the principal Roman road
Roman road
The Roman roads were a vital part of the development of the Roman state, from about 500 BC through the expansion during the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. Roman roads enabled the Romans to move armies and trade goods and to communicate. The Roman road system spanned more than 400,000 km...

 into the south west of England, and there is evidence of Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 settlement. The town contains a fine parish church and a considerable number of listed buildings. Shepton Mallet Prison
Shepton Mallet (HM Prison)
HMP Shepton Mallet, sometimes known as Cornhill, is a prison located in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England. It is the United Kingdom's oldest operating prison.Shepton Mallet is a Category C Lifer Prison and holds 186 prisoners...

 is England's oldest prison still in use.

In medieval times, the wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

 trade was important in the town's economy, although this declined in the 18th century to be replaced by other industries such as brewing; the town continues to be a major centre for the production of cider. Shepton Mallet is the closest town to the site of the Glastonbury Festival
Glastonbury Festival
The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, commonly abbreviated to Glastonbury or even Glasto, is a performing arts festival that takes place near Pilton, Somerset, England, best known for its contemporary music, but also for dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and other arts.The...

, the largest music festival in Europe. Also nearby is the Royal Bath and West of England Society
Royal Bath and West of England Society
The Royal Bath and West of England Society is a charitable society founded in 1777 to promote and improve agriculture and related activities around the West Country of England. Based at the Royal Bath and West of England Society Showground near Shepton Mallet in Somerset, the society is a...

 showground which hosts the Royal Bath and West Show
Royal Bath and West Show
The Royal Bath and West is a agricultural show for the West of England. Held every year at its permanent show ground near Shepton Mallet, Somerset, it is one of a number of County shows in the United Kingdom...

, and other major shows and festivals.

History

The name Shepton derives from the Old English scoep and tun, meaning 'the sheep enclosure'; the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

 of 1086 records a settlement known as Sceaptun. The current spelling is recorded at least as far back as 1496, in a letter from Henry VII
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

. The second part of the name derives from that of the Norman Malet
William Malet (Norman conquest)
William Malet is one of the very few proven Companions of William the Conqueror known to have been present at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, as recorded by the contemporary chronicler William of Poitiers...

 family who took a lease from Glastonbury Abbey
Glastonbury Abbey
Glastonbury Abbey was a monastery in Glastonbury, Somerset, England. The ruins are now a grade I listed building, and a Scheduled Ancient Monument and are open as a visitor attraction....

 around 1100. The second 'L' appears to have been added in the 16th century.

Prehistoric settlement

Archaeological investigations have found evidence for prehistoric activity in the Shepton Mallet area, with substantial amounts of Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 flint
Flint
Flint is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, categorized as a variety of chert. It occurs chiefly as nodules and masses in sedimentary rocks, such as chalks and limestones. Inside the nodule, flint is usually dark grey, black, green, white, or brown in colour, and...

 being found, as well as some pottery fragments
Sherd
In archaeology, a sherd is commonly a historic or prehistoric fragment of pottery, although the term is occasionally used to refer to fragments of stone and glass vessels as well....

 from the late Neolithic period. The two barrows
Tumulus
A tumulus is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. Tumuli are also known as barrows, burial mounds, Hügelgrab or kurgans, and can be found throughout much of the world. A tumulus composed largely or entirely of stones is usually referred to as a cairn...

 on Barren Down, to the north of the town centre, have been found to contain cremation
Cremation
Cremation is the process of reducing bodies to basic chemical compounds such as gasses and bone fragments. This is accomplished through high-temperature burning, vaporization and oxidation....

 burials from the bronze age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

, and a further bronze age burial site contained a skeleton as well as some pottery. The remains of iron age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

 roundhouses
Roundhouse (dwelling)
The roundhouse is a type of house with a circular plan, originally built in western Europe before the Roman occupation using walls made either of stone or of wooden posts joined by wattle-and-daub panels and a conical thatched roof. Roundhouses ranged in size from less than 5m in diameter to over 15m...

 were found at Cannard's Grave, in the vicinity of what would later become the Fosse Way
Fosse Way
The Fosse Way was a Roman road in England that linked Exeter in South West England to Lincoln in Lincolnshire, via Ilchester , Bath , Cirencester and Leicester .It joined Akeman Street and Ermin Way at Cirencester, crossed Watling Street at Venonis south...

, along with artefacts such as quernstones and beads, and a probable iron age farm settlement enclosure has been identified at Field Farm. In the countryside surrounding the town, there is evidence of iron age cave dwellings in Ham Woods, to the north-west, and a number of burial mounds have been identified at Beacon Hill, a short distance north of the town.

Roman occupation

Shepton Mallet is situated approximately half-way between the Roman towns of Bath and Ilchester
Ilchester
Ilchester is a village and civil parish, situated on the River Yeo or Ivel, five miles north of Yeovil, in the English county of Somerset. The parish, which includes the village of Sock Dennis and the old parish of Northover, has a population of 2,021...

 on the Fosse Way
Fosse Way
The Fosse Way was a Roman road in England that linked Exeter in South West England to Lincoln in Lincolnshire, via Ilchester , Bath , Cirencester and Leicester .It joined Akeman Street and Ermin Way at Cirencester, crossed Watling Street at Venonis south...

, and, although there are no visible remains (apart from the line of the roman road
Roman road
The Roman roads were a vital part of the development of the Roman state, from about 500 BC through the expansion during the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. Roman roads enabled the Romans to move armies and trade goods and to communicate. The Roman road system spanned more than 400,000 km...

 itself), there is archaeological evidence for both early military, and later civilian, settlement lasting into the 5th century. Domed pottery
Pottery
Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery . Pottery also refers to the art or craft of the potter or the manufacture of pottery...

 kiln
Kiln
A kiln is a thermally insulated chamber, or oven, in which a controlled temperature regime is produced. Uses include the hardening, burning or drying of materials...

s, with pottery still in situ, were identified on the site of the Anglo-Bavarian Brewery
Anglo-Bavarian Brewery
The Anglo-Bavarian Brewery was established in Shepton Mallet in Somerset, England in 1864 as the first lager brewery in the United Kingdom. It closed in 1920...

 in the mid-19th century, suggesting military activity in the 1st and 2nd centuries. Several hoards of roman coins ranging from the 1st to 4th centuries have also been found, as well as over 300 fibula brooches, potsherds and other artefacts. In addition, a few isolated burials near the route of the Fosse Way were found during the 19th century.

A lead coffin within a rock-cut grave was discovered at a site adjacent to the Fosse Way in 1988. This discovery, and the impending commercial development of the site by the landowner, Showerings, led archaeologists
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 to undertake more extensive excavations in the 1990s. The grave was found to be part of a larger cemetery which contained 17 burials lying on a rough east-west alignment, indicating probable Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 adherence. Two other, smaller, cemeteries contained graves aligned north-south, possibly signifying pagan religious practices. One burial was within a substantial stone coffin which had been positioned beneath a mausoleum
Mausoleum
A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or persons. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the...

, the foundations of which remained.

A particularly notable find in the Fosse Way burials was a Chi-Rho
Labarum
The labarum was a vexillum that displayed the "Chi-Rho" symbol ☧, formed from the first two Greek letters of the word "Christ" — Chi and Rho . It was used by the Roman emperor Constantine I...

 amulet
Amulet
An amulet, similar to a talisman , is any object intended to bring good luck or protection to its owner.Potential amulets include gems, especially engraved gems, statues, coins, drawings, pendants, rings, plants and animals; even words said in certain occasions—for example: vade retro satana—, to...

, at the time thought to be from the 5th century, and so held to be among the earliest definite evidence of Christianity in England
Religion in England
Christianity is the most widely practiced and declared religion in England. The Anglican Church of England is the established church of England holding a special constitutional position for the United Kingdom. After Christianity, religions with the most adherents are Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism,...

. A copy of the amulet was presented to the then Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

, George Carey
George Carey
George Leonard Carey, Baron Carey of Clifton PC, FKC is a former Archbishop of Canterbury, holding the office from 1991 to 2002. He was the first modern holder of the office not to have attended Oxford or Cambridge University...

, by the churches of the Diocese of Bath and Wells
Diocese of Bath and Wells
The Diocese of Bath and Wells is a diocese in the Church of England Province of Canterbury in England.The diocese covers the county of Somerset and a small area of Dorset. The Episcopal seat of the Bishop of Bath and Wells is located in the Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew in the tiny city of...

. Although the amulet now resides in the Somerset County Museum
Somerset County Museum
The Museum of Somerset is located in the 12th century great hall of Taunton Castle, in Taunton in the county of Somerset, England. The museum is run by Somerset County Council and includes objects initially collected by the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society who own the...

, analysis by Liverpool University in 2008 using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy demonstrated that it was a hoax, as the silver within it dated to the 19th century or later.

As well as the cemeteries, the excavations in the 1990s confirmed the presence of a linear settlement, stretching along the Fosse Way for perhaps a kilometre, comprising cobbled streets, wooden and stone workshops and houses (some with two storeys) containing hearth
Hearth
In common historic and modern usage, a hearth is a brick- or stone-lined fireplace or oven often used for cooking and/or heating. For centuries, the hearth was considered an integral part of a home, often its central or most important feature...

s and ovens, industrial areas, and a stone-lined well. A great many artefacts were found, including both local and imported pottery (such as samian ware), items of jewellery such as brooches, rings and bracelets, toilet items including tweezers, ear scoops and nail cleaners, bronze and iron tools, and a lead ingot
Ingot
An ingot is a material, usually metal, that is cast into a shape suitable for further processing. Non-metallic and semiconductor materials prepared in bulk form may also be referred to as ingots, particularly when cast by mold based methods.-Uses:...

 which probably originated from the Romans' lead mines on the Mendip Hills
Mendip Hills
The Mendip Hills is a range of limestone hills to the south of Bristol and Bath in Somerset, England. Running east to west between Weston-super-Mare and Frome, the hills overlook the Somerset Levels to the south and the Avon Valley to the north...

. Coins minted across the Roman empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 were also found. The finds on the site indicate occupation from the late 1st, or early 2nd, century to the late 4th, or early 5th, century, although as no public buildings were found the settlement was probably not, technically, a town.

Saxon and Norman period

There is a small amount of evidence of Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon may refer to:* Anglo-Saxons, a group that invaded Britain** Old English, their language** Anglo-Saxon England, their history, one of various ships* White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, an ethnicity* Anglo-Saxon economy, modern macroeconomic term...

 settlement in the town, including some Saxon stonework in the parish church of St Peter and St Paul
Church of St Peter and St Paul, Shepton Mallet
The Church of St Peter and St Paul in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England dates from the 12th century and has been designated as a Grade I listed building....

. In addition, a charter of King Ine
Ine of Wessex
Ine was King of Wessex from 688 to 726. He was unable to retain the territorial gains of his predecessor, Cædwalla, who had brought much of southern England under his control and expanded West Saxon territory substantially...

 of Wessex
Wessex
The Kingdom of Wessex or Kingdom of the West Saxons was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the West Saxons, in South West England, from the 6th century, until the emergence of a united English state in the 10th century, under the Wessex dynasty. It was to be an earldom after Canute the Great's conquest...

, dating from 706 and witnessed by nine Bishops including the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

, records the granting of the area in which Shepton Mallet is now situated to Abbot Berwald of Glastonbury Abbey
Glastonbury Abbey
Glastonbury Abbey was a monastery in Glastonbury, Somerset, England. The ruins are now a grade I listed building, and a Scheduled Ancient Monument and are open as a visitor attraction....

. According to some legends Indract of Glastonbury
Indract of Glastonbury
Indract or Indracht was a saint who, along with his companions, was venerated at Glastonbury Abbey, a monastery in the county of Somerset in south-western England...

 was buried in Shepton. The town fell within the Whitstone
Whitstone (Somerset hundred)
The Hundred of Whitstone is one of the 40 historical Hundreds in the ceremonial county of Somerset, England, dating from before the Norman conquest during the Anglo-Saxon era although exact dates are unknown. Each hundred had a 'fyrd', which acted as the local defence force and a court which was...

 Hundred, and the hundred courts were held at Cannard's Grave, a short distance to the south of the town.

The Exeter Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

 records that, at the death of Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor also known as St. Edward the Confessor , son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066....

 in 1066, the site was held (probably by lease from the Abbey) by one Uluert, and by Roger de Corcella at the time of the survey in 1086. When Roger de Corcella died, sometime before or around 1100, the land passed to the Malets
William Malet (Norman conquest)
William Malet is one of the very few proven Companions of William the Conqueror known to have been present at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, as recorded by the contemporary chronicler William of Poitiers...

, a very prominent Norman family, who caused their name to be added to that of the settlement (and also of another of their holdings, Curi – now Curry Mallet
Curry Mallet
Curry Mallet is a village and parish in Somerset, England. It is on the Fivehead River , east of Taunton in the South Somerset district...

).

Middle Ages

The Malet family retained the estate until the reign of King John, when on the death of William Malet
William Malet (Magna Carta)
William Malet was one of the guarantors of Magna Carta. Also known as William II Malet. He was lord of Curry Mallet and Shepton Mallet in Somerset, and served as High Sheriff of Somerset and Dorset for 1209. The precise nature of his relationship to the earlier Malets is disputed. His first wife...

 (fl.
Floruit
Floruit , abbreviated fl. , is a Latin verb meaning "flourished", denoting the period of time during which something was active...

 1192–1215) (and on the payment by his sons-in-law of a fine of two thousand marks
Mark (money)
Mark was a measure of weight mainly for gold and silver, commonly used throughout western Europe and often equivalent to 8 ounces. Considerable variations, however, occurred throughout the Middle Ages Mark (from a merging of three Teutonic/Germanic languages words, Latinized in 9th century...

, due to William having participated in a rebellion against the King) it passed through his daughter Mabel to her husband Hugh de Vivonne. Some generations later, the part of the estate containing Shepton Mallet was sold to a relative, Sir Thomas Gournay. His son, also called Thomas, participated in the murder of Edward II
Edward II of England
Edward II , called Edward of Caernarfon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed by his wife Isabella in January 1327. He was the sixth Plantagenet king, in a line that began with the reign of Henry II...

, and his estates were confiscated by Edward III
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

 in 1337. However the family regained favour with the King some years later, and the lands were returned. When Mathew de Gournay died childless in 1406, the estate again reverted to the Crown, before being granted out to Sir John de Tiptoft. It was once again confiscated from his son by Henry VI
Henry VI of England
Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. Until 1437, his realm was governed by regents. Contemporaneous accounts described him as peaceful and pious, not suited for the violent dynastic civil wars, known as the Wars...

 during the Wars of the Roses
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York...

 (due to the family siding with Edward IV
Edward IV of England
Edward IV was King of England from 4 March 1461 until 3 October 1470, and again from 11 April 1471 until his death. He was the first Yorkist King of England...

), but was restored to Sir John's grandson, Edward Tiptoft, when Edward IV regained the throne. However, he died without issue, and there followed a succession of grants and reversions until Glastonbury Abbey
Glastonbury Abbey
Glastonbury Abbey was a monastery in Glastonbury, Somerset, England. The ruins are now a grade I listed building, and a Scheduled Ancient Monument and are open as a visitor attraction....

 was dissolved
Dissolution of the Monasteries
The Dissolution of the Monasteries, sometimes referred to as the Suppression of the Monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents and friaries in England, Wales and Ireland; appropriated their...

 by Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

, and the Abbey's lands, including Shepton Mallet, were granted to the Duchy of Cornwall
Duchy of Cornwall
The Duchy of Cornwall is one of two royal duchies in England, the other being the Duchy of Lancaster. The eldest son of the reigning British monarch inherits the duchy and title of Duke of Cornwall at the time of his birth, or of his parent's succession to the throne. If the monarch has no son, the...

 in 1536.

Charters for the holding of markets and fairs were granted in 1235 (though this charter was swiftly revoked following objections by the Bishop of Wells to the competition it represented to the market in that city), 1260 and 1318, and indicate that the town was developing and prospering in the 13th and early 14th centuries. However the Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

 struck the town in 1348, reducing the population to about 300. In the late 14th and early 15th centuries, the population and economy of the town were bolstered by the arrival of craftsmen and merchants from France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 who came to England to escape wars and religious persecution in their home countries. They introduced cloth-making which, together with the local wool trade, became a major industry in Shepton and other towns in Somerset and Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

. Indeed, it appears that wool became such a source of riches for the town that when, in 1496, Henry VII
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

 needed to raise money to fight the Scots
Scottish people
The Scottish people , or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of the Picts and Gaels, incorporating neighbouring Britons to the south as well as invading Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse.In modern use,...

, he called upon the wool-merchants of Shepton to contribute £10 to the cause:

Civil War and the Monmouth Rebellion

In 1625, a House of Correction was established in Shepton Mallet and, today, HMP Shepton Mallet
Shepton Mallet (HM Prison)
HMP Shepton Mallet, sometimes known as Cornhill, is a prison located in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England. It is the United Kingdom's oldest operating prison.Shepton Mallet is a Category C Lifer Prison and holds 186 prisoners...

 is England's oldest prison
Prison
A prison is a place in which people are physically confined and, usually, deprived of a range of personal freedoms. Imprisonment or incarceration is a legal penalty that may be imposed by the state for the commission of a crime...

 still in use.

In the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

 the town supported the parliamentary side, although Shepton appears to have mostly escaped conflict apart from a bloodless confrontation between supporters of the King, led by Sir Ralph Hopton, and Parliament, led by Colonel William Strode
William Strode
William Strode was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons of England variously between 1624 and 1645. He was one of the five members impeached by King Charles and fought on the Parliamentarian side in the English Civil War.-Life:...

, in the market place on 1 August 1642. In 1645 Sir Thomas Fairfax
Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax of Cameron
Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax of Cameron was a general and parliamentary commander-in-chief during the English Civil War...

 led the New Model Army
New Model Army
The New Model Army of England was formed in 1645 by the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War, and was disbanded in 1660 after the Restoration...

 through the town on the way to capturing Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

, and in 1646 the church organ was apparently destroyed by Cromwellian
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

 soldiers.

During the Monmouth Rebellion
Monmouth Rebellion
The Monmouth Rebellion,The Revolt of the West or The West Country rebellion of 1685, was an attempt to overthrow James II, who had become King of England, King of Scots and King of Ireland at the death of his elder brother Charles II on 6 February 1685. James II was a Roman Catholic, and some...

 in 1685, the Duke of Monmouth
James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth
James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, 1st Duke of Buccleuch, KG, PC , was an English nobleman. Originally called James Crofts or James Fitzroy, he was born in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, the eldest illegitimate son of Charles II and his mistress, Lucy Walter...

 was welcomed when he passed through Shepton Mallet, staying in Longbridge House in Cowl Street on the night of 23 June, with his men quartered throughout the town, before setting out for Bristol the following day. Many Shepton men joined the cause, but Monmouth failed to take Bath or Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

 and had to return to Shepton on 30 June. Following the Battle of Sedgemoor
Battle of Sedgemoor
The Battle of Sedgemoor was fought on 6 July 1685 and took place at Westonzoyland near Bridgwater in Somerset, England.It was the final battle of the Monmouth Rebellion and followed a series of skirmishes around south west England between the forces of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth and the...

, the Duke fled and spent the night of 6 July at Downside, a mile north of Shepton, before continuing his flight for two more days before his capture. Following the Bloody Assizes
Bloody Assizes
The Bloody Assizes were a series of trials started at Winchester on 25 August 1685 in the aftermath of the Battle of Sedgemoor, which ended the Monmouth Rebellion in England....

, twelve local supporters of Monmouth were hanged
Hanging
Hanging is the lethal suspension of a person by a ligature. The Oxford English Dictionary states that hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death by suspension by the neck", though it formerly also referred to crucifixion and death by impalement in which the body would remain...

 and quartered in the Market Place of the town.

In 1699 Edward Strode built almshouse
Almshouse
Almshouses are charitable housing provided to enable people to live in a particular community...

s, close to the rectory his family had built to house the town's grammar school
Grammar school
A grammar school is one of several different types of school in the history of education in the United Kingdom and some other English-speaking countries, originally a school teaching classical languages but more recently an academically-oriented secondary school.The original purpose of mediaeval...

, which lasted until 1900.

18th to 20th centuries

In the 17th and 18th centuries the wool and cloth industries continued to thrive, powered by the waters of the River Sheppey
River Sheppey
The River Sheppey has its source in a group of springs west of the village of Doulting, near Shepton Mallet in Somerset, England. It flows through the wetlands to the north of the Polden Hills and ultimately joins the River Brue.- Route :...

. There were reputed to be 50 mills in the town and surrounding area in the early 18th century, and a number of fine clothiers' houses survive, particularly in Bowlish, a hamlet
Hamlet (place)
A hamlet is usually a rural settlement which is too small to be considered a village, though sometimes the word is used for a different sort of community. Historically, when a hamlet became large enough to justify building a church, it was then classified as a village...

 on the western edge of Shepton Mallet.


Although these industries employed some 4,000 people towards the end of the century, they were already beginning to decline by this time. Discontent at the introduction of mechanisation into the mills resulted in the deaths of two men in a riot in the town in 1775, an event which apparently discouraged the mill-owners from pursuing modernisation, a decision which resulted in Shepton's cloth trade losing out to the steam-powered mills in the north of England in the early 19th century. The manufacture of silk
Silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

 and crepe
Crêpe
A crêpe or crepe , is a type of very thin pancake, usually made from wheat flour or buckwheat flour . The word is of French origin, deriving from the Latin crispa, meaning "curled". While crêpes originate from Brittany, a region in the northwest of France, their consumption is widespread in France...

 revived the town's fortunes somewhat, and Shepton's mills manufactured the silk used in Queen Victoria's wedding dress. However these industries also eventually died out.

While wool, cloth and silk were declining, other industries were growing, and in the 19th and 20th centuries brewing
Brewing
Brewing is the production of beer through steeping a starch source in water and then fermenting with yeast. Brewing has taken place since around the 6th millennium BCE, and archeological evidence suggests that this technique was used in ancient Egypt...

, in particular, became one of the town's major industries. The Anglo-Bavarian Brewery
Anglo-Bavarian Brewery
The Anglo-Bavarian Brewery was established in Shepton Mallet in Somerset, England in 1864 as the first lager brewery in the United Kingdom. It closed in 1920...

, built in 1864 and still a local landmark, was the first brewery in England to brew lager
Lager
Lager is a type of beer made from malted barley that is brewed and stored at low temperatures. There are many types of lager; pale lager is the most widely-consumed and commercially available style of beer in the world; Pilsner, Bock, Dortmunder Export and Märzen are all styles of lager...

. At its height, the brewery was exporting 1.8 million bottles a year to Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 and the West Indies. It closed in 1921. However the town, which is the home of Babycham
Babycham
Babycham is the trade name of a light, sparkling perry invented by Francis Edwin Showering , a brewer in Shepton Mallet in Somerset, England; the name is now owned by Constellation Europe Limited. Launched in the United Kingdom in 1953, the drink was marketed with pioneering television...

, is still an important centre for cider
Cider
Cider or cyder is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from apple juice. Cider varies in alcohol content from 2% abv to 8.5% abv or more in traditional English ciders. In some regions, such as Germany and America, cider may be termed "apple wine"...

 production.

For a period during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Shepton Mallet Prison
Shepton Mallet (HM Prison)
HMP Shepton Mallet, sometimes known as Cornhill, is a prison located in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England. It is the United Kingdom's oldest operating prison.Shepton Mallet is a Category C Lifer Prison and holds 186 prisoners...

 was used to store important national records from the Public Record Office
Public Record Office
The Public Record Office of the United Kingdom is one of the three organisations that make up the National Archives...

, including Magna Carta
Magna Carta
Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

, the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

, the logbooks of HMS Victory
HMS Victory
HMS Victory is a 104-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, laid down in 1759 and launched in 1765. She is most famous as Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805....

, dispatches from the Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo
The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...

, and the "scrap of paper" signed by Hitler and Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 Neville Chamberlain
Neville Chamberlain
Arthur Neville Chamberlain FRS was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940. Chamberlain is best known for his appeasement foreign policy, and in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the...

 at the Munich Conference of September 1938. The Prison also became a US Army detention facility, and between 1943 and 1945 eighteen American servicemen were executed within the prison walls, having been convicted by US court-martial
Court-martial
A court-martial is a military court. A court-martial is empowered to determine the guilt of members of the armed forces subject to military law, and, if the defendant is found guilty, to decide upon punishment.Most militaries maintain a court-martial system to try cases in which a breach of...

 of murder
Murder
Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human being, and generally this state of mind distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide...

, rape
Rape
Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with a person who is incapable of valid consent. The...

 or both.

The population of Shepton Mallet was fairly stable throughout the 19th century and first part of the 20th century: in 1801, the population was 5,104 and in 1851 it was only slightly more at 5,117, though in 1901 it had swelled to 5,446, before falling back to 5,260 in 1951. By 2001, however, it had increased significantly, to 8,981.

Governance and public services

Shepton Mallet is in the Mendip
Mendip
Mendip is a local government district of Somerset in England. The Mendip district covers a largely rural area of ranging from the Mendip Hills through on to the Somerset Levels. It has a population of approximately 110,000...

 local government district
Non-metropolitan district
Non-metropolitan districts, or colloquially shire districts, are a type of local government district in England. As created, they are sub-divisions of non-metropolitan counties in a so-called "two-tier" arrangement...

 which is part of the county of Somerset
Somerset
The ceremonial and non-metropolitan county of Somerset in South West England borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the...

. In the 80 years prior to 1974, the town had fallen within Shepton Mallet Urban District
Urban district
In the England, Wales and Ireland, an urban district was a type of local government district that covered an urbanised area. Urban districts had an elected Urban District Council , which shared local government responsibilities with a county council....

. The town elects one councillor to Somerset County Council
Somerset County Council
Somerset County Council is the county council of Somerset in the South West of England, an elected local government authority responsible for the most significant local government services in most of the county.-Area covered:...

; at the last election in 2008, a conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 was elected. Shepton Mallet has four councillors on Mendip District Council, two elected by each of the two Town Council wards. Following elections in 2008, all were Conservatives. However the Shepton West ward elected a Liberal Democrat in a by-election on 1 July 2010.

The civil parish of Shepton Mallet has adopted the style of a town, and there is a Town Council of 16 members. Councillors are split equally between the two wards: Shepton Mallet East and Shepton Mallet West. The most recent elections were in May 2008, following which the council is made up of eight Conservatives, three Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, banking reform and civil liberties .The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the...

, two members of the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 and three independent councillors.

Shepton Mallet falls within the Wells parliamentary constituency
Wells (UK Parliament constituency)
Wells is a county constituency centred on the city of Wells in Somerset. It elects one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, by the first past the post voting system...

. The current MP is Tessa Munt
Tessa Munt
Tessa Jane Munt is a British Liberal Democrat politician. She is the Member of Parliament for Wells in Somerset.-Political career:...

 of the Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, banking reform and civil liberties .The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the...

. The town is within the South West England European Parliamentary constituency
South West England (European Parliament constituency)
South West England is a constituency of the European Parliament. For 2009 it elects 6 MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation, reduced from 7 in 2004.-Boundaries:...

 which elects six MEPs. It is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with three Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an towns: Misburg in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Oissel sur Seine
Oissel
-Population:-People:* Daniel Horlaville, footballer born in 1945.* Raoul Grimoin-Sanson , cinematographic inventor.* Grégory Tafforeau, footballer born in 1976.* Thierry Foucaud, 1954-, Politician.-Places of interest:...

 in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and Bollnäs
Bollnäs
Bollnäs is a locality and the seat of Bollnäs Municipality, Gävleborg County, Sweden with 12,455 inhabitants in 2005.- History :In written sources Bollnäs is traced from 1312, by a vicar named Ingemund who referred to it as Baldenaes, which means "the large isthmus," referring to the isthmus into a...

 in Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

.

There are two doctors' surgeries
General practitioner
A general practitioner is a medical practitioner who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education for all ages and both sexes. They have particular skills in treating people with multiple health issues and comorbidities...

 in Shepton Mallet, a National Health Service
National Health Service
The National Health Service is the shared name of three of the four publicly funded healthcare systems in the United Kingdom. They provide a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use to residents of the United Kingdom...

 community hospital operated by Somerset Primary Care Trust, and also an independent sector treatment centre
Independent Sector Treatment Centre
Independent sector treatment centres are private-sector owned treatment centres contracted within the English National Health Service to treat NHS patients free at the point of use, like any other NHS hospital. They are sometimes referred to as 'surgicentres' or ‘specialist hospitals’.ISTCs are...

 which carries out a range of surgical procedures. The nearest general hospital is the Royal United Hospital
Royal United Hospital
The Royal United Hospital is a major acute hospital, located in the Weston suburb of Bath, England, which lies approximately miles west of the Bath city centre. The hospital currently has 565 beds and occupies a site...

 in Bath. Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is the statutory fire and rescue service covering the counties of Devon and Somerset, including the unitary authorities of Plymouth and Torbay, in South West England...

 have a retained
Retained firefighter
A retained firefighter, also known as a Firefighter working the Retained Duty System , RDS Firefighter, part-time firefighter or on-call firefighter, in the United Kingdom and Ireland is a professional firefighter who may have full-time employment outside of the fire service but responds to...

 fire station
Fire service in the United Kingdom
The fire services in the United Kingdom operate under separate legislative and administrative arrangements in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales...

 in the town, which is adjacent to the ambulance
Emergency medical services
Emergency medical services are a type of emergency service dedicated to providing out-of-hospital acute medical care and/or transport to definitive care, to patients with illnesses and injuries which the patient, or the medical practitioner, believes constitutes a medical emergency...

 station operated by South Western Ambulance Service
South Western Ambulance Service
The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is the authority responsible for providing ambulance services for the National Health Service in the English counties of Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset...

 NHS Trust. There is also a police station
Police station
A police station or station house is a building which serves to accommodate police officers and other members of staff. These buildings often contain offices and accommodation for personnel and vehicles, along with locker rooms, temporary holding cells and interview/interrogation rooms.- Facilities...

, and the town falls within the Somerset East policing district.

Geography

Shepton Mallet lies in the southern foothills of the Mendip Hills
Mendip Hills
The Mendip Hills is a range of limestone hills to the south of Bristol and Bath in Somerset, England. Running east to west between Weston-super-Mare and Frome, the hills overlook the Somerset Levels to the south and the Avon Valley to the north...

. The area is geologically founded on Forest Marble
Forest Marble
The Forest Marble is a geological formation in Europe. It dates back to the Middle Jurassic.-Ornithischians:-Saurischians:-References:...

, Blue Lias
Blue Lias
The Blue Lias is a geologic formation in southern, eastern and western England and parts of South Wales, part of the Lias Group. The Blue Lias consists of a sequence of limestone and shale layers, laid down in latest Triassic and early Jurassic times, between 195 and 200 million years ago...

 and Oolitic limestone.

Nearby cave systems

To the north of the town are several caves of the Mendip Hills
Caves of the Mendip Hills
The Caves of the Mendip Hills are formed by the particular geology of the Mendip Hills, with large areas of limestone worn away by water makes it a national centre for caving. The hills conceal the largest underground river system in Britain.- Geology :...

, including Thrupe Lane Swallet
Thrupe Lane Swallet
Thrupe Lane Swallet is a 0.5 hectare geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Somerset, notified in 1992. It is a Geological Conservation Review site.The name Thrupe Lane comes from the nearby hamlet of Thrupe, which in Anglo-Saxon meant dairy farm....

 which is a geological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and the St. Dunstan's Well Catchment
St. Dunstan's Well Catchment
St. Dunstan's Well Catchment is a geological Site of Special Scientific Interest, covering near Stoke St Michael in the Mendip Hills, Somerset, notified in 1967.Formerly known as Stoke St Michael Slocker.- Geological :...

 which is an important cave system including a series of spectacularly-decorated caves which in total extend to about 4 miles (6.4 km) of mapped passage. The caves at Fairy Cave Quarry
Fairy Cave Quarry
Fairy Cave Quarry is between Stoke St Michael and Oakhill in the limestone of the Mendip Hills, in Somerset, England.Quarrying was first started on the site in the early 1920s. In 1963 the quarry was acquired by Hobbs Ltd., and production on a much larger scale began...

 were formed mainly by the erosive action of water flowing beneath the water-table at considerable pressure (so called 'phreatic
Phreatic
The term phreatic is used in Earth sciences to refer to matters relating to ground water below the water table . The term 'phreatic surface' indicates the location where the pore water pressure is under atmospheric conditions...

' development), but as the water table has fallen many of the caves now lie well above it and the system now contains a variety of cave formations (stalagmite
Stalagmite
A stalagmite is a type of speleothem that rises from the floor of a limestone cave due to the dripping of mineralized solutions and the deposition of calcium carbonate. This stalagmite formation occurs only under certain pH conditions within the underground cavern. The corresponding formation on...

s, stalactites and calcite
Calcite
Calcite is a carbonate mineral and the most stable polymorph of calcium carbonate . The other polymorphs are the minerals aragonite and vaterite. Aragonite will change to calcite at 380-470°C, and vaterite is even less stable.-Properties:...

 curtains) which in their extent and preservation are amongst the best in Britain. Shatter Cave
Shatter Cave
Shatter Cave is a cave in Fairy Cave Quarry, near Stoke St Michael in the limestone of the Mendip Hills, in Somerset, England. It falls within the St...

 and Withyhill Cave are generally considered to be amongst the finest decorated caves in Britain in terms of their sheer abundance of pure white and translucent calcite deposits. Small numbers of Greater Horseshoe Bat
Greater Horseshoe Bat
The Greater Horseshoe Bat is a European bat of the Rhinolophus genus. Its distribution covers Europe, Africa, South Asia and Australia. It is the largest of the European Horseshoe Bats and is thus easily distinguished from other species...

 (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum), Lesser Horseshoe Bat
Lesser horseshoe bat
The Lesser Horseshoe Bat , is a type of European bat related to but smaller than its cousin, the Greater Horseshoe Bat...

 (Rhinolophus hipposideros) and Natterer's bat
Natterer's bat
Natterer's bat is a European bat with pale wings. It has brown fur, also seen on the leg wing membrane, tending to white on its underside...

 (Myotis nattereri) hibernate in the cave system. An area of nationally rare species-rich unimproved calcareous grassland of the Sheep's-fescue-Meadow Oat-grass type
British NVC community CG2
NVC community CG2 is one of the calcicolous grassland communities in the British National Vegetation Classification system...

 occurs in the field to the east of Stoke Lane Quarry.

Surrounding countryside

The countryside surrounding the town is mostly given over to farming, although there are a few areas of nearby woodland. Approximately 1.8 mi (2.9 km) to the northeast of the town centre is Beacon Hill Wood (owned by the Woodland Trust
Woodland Trust
The Woodland Trust is a conservation charity in the United Kingdom concerned with the protection and sympathetic management of native woodland heritage.-History:...

), which is at the crossing of the Fosse Way
Fosse Way
The Fosse Way was a Roman road in England that linked Exeter in South West England to Lincoln in Lincolnshire, via Ilchester , Bath , Cirencester and Leicester .It joined Akeman Street and Ermin Way at Cirencester, crossed Watling Street at Venonis south...

 and another Roman road
Roman road
The Roman roads were a vital part of the development of the Roman state, from about 500 BC through the expansion during the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. Roman roads enabled the Romans to move armies and trade goods and to communicate. The Roman road system spanned more than 400,000 km...

 which runs along the top of the Mendip Hills
Mendip Hills
The Mendip Hills is a range of limestone hills to the south of Bristol and Bath in Somerset, England. Running east to west between Weston-super-Mare and Frome, the hills overlook the Somerset Levels to the south and the Avon Valley to the north...

, and which contains a number of tumuli. To the northwest of the town are Ham Woods, within which are the Windsor Hill railway tunnels and a viaduct, remnants of the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway
Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway
The Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway – almost always referred to as "the S&D" – was an English railway line connecting Bath in north east Somerset and Bournemouth now in south east Dorset but then in Hampshire...

. The East Mendip Way
Mendip Way
The Mendip Way is an long-distance footpath across the Mendip Hills from Weston-super-Mare to Frome. It is divided into two sections.The West Mendip Way was opened in 1979 and starts at the Bristol Channel at Uphill Cliff. It climbs the Mendip escarpment affording views over the Somerset Levels....

 long-distance path passes around the northern edge of Shepton Mallet and through Ham Woods.

South-west of the town is the Friar's Oven
Friar's Oven
Friar's Oven is a 4.0 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Somerset, notified in 1989.-Source:* -External links:*...

 SSSI which is the site of herb-rich calcareous grassland classified as the Upright Brome (Bromus erectus) type
British NVC community CG5
NVC community CG5 is one of the calcicolous grassland communities in the British National Vegetation Classification system. It is one of four communities of rank, tussocky grassland associated with low levels of grazing, within the lowland calcicolous grassland group.It is a comparatively widely...

, and north-east is the Windsor Hill Quarry
Windsor Hill Quarry
Windsor Hill Quarry is a 0.8 hectare geological Site of Special Scientific Interest near Shepton Mallet on the Mendip Hills in Somerset, adjacent to the Windsor Hill Marsh biological Site of Special Scientific Interest...

 geological SSSI, and also the Windsor Hill Marsh
Windsor Hill Marsh
Windsor Hill Marsh is a 0.84 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest, north of the town of Shepton Mallet in Somerset, and adjacent to the Windsor Hill Quarry geological Site of Special Scientific Interest. It was notified in January 1972....

 biological SSSI, a marshy silted pond with adjacent damp, slightly acidic grassland which is of interest for its diverse flora, in large part down to the varied habitats present within the small area. Two species are present which are rare in Somerset: Flat-sedge (Blysmus compressus) and Slender Spike-rush (Eleocharis uniglumis). Other marshland plants found here include Purple Loosestrife
Purple loosestrife
Lythrum salicaria is a flowering plant belonging to the family Lythraceae, native to Europe, Asia, northwest Africa, and southeastern Australia. It should not be confused with other plants sharing the name loosestrife that are members of the family Primulaceae...

, Yellow Flag (Iris pseudacorus), Hard Rush (Juncus inflexus), Soft Rush
Soft rush
Soft Rush is a member of the genus Juncus. Native to most continents and hence also known as Common Rush, this plant is found growing in wet areas, such as the purple moor-grass and rush pastures and fen-meadow plant associations in the United Kingdom.-Description:It grows in large clumps about...

 (J. effusus), Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus), Devil’s-bit Scabious (Succisa pratensis), three species of Horsetail Equisetum spp. and seven sedge
Cyperaceae
Cyperaceae are a family of monocotyledonous graminoid flowering plants known as sedges, which superficially resemble grasses or rushes. The family is large, with some 5,500 species described in about 109 genera. These species are widely distributed, with the centers of diversity for the group...

s Carex
Carex
Carex is a genus of plants in the family Cyperaceae, commonly known as sedges. Other members of the Cyperaceae family are also called sedges, however those of genus Carex may be called "true" sedges, and it is the most species-rich genus in the family. The study of Carex is known as...

spp.

River Sheppey

The centre and oldest parts of Shepton Mallet are adjacent to the River Sheppey
River Sheppey
The River Sheppey has its source in a group of springs west of the village of Doulting, near Shepton Mallet in Somerset, England. It flows through the wetlands to the north of the Polden Hills and ultimately joins the River Brue.- Route :...

, and thus at the bottom of a valley, approximately 115 m (377.3 ft) above sea level. The edges of the town lie about 45 m (147.6 ft) higher up. The river has cut a narrow valley, and between Shepton Mallet and the village of Croscombe
Croscombe
Croscombe is a village and civil parish west of Shepton Mallet and from Wells, in the Mendip district of Somerset, England. It is situated on the A371 road in the valley of the River Sheppey....

, to the west, it is bounded by steeply-sloping fields and woodland. However the river flows through much of Shepton Mallet itself in underground culverts. The river occasionally floods after heavy rain, such as on 20 October 2006, and again on 29 May 2008, when rainfall was so heavy that the culverts were unable to cope with the volume of water, resulting in the flooding of some of the lower-lying parts of the town. Some houses around Leg Square, Lower Lane and Draycott Road were submerged to a depth of 1 metres (3.3 ft). A study by the Environment Agency
Environment Agency
The Environment Agency is a British non-departmental public body of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and an Assembly Government Sponsored Body of the Welsh Assembly Government that serves England and Wales.-Purpose:...

 identified that the current standard of flood protection in those parts of the town was insufficient, being of a 5–10 year event standard; current guidelines require protection of a 50–200 year standard. The Agency began construction of a flood alleviation scheme, costing about £1.3 million, in the summer of 2010.

Areas of the town

Within Shepton Mallet there are several distinct areas which originated as separate communities around the central point of the church and Market Place. The town centre is small, basically consisting of two streets: High Street, which runs south from the Market Place towards the Townsend Retail Park, and the pedestrianised Town Street which runs north from the Market Place to Waterloo Bridge. To the east, separated from the Market Place by the Academy complex, is the parish church of St Peter and St Paul
Church of St Peter and St Paul, Shepton Mallet
The Church of St Peter and St Paul in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England dates from the 12th century and has been designated as a Grade I listed building....

. Lower Lane, which runs under Waterloo Bridge along the bottom of the river valley to the north of the town centre, is one of the few parts of the town where the River Sheppey
River Sheppey
The River Sheppey has its source in a group of springs west of the village of Doulting, near Shepton Mallet in Somerset, England. It flows through the wetlands to the north of the Polden Hills and ultimately joins the River Brue.- Route :...

 runs above ground. At the eastern end is Leg Square, which is surrounded by three large houses originally built by owners of some of the town's mills. Very close by is Cornhill, on which the Prison
Shepton Mallet (HM Prison)
HMP Shepton Mallet, sometimes known as Cornhill, is a prison located in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England. It is the United Kingdom's oldest operating prison.Shepton Mallet is a Category C Lifer Prison and holds 186 prisoners...

 stands.

Moving roughly eastwards, Garston Street, also in the valley-bottom, consists of a long-row of weavers' and other artisans' cottages dating from the 17th century. The eastern end of this area, adjacent to Kilver Street, is now occupied by the cider breweries. Across Kilver Street (the A37
A37 road
The A37 is a major road in southern England. It runs north from the A35 at Dorchester in Dorset into Somerset through Yeovil and Shepton Mallet before terminating at the Three Lamps junction with the A4 in central Bristol...

) is Kilver Court, which over the course of the 20th century has been a factory, the headquarters of the Showerings brewing business and then the headquarters of the leather-goods manufacturer, Mulberry
Mulberry (company)
Mulberry is a British fashion company known for its luxury leather goods.-Background:The company was founded in 1971 by Roger Saul and his mother Joan—in 1973 they opened a factory in Chilcompton, Somerset, England. Mulberry established itself as a British lifestyle brand, noted for its leather...

. Behind are the Kilver Court Gardens, originally built by Showerings for the recreation of their staff and set against the backdrop of part of the Charlton Viaduct, which are now open to the public. On the eastern edge of the town is Charlton where there are former breweries and mills, now converted into a trading estate, and right on the edge of the town is to be found Charlton House, a luxury hotel and spa.
On the southern side of the town, on a triangle of land bounded on the east by the A37
A37 road
The A37 is a major road in southern England. It runs north from the A35 at Dorchester in Dorset into Somerset through Yeovil and Shepton Mallet before terminating at the Three Lamps junction with the A4 in central Bristol...

, on the north by the line of the former East Somerset Railway
East Somerset Railway
The East Somerset Railway is a heritage railway in Somerset, running between Cranmore and Mendip Vale. Prior to the Beeching Axe, the railway ran from Witham to Wells, meeting both the Cheddar Valley line and Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway at the latter station.- History :The line was...

, and on the west by Cannard's Grave Road, is Tadley Acres, a modern housing development built on land partly belonging to the Duchy of Cornwall
Duchy of Cornwall
The Duchy of Cornwall is one of two royal duchies in England, the other being the Duchy of Lancaster. The eldest son of the reigning British monarch inherits the duchy and title of Duke of Cornwall at the time of his birth, or of his parent's succession to the throne. If the monarch has no son, the...

. The development has been praised for the quality of its design and the use of locally sourced natural building materials. North of the former railway line is Collett Park. Across Cannard's Grave Road from Tadley Acres is the Mid-Somerset Show
Mid-Somerset Show
The Mid-Somerset Show, also known as Shepton Show, is a one-day agricultural show held annually in August on a site at Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England. Founded over 150 years ago, the show displays and celebrates agriculture and livestock rearing, crafts and hobbies, local heritage and farming...

ground. Immediately to the south-west of the town centre, on a site which, at the start of the 20th century, had been the grounds of the former Summerleaze House and then a shoe-factory, is the Townsend Retail Park which was built in 2006-2007.

West Shepton, which forms the south-west corner of the town, is dominated by the former Shepton Mallet Union
Poor Law Union
A Poor Law Union was a unit used for local government in the United Kingdom from the 19th century. The administration of the Poor Law was the responsibility of parishes, which varied wildly in their size, populations, financial resources, rateable values and requirements...

 Workhouse
Workhouse
In England and Wales a workhouse, colloquially known as a spike, was a place where those unable to support themselves were offered accommodation and employment...

, a grade II listed building originally constructed in 1848, which later became the Norah Fry
Norah Fry
Norah Lillian Fry was a member of a Bristol Quaker Fry family of the J. S. Fry & Sons company. She became an advocate and campaigner for disabled children and those with learning difficulties and in 1918 became the first female councillor in Somerset.Norah Fry was born and educated in Clifton,...

 Hospital (a mental health hospital), and is now a housing development. Nearby, on the western edge of the town, is the modern community hospital. Moving northwards, back down into the river valley, are two hamlets, Darshill, once the site of a number of mills, and Bowlish, which contains several grand clothiers' houses. The steeply-sloping fields adjoining the river between Bowlish and the rest of the Shepton Mallet are known locally as The Meadows, to the east of which is Hillmead, a council housing estate built in the 1960s.

Climate

Along with the rest of South West England
Climate of south-west England
The climate of south-west England is classed as oceanic according to the Köppen climate classification. The oceanic climate is typified by cool winters with warmer summers and precipitation all year round, with more experienced in winter. Annual rainfall is about and up to on higher ground...

, Shepton Mallet has a temperate climate
Temperate
In geography, temperate or tepid latitudes of the globe lie between the tropics and the polar circles. The changes in these regions between summer and winter are generally relatively moderate, rather than extreme hot or cold...

 which is generally wetter and milder than the rest of England. The annual mean temperature is about 10 °C (50 °F) with seasonal and diurnal
Diurnal motion
Diurnal motion is an astronomical term referring to the apparent daily motion of stars around the Earth, or more precisely around the two celestial poles. It is caused by the Earth's rotation on its axis, so every star apparently moves on a circle, that is called the diurnal circle. The time for...

 variations, but due to the modifying effect of the sea, the range is less than in most other parts of the United Kingdom. January is the coldest month with mean minimum temperatures between 1 °C (34 °F) and 2 °C (36 °F). July and August are the warmest months in the region with mean daily maxima around 21 °C (70 °F). In general, December is the dullest month and June the sunniest. The south west of England enjoys a favoured location, particularly in summer, when the Azores High
Azores High
The Azores High is a large subtropical semi-permanent centre of high atmospheric pressure found near the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean, at the Horse latitudes...

 extends its influence north-eastwards towards the UK.

Cloud
Cumulus cloud
Cumulus clouds are a type of cloud with noticeable vertical development and clearly defined edges. Cumulus means "heap" or "pile" in Latin. They are often described as "puffy" or "cotton-like" in appearance. Cumulus clouds may appear alone, in lines, or in clusters...

 often forms inland, especially near hills, and reduces exposure to sunshine. The average annual sunshine totals around 1600 hours. Rainfall
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 tends to be associated with Atlantic depressions
Low pressure area
A low-pressure area, or "low", is a region where the atmospheric pressure at sea level is below that of surrounding locations. Low-pressure systems form under areas of wind divergence which occur in upper levels of the troposphere. The formation process of a low-pressure area is known as...

 or with convection. In summer, convection caused by solar surface heating sometimes forms shower cloud
Cloud
A cloud is a visible mass of liquid droplets or frozen crystals made of water and/or various chemicals suspended in the atmosphere above the surface of a planetary body. They are also known as aerosols. Clouds in Earth's atmosphere are studied in the cloud physics branch of meteorology...

s and a large proportion of the annual precipitation falls from showers and thunderstorms at this time of year. Average rainfall is around 800–900 mm (31–35 in). About 8–15 days of snowfall is typical. November to March have the highest mean wind
Wind
Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale. On Earth, wind consists of the bulk movement of air. In outer space, solar wind is the movement of gases or charged particles from the sun through space, while planetary wind is the outgassing of light chemical elements from a planet's atmosphere into space...

 speeds, with June to August having the lightest. The predominant wind direction is from the south west.

Demography

In the 2001 census, the population was 8,981, comprising 4,482 (49.9%) males and 4,499 (50.1%) females. 1,976 (22%) residents were aged 16 or below, 5,781 (64.4%) between 16 and 65, and 1,224 (13.6%) aged 65 or over.

Of the population aged between 16 and 74, 4,200 (66%) were in employment, with only 224 (3.5%) unemployed (the remainder being economically inactive). About 69% of those in employment were in service industries, with the remainder in manufacturing. 1,459 people were employed in managerial or professional occupations, 522 were self-employed, and 1,888 in routine and semi-routine occupations.

3,714 households were recorded in the town, of which 2,621 (70.6%) were owner-occupied, 515 (13.9%) rented from private landlords, and 578 (15.6%) rented from the local authority or other social landlords. 3,688 (99.3%) heads of households were white.

In late 2008, Mendip District Council's estimate of the town's population was 9,700.

Economy

There is a local perception that Shepton Mallet has been in economic decline for some time. Some 350 manufacturing jobs were lost in the late 1990s and early years of the 21st century. However, the District Council asserts that, despite the loss of the manufacturing jobs on which Shepton Mallet has been historically dependent, more jobs in distribution, business services and public administration, health, education, quarrying, construction and hi-tech services (from companies such as the ISP
Internet service provider
An Internet service provider is a company that provides access to the Internet. Access ISPs directly connect customers to the Internet using copper wires, wireless or fiber-optic connections. Hosting ISPs lease server space for smaller businesses and host other people servers...

 Easynet
Easynet
Easynet Global Services are a provider of managed network, hosting and telepresence solutions for businesses and enterprises worldwide.Founded in 1994, Easynet Global Services are part of the Easynet group of companies, along with Easynet Connect and UK Online.It was a part of BSkyB, a FTSE top 50...

) have been created, thereby creating a more balanced economy. In 2001, there were slightly more jobs in the town than economically active people, resulting in a small in-flow of workers.

The town centre is fairly small with a high proportion of empty premises in Market Place and the north end of High Street adjacent to Market Place. However, the pedestrianised Town Street which runs north from the Market Place to Waterloo Bridge has had significant investment in its heritage in the last five years and now enjoys almost full occupancy of its shops.
Over the course of 2010 an 'artisan quarter' of independent shops is starting to emerge in Town Street and Market Place.

Since 2004, Shepton Mallet’s town centre buildings have benefitted from two conservation schemes, the Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme and the Townscape Heritage Initiative Scheme, which provided grants for the repair of buildings, reinstatement of architectural features and enhancement of public spaces, as well as community involvement, education and training. As the body which made the bid for the funding, Mendip District Council has administrated both schemes, but all decisions are made by a steering group comprising the main stakeholders in the town.

For centuries there has been a general market held each Friday in the Market Place. The market has been in decline for some years and in 2010 attempts were made to revitalise it. However, after initial interest the number of stallholders slowly decreased.

The furniture store Haskins, which originated in Shepton Mallet in 1938, has its principal showroom in the High Street within Haskins Retail Centre, which also includes a number of others shops including Aldi
ALDI
ALDI Einkauf GmbH & Co. oHG, doing business as ', short for "Albrecht Discount", is a discount supermarket chain based in Germany...

 supermarket, Edinburgh Woollen Mill
Edinburgh Woollen Mill
The Edinburgh Woollen Mill is a Langholm based clothing retailer targeting men and women over the age of 40.- History :The Edinburgh Woollen Mill was founded in 1946 by Drew Stevenson as the Langholm Dyeing and Finishing Company, dyeing wool yarn to order...

, Ponden Home, Pavers Shoes
Pavers Shoes
Pavers ltd, better known as Pavers Shoes is a family owned footwear business operating in the UK and Ireland. Pavers currently has 70 stores across UK and Ireland all fulfilled from their head office in York....

 and an outlet clothing store. Retail jobs in the town increased in number in 2006–2007 when a new shopping development, including a large supermarket owned by Tesco
Tesco
Tesco plc is a global grocery and general merchandise retailer headquartered in Cheshunt, United Kingdom. It is the third-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues and the second-largest measured by profits...

, clothes store and other retailers, was constructed on a site just south of the town centre which had once been a factory making Clarks shoes
C&J Clark
C. and J. Clark International Ltd, trading as Clarks, is a British, international shoe manufacturer and retailer based in Street, Somerset, England...

 and later Doc Martens boots. This development attracted national media attention when protesters occupied the site to try to prevent the felling of an avenue of trees dating back to the 19th century. It has also divided opinion in the town, between those who hoped it would help to revitalise the town, and others who feared that local traders would be unable to compete, leading to a further decline of Shepton Mallet's high street. There is also the Mulberry
Mulberry (company)
Mulberry is a British fashion company known for its luxury leather goods.-Background:The company was founded in 1971 by Roger Saul and his mother Joan—in 1973 they opened a factory in Chilcompton, Somerset, England. Mulberry established itself as a British lifestyle brand, noted for its leather...

 Factory Shop located on Kilver Street, near to the previous location of the Mulberry Headquarters.

Shepton Mallet is home to three international alcoholic drinks producers. The Gaymer Cider Company
Gaymer Cider Company
The Gaymer Cider Company produces and markets Cider. It is owned by C&C Group plc since 2010, who also owns Magners Cider, Bulmers Cider in Ireland and Tennents in Scotland.-History:The Gaymer family had a cider making business in Banham, Norfolk, from 1680...

, a subsidiary of C&C Group, produces Blackthorn
Blackthorn Cider
Blackthorn Cider is a cider produced by Gaymer Cider Company, a subsidiary of C&C Group. Previously it was known as Blackthorn Dry or Dry Blackthorn...

 and Gaymer's Olde English cider. Constellation Brands
Constellation Brands
Constellation Brands, Inc., headquartered in Victor, New York, is the world’s leading wine company with a broad portfolio of widely admired premium brands across the wine, beer and spirits categories.-History and description:...

, former owners of Gaymers, produces Babycham
Babycham
Babycham is the trade name of a light, sparkling perry invented by Francis Edwin Showering , a brewer in Shepton Mallet in Somerset, England; the name is now owned by Constellation Europe Limited. Launched in the United Kingdom in 1953, the drink was marketed with pioneering television...

. Family-run Brothers Drinks produces Brothers Cider
Brothers Cider
Brothers Cider is a brand of pear cider originating in Somerset in South West England, available at music festivals, pubs, bars and stores across the United Kingdom. It is now available internationally in countries such as Turkey, Singapore and Australia....

 and runs a contract bottling operation for many other drinks companies.

Transport

The A37 road
A37 road
The A37 is a major road in southern England. It runs north from the A35 at Dorchester in Dorset into Somerset through Yeovil and Shepton Mallet before terminating at the Three Lamps junction with the A4 in central Bristol...

, which follows the line of the Fosse Way
Fosse Way
The Fosse Way was a Roman road in England that linked Exeter in South West England to Lincoln in Lincolnshire, via Ilchester , Bath , Cirencester and Leicester .It joined Akeman Street and Ermin Way at Cirencester, crossed Watling Street at Venonis south...

, passes through Shepton Mallet from north to south. From east to west, the A361
A361 road
The A361 is a major road in England and at is the longest 3 digit A road in the UK. It runs south from Ilfracombe on the north Devon coast to Barnstaple, turning south-east to Tiverton then, after a break , north east from Taunton in Somerset through Street and Glastonbury, past Frome and then...

 from Frome
Frome
Frome is a town and civil parish in northeast Somerset, England. Located at the eastern end of the Mendip Hills, the town is built on uneven high ground, and centres around the River Frome. The town is approximately south of Bath, east of the county town, Taunton and west of London. In the 2001...

 becomes the A371
A371 road
The A371 is a primary road in England running from Wincanton in Somerset, to Weston-super-Mare in North Somerset.The A371 starts at the A303, then passes Castle Cary, Ansford, Cannard's Grave , Shepton Mallet, Croscombe, Wells, Easton, Somerset, Westbury-sub-Mendip, Rodney Stoke, Draycott, Cheddar,...

 to Wells
Wells
Wells is a cathedral city and civil parish in the Mendip district of Somerset, England, on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills. Although the population recorded in the 2001 census is 10,406, it has had city status since 1205...

.

Shepton Mallet had railway stations on two lines, both now closed. The first station, called Shepton Mallet (High Street)
Shepton Mallet (High Street) railway station
Shepton Mallet was a railway station on the East Somerset Railway, serving the town of Shepton Mallet in the English county of Somerset....

 in British Railways days, was on the East Somerset Railway
East Somerset Railway
The East Somerset Railway is a heritage railway in Somerset, running between Cranmore and Mendip Vale. Prior to the Beeching Axe, the railway ran from Witham to Wells, meeting both the Cheddar Valley line and Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway at the latter station.- History :The line was...

 branch line from Witham
Witham (Somerset) railway station
Witham railway station was a station serving the Somerset village of Witham Friary and was located on the Frome to Yeovil section of the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway that opened in 1856...

 and opened in 1859. The line was extended to Wells
Wells
Wells is a cathedral city and civil parish in the Mendip district of Somerset, England, on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills. Although the population recorded in the 2001 census is 10,406, it has had city status since 1205...

 in 1862 and later connected to the Cheddar Valley line
Cheddar Valley line
The Cheddar Valley line was a railway line in Somerset, England, opened in 1869 and closed in 1963. It became known as The Strawberry Line because of the volume of locally-grown strawberries that it carried....

 branch of the Bristol and Exeter Railway
Bristol and Exeter Railway
The Bristol & Exeter Railway was a railway company formed to connect Bristol and Exeter.The company's head office was situated outside their Bristol station...

 from Yatton
Yatton
Yatton is a village and civil parish within the unitary authority of North Somerset, which falls within the ceremonial county of Somerset, England. It is located south-west of Bristol. Its population in 2001 was 9,176...

 to Wells via Cheddar
Cheddar
Cheddar is a large village and civil parish in the Sedgemoor district of the English county of Somerset. It is situated on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills, north-west of Wells. The civil parish includes the hamlets of Nyland and Bradley Cross...

. Through services between Yatton and Witham started in 1870. The line was absorbed into the Great Western Railway
Great Western Railway
The Great Western Railway was a British railway company that linked London with the south-west and west of England and most of Wales. It was founded in 1833, received its enabling Act of Parliament in 1835 and ran its first trains in 1838...

 in the 1870s.

A second station, later called Shepton Mallet (Charlton Road)
Shepton Mallet (Charlton Road) railway station
Shepton Mallet was a station on the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway in the county of Somerset in England. Opened as Shepton Mallet on the 20th of July 1874, it was renamed to avoid confusion with the nearby GWR station in 1883. The station consisted of two platforms with the station building...

, opened in 1874 with the building of the Bath extension of the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway
Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway
The Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway – almost always referred to as "the S&D" – was an English railway line connecting Bath in north east Somerset and Bournemouth now in south east Dorset but then in Hampshire...

. This station was some distance east of the centre of the town and was approached on the Charlton Viaduct.
Both stations closed in the 1960s as part of the Beeching Axe
Beeching Axe
The Beeching Axe or the Beeching Cuts are informal names for the British Government's attempt in the 1960s to reduce the cost of running British Railways, the nationalised railway system in the United Kingdom. The name is that of the main author of The Reshaping of British Railways, Dr Richard...

. Shepton Mallet (High Street) closed with the withdrawal of passenger services on the Yatton to Witham line in 1963, though part of the former East Somerset line remains open for freight and as a heritage railway
Heritage railway
thumb|right|the Historical [[Khyber train safari|Khyber Railway]] goes through the [[Khyber Pass]], [[Pakistan]]A heritage railway , preserved railway , tourist railway , or tourist railroad is a railway that is run as a tourist attraction, in some cases by volunteers, and...

. Shepton Mallet (Charlton Road) closed in 1966 with the closure of the Somerset and Dorset line. Nowadays, the nearest Network Rail
Network Rail
Network Rail is the government-created owner and operator of most of the rail infrastructure in Great Britain .; it is not responsible for railway infrastructure in Northern Ireland...

 station is Castle Cary
Castle Cary railway station
Castle Cary railway station serves a largely rural area of the county of Somerset in England. The station is situated approximately north of the town of Castle Cary, and south of Shepton Mallet....

, some eight miles south of Shepton Mallet.

A bus service to the town is provided by First Somerset & Avon
First Somerset & Avon
First Somerset & Avon Ltd provides bus services in Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bath and West Wiltshire. It is part of First Group. First Somerset & Avon operates an extensive network of services in and around Bath, Bridgwater, Bristol, Taunton, Trowbridge, Wells, Weston-super-Mare and...

.

Landmarks

There are 218 listed buildings in Shepton Mallet and the town is in receipt of funding for the restoration of chosen town centre historic buildings from the English Heritage
English Heritage
English Heritage . is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport...

 Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme and the National Lottery
National Lottery (United Kingdom)
The National Lottery is the state-franchised national lottery in the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man.It is operated by Camelot Group, to whom the licence was granted in 1994, 2001 and again in 2007. The lottery is regulated by the National Lottery Commission, and was established by the then...

 Townscape Heritage Initiative. The town centre, and the Bowlish, Darshill and Charlton areas, form a conservation area
Conservation area
A conservation areas is a tract of land that has been awarded protected status in order to ensure that natural features, cultural heritage or biota are safeguarded...

.

The hexagonal, 50 ft (15.2 m) tall, market cross
Market cross
A market cross is a structure used to mark a market square in market towns, originally from the distinctive tradition in Early Medieval Insular art of free-standing stone standing or high crosses, often elaborately carved, which goes back to the 7th century. Market crosses can be found in most...

 in the town centre dates back to a bequest of £20 by Walter Buckland in 1520, and was rebuilt in 1841. Also in the market place is The Shambles, a medieval market stall, although it has been much restored. HM Prison Shepton Mallet
Shepton Mallet (HM Prison)
HMP Shepton Mallet, sometimes known as Cornhill, is a prison located in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England. It is the United Kingdom's oldest operating prison.Shepton Mallet is a Category C Lifer Prison and holds 186 prisoners...

, which was built in 1610, is located close to the town centre, adjacent to the parish church.

There are a number of fine houses in the older parts of the town around Lower Lane and Leg Square,

as well as in the outlying suburbs such as Charlton and Bowlish. Old Bowlish House, which now houses a contemporary art gallery, dates from the first half of the 17th century and was remodelled in about 1720 in the Palladian style. Bowlish House, also in the Palladian style and now a hotel and restaurant, was built in 1732 by a prosperous local clothier; a spring is reported to rise in the cellar. Park House in Forum Lane dates to about 1700 and was modified about 1750. Others among the 19 grade II listed buildings in Bowlish include Coombe House which was built c. 1820; 14, 15 and 16 Combe Lane which were built around 1700 with 18th century alterations; 26 to 29 Combe Lane which is a former mill built around 1700 and enlarged in 1850; and 30 and 31 Combe Lane which are two weaver's cottages dating to about 1850. What is now a stained glass
Stained glass
The term stained glass can refer to coloured glass as a material or to works produced from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant buildings...

 studio in Ham Lane was formerly a coal store attached to a stable which belonged to the public house next door, The Butcher’s Arms, which ceased trading in 1860. The studio has provided stained glass for, among others, the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Ghost, Midsomer Norton
Church of the Holy Ghost, Midsomer Norton
The Church of the Holy Ghost, Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England is a Roman Catholic parish church housed in a converted tithe barn. It is served by monks of the Order of St. Benedict from Downside Abbey and is a Grade II* listed building....

. As a consequence of its historic nature, Bowlish is included within Shepton Mallet's conservation area
Conservation area
A conservation areas is a tract of land that has been awarded protected status in order to ensure that natural features, cultural heritage or biota are safeguarded...

 and is a site of special archaeological interest.

In the hamlet of Darshill, on the road from Shepton Mallet to Wells
Wells
Wells is a cathedral city and civil parish in the Mendip district of Somerset, England, on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills. Although the population recorded in the 2001 census is 10,406, it has had city status since 1205...

, there is a silk
Silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

 drying shed, known locally as a handle house, three walls of which are full of holes to allow the passage of air to aid in the process of drying teasle
Dipsacus
Dipsacus is a genus of flowering plant in the family Dipsacaceae. The members of this genus are known as teasel or teazel or teazle. The genus includes about 15 species of tall herbaceous biennial plants growing to tall...

 heads, which were used to raise the nap on cloth in the textile process.

The Anglo-Bavarian Brewery
Anglo-Bavarian Brewery
The Anglo-Bavarian Brewery was established in Shepton Mallet in Somerset, England in 1864 as the first lager brewery in the United Kingdom. It closed in 1920...

 was built in the 1860s and still dominates the western parts of Shepton Mallet; fairly nearby is a former workhouse
Workhouse
In England and Wales a workhouse, colloquially known as a spike, was a place where those unable to support themselves were offered accommodation and employment...

 and then hospital, the Norah Fry
Norah Fry
Norah Lillian Fry was a member of a Bristol Quaker Fry family of the J. S. Fry & Sons company. She became an advocate and campaigner for disabled children and those with learning difficulties and in 1918 became the first female councillor in Somerset.Norah Fry was born and educated in Clifton,...

 Hospital, which was built in 1848 and has now been converted into housing. Two now-disused railway viaducts are to be found in the town, including the Charlton Viaduct which has 27 arches, each spanning 28 feet (8.5 m). It is on a curve of 30 chain
Chain (unit)
A chain is a unit of length; it measures 66 feet or 22 yards or 100 links . There are 10 chains in a furlong, and 80 chains in one statute mile. An acre is the area of 10 square chains...

s radius falling at 1 in 55 from each end to the mid point.

The market cross, the prison and prison wall, The Merchants House (8 Market Place)
Merchant's House, Shepton Mallet
The Merchant's House at Number 8, Market Place, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England was built around 1675 and has been designated as a Grade II* listed building. The date of construction was confirmed by dendrochronology....

, Anglo-Bavarian Brewery, Charlton Viaduct, the former St Michael's Roman Catholic Church at Townsend, and Bowlish House, Old Bowlish House and Park House in Bowlish are the town's nine grade II* listed buildings.

The town centre was extensively remodelled in the 1970s, a scheme financed by the Showerings family who owned the town's cider manufactories. The scheme included a new library (in a faithful copy of a former inn, The Bunch of Grapes, which had been demolished), and a new entertainment complex called The Centre, entirely in concrete, on the eastern side of the market square. When the allegedly Roman Chi Rho
Chi Rho
The Chi Rho is one of the earliest forms of christogram, and is used by Christians. It is formed by superimposing the first two letters chi and rho of the Greek word "ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ" =Christ in such a way to produce the monogram ☧...

 amulet was found in the Fosse Lane excavations in the 1990s, the complex was renamed The Amulet in honour of the find. It has recently been renamed again as The Academy.

Shepton benefits from a sizeable park
Park
A park is a protected area, in its natural or semi-natural state, or planted, and set aside for human recreation and enjoyment, or for the protection of wildlife or natural habitats. It may consist of rocks, soil, water, flora and fauna and grass areas. Many parks are legally protected by...

, a gift of land from a local man, John Kyte Collett. As a boy he was thrown out of the grounds of local estates for trespass so in later life he purchased and gave land to the town to provide a public space; this park, which opened in 1906, is called Collett Park in his honour.

Religious sites

The grade I listed parish church of St Peter and St Paul
Church of St Peter and St Paul, Shepton Mallet
The Church of St Peter and St Paul in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England dates from the 12th century and has been designated as a Grade I listed building....

 dates from the 12th century, but the current building is largely from the 15th century, with further rebuilding in 1836. The oak wagon roof, made up of 350 panels of different designs, separated by 396 carved foliage bosses
Boss (architecture)
In architecture, a boss is a knob or protrusion of stone or wood.Bosses can often be found in the ceilings of buildings, particularly at the intersection of a vault. In Gothic architecture, such roof bosses are often intricately carved with foliage, heraldic devices or other decorations...

 (supposedly every one different) and with 36 carved angels along the sides, was described by British historian Nikolaus Pevsner
Nikolaus Pevsner
Sir Nikolaus Bernhard Leon Pevsner, CBE, FBA was a German-born British scholar of history of art and, especially, of history of architecture...

 as "the finest 15th century carved oak wagon-roof in England". It was restored, at a cost of £5,000, in 1953–54.

The former St Michael's Roman Catholic Church, which was built in 1804, is now a warehouse. A modern Catholic Church, built in 1966, is located in Park Road. There was also, between 1810 and 1831, a convent of the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary
Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary
The Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary or the Visitation Order is a Roman Catholic religious order for women. Members of the order are also known as Filles de Sainte-Marie, Visitandines, Salesian Sisters and, more commonly, Visitationists.- History of the order :The Order was founded in 1610 by...

 (also known as the Salesian Sisters) based in a mansion in Draycott Road. The building, which is now known as Sales House, was subsequently used as a Lodge by Shepton Mallet's freemasons, and is now used as social housing.

The Salvation Army
Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian church known for its thrift stores and charity work. It is an international movement that currently works in over a hundred countries....

 has meeting rooms in the town, whilst the local Methodists, who previously worshipped in their own Chapel in Paul Street (built in 1810; it is now a community centre), have an agreement to share the parish church with the Anglican congregation. The Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 Chapel in Commercial Road was built in 1801 as a Congregational Church
Congregational church
Congregational churches are Protestant Christian churches practicing Congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation independently and autonomously runs its own affairs....

. There were previously a number of other non-conformist chapels in Shepton, the most notable of which is the Unitarian
Unitarianism
Unitarianism is a Christian theological movement, named for its understanding of God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism which defines God as three persons coexisting consubstantially as one in being....

 Chapel on Cowl Street which was built in 1692 and enlarged in 1758; it is now a private dwelling.

Education

There are three primary schools within Shepton Mallet. Shepton Mallet Infants School on Waterloo Road was rated as 'Inadequate' by Ofsted
Ofsted
The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills is the non-ministerial government department of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools In England ....

 in 2009 and placed in special measures
Special measures
Special measures is a status applied by Ofsted and Estyn, the schools inspection agencies, to schools in England and Wales, respectively, when it considers that they fail to supply an acceptable level of education and appear to lack the leadership capacity necessary to secure improvements...

. St Paul's Junior School on Commercial Road was assessed as 'Good' in 2008, as was Bowlish Primary School when it was last inspected in 2007.

Education for 11 to 16 year olds is provided by Whitstone School
Whitstone school
Whitstone School is a specialist school located in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England, which educates students aged between 11 and 16. The school has been a specialist Technology College since 2000 and as of September 2010 the school's headteacher is Gillian Rennard.In August 2011, the school became...

, which is a Technology College
Technology College
Technology College is a term used in the United Kingdom for a secondary specialist school that focuses on design and technology, mathematics and science. These were the first type of specialist schools, beginning in 1994. In 2008 there were 598 Technology Colleges in England, of which 12 also...

 and in 2008 was assessed by Ofsted as 'Satisfactory'. For post-16 education, students travel to colleges in other local towns, for example Frome Community College
Frome Community College
Frome Community College is a comprehensive school in Frome, Somerset, England with specialist media arts status since 2002.It caters for approximately 1,380 students from the ages 13 to 18, as it is part of the three tier system. Students' studies at the college lead up to GCSE, GNVQ, AS-Level and...

, Strode College
Strode College
Strode College is a tertiary institution and further education college situated in Street, Somerset, England. It provides education for students aged 16 and over, after they leave secondary school. These courses are usually A-levels or BTECs...

 in Street
Street, Somerset
Street is a small village and civil parish in the county of Somerset, England. It is situated on a dry spot in the Somerset Levels, at the end of the Polden Hills, south-west of Glastonbury. The 2001 census records the village as having a population of 11,066...

 or Norton Radstock College
Norton Radstock College
Norton Radstock College is a further education college in Westfield, Somerset serving Midsomer Norton, Radstock, Westfield, Keynsham and surrounding districts in Bath, Bristol, Wiltshire and Somerset, England....

 in Midsomer Norton
Midsomer Norton
Midsomer Norton is a town near the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England, south-west of Bath, north-east of Wells, north-west of Frome, and south-east of Bristol. It has a population of 10,458. Along with Radstock and Westfield it used to be part of the conurbation and large civil parish of Norton...

.

Culture

During the summer of 2010, the television production company Wall to Wall filmed a series for BBC One
BBC One
BBC One is the flagship television channel of the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It was launched on 2 November 1936 as the BBC Television Service, and was the world's first regular television service with a high level of image resolution...

 in the town centre which was broadcast from 2 November 2010. Called Turn Back Time - The High Street, the series features a number of families running traditional bakers, butchers, grocers, and dress-makers shops, as well as a tea room, as they would have been during the Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 and Edwardian eras, during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, and in the 1960s and 1970s.

A town fete called Collett Day is held in June in the town's Collett Park.
Two annual agricultural show
Agricultural show
An agricultural show is a public event showcasing the equipment, animals, sports and recreation associated with agriculture and animal husbandry. The largest comprise a livestock show , a trade fair, competitions, and entertainment...

s are held close to the town: the four-day Royal Bath and West Show
Royal Bath and West Show
The Royal Bath and West is a agricultural show for the West of England. Held every year at its permanent show ground near Shepton Mallet, Somerset, it is one of a number of County shows in the United Kingdom...

, which is held at the showground of the Royal Bath and West of England Society
Royal Bath and West of England Society
The Royal Bath and West of England Society is a charitable society founded in 1777 to promote and improve agriculture and related activities around the West Country of England. Based at the Royal Bath and West of England Society Showground near Shepton Mallet in Somerset, the society is a...

 near Evercreech
Evercreech
Evercreech is a village and civil parish south east of Shepton Mallet, and north east of Castle Cary, in the Mendip district of Somerset, England...

, 2.5 mi (4 km) south-east of the town, while the one-day Mid-Somerset Show
Mid-Somerset Show
The Mid-Somerset Show, also known as Shepton Show, is a one-day agricultural show held annually in August on a site at Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England. Founded over 150 years ago, the show displays and celebrates agriculture and livestock rearing, crafts and hobbies, local heritage and farming...

 is held on fields on Shepton Mallet's southern edge.
Other events held at the Bath and West Showground include the New Wine
New Wine
New Wine is the largest UK network of charismatic churches and Christians. It originated in 1989 as a Christian festival run by two Anglican clergy from St Andrew’s Church Chorleywood: Bishop David Pytches and the Rev. Barry Kissell...

 and Soul Survivor festivals, the Shepton Mallet International Antiques & Collectors' Fair, the National Amateur Gardening Show
Amateur Gardening (magazine)
Amateur Gardening is a British magazine dedicated to gardening, including news, advice, feature articles and celebrity columns and interviews.Famous writers for the weekly magazine have included Alan Titchmarsh - who also worked there as deputy editor;...

 and the National Adventure Sports Show.

The Glastonbury Festival
Glastonbury Festival
The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, commonly abbreviated to Glastonbury or even Glasto, is a performing arts festival that takes place near Pilton, Somerset, England, best known for its contemporary music, but also for dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and other arts.The...

, the largest music festival in Europe, is held in the village of Pilton
Pilton, Somerset
Pilton is a village and civil parish in Somerset, England, situated on the A361 road in the Mendip district, 3 miles south-west of Shepton Mallet and 6 miles east of Glastonbury. The village has a population of 935...

, approximately 2.5 miles (4 km) south-west of Shepton Mallet.
The Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music
Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music 1970
The Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music was a music festival held at the Royal Bath and West Showground in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England on 27–28 June 1970.-Overview:...

 was held at Shepton Mallet in 1970.
The town also hosts the annual Shepton Mallet Digital Arts Festival
Shepton Mallet Digital Arts Festival
The Shepton Mallet Digital Arts Festival is a British annual public arts festival and creative industry showcase based in the Somerset town of Shepton Mallet at venues including Kilver Court....

 which was founded in 2009.

In 2007, The Amulet complex in the town centre became the base for the Bristol Academy of Performing Arts (BAPA), and the complex was renamed The Academy. In 2009, BAPA went into administration and was briefly replaced by the Musical Theatre School, before that also failed. The complex's auditorium has the only suspended seating system in the United Kingdom.

The town's weekly newspaper
Newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

, part of the Mid Somerset Series
Mid Somerset Series
The Mid Somerset Series consists of four paid-for newspapers, published in Somerset, England, owned by Northcliffe Media, part of the Daily Mail and General Trust newsgroup....

, is called the Shepton Mallet Journal. The town is also covered by the Fosse Way Magazine
Fosse Way Magazine
TheFosse Way Magazine is a weekly magazine-size newspaper, distributed free of charge inthe Mendip and South Somerset areas of Somerset, England...

 and Mendip Times
Mendip Times
The Mendip Times is a monthly magazine, distributed free of charge in the Mendip Hills and surrounding areas of Somerset, England.It was launched in 2006 and has three employees, who also produce Mendip TV....

.

In 2007, Shepton Mallet came to international attention when Westcountry Farmhouse Cheesemakers broadcast the maturation of a round of Cheddar cheese
Cheddar cheese
Cheddar cheese is a relatively hard, yellow to off-white, and sometimes sharp-tasting cheese, produced in several countries around the world. It has its origins in the English village of Cheddar in Somerset....

 called Wedginald
Wedginald
Wedginald is a round of Cheddar cheese made famous in 2007 when its producers broadcast its maturation process on the internet on the Cheddarvision.tv website....

, an event that attracted more than 1.5 million viewers.

Notable people

  • Simon Browne
    Simon Browne
    Simon Browne was a dissenting minister and theologian. He was born in Shepton Mallet, inSomerset, England, in 1680.Browne was preaching by the age of 20, and first became a minister at an independent church in Portsmouth before moving, in 1716, to preach at Old Jewry in London.He published a volume...

    , a dissenting
    English Dissenters
    English Dissenters were Christians who separated from the Church of England in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.They originally agitated for a wide reaching Protestant Reformation of the Established Church, and triumphed briefly under Oliver Cromwell....

     preacher and theologian, was born in Shepton Mallet in 1680 and, after preaching at Old Jewry
    Old Jewry
    Old Jewry is the name of a street in the City of London, in Coleman Street Ward, linking Gresham Street with The Poultry.William the Conqueror encouraged Jews to come to England soon after the Norman Conquest; some settled in cities throughout his new domain, including in London. According to Rev....

     in London, and also in Portsmouth
    Portsmouth
    Portsmouth is the second largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire on the south coast of England. Portsmouth is notable for being the United Kingdom's only island city; it is located mainly on Portsea Island...

    , died in the town in 1732.
  • Christopher Cazenove
    Christopher Cazenove
    Christopher Cazenove was an English cinema, television and stage actor.-Early life and career:He was born Christopher de Lerisson Cazenove, the son of Arnold de Lerisson Cazenove and Elizabeth Laura in Winchester, Hampshire, but was brought up in Bowlish, Somerset...

     (1945—2010), cinema, television and stage actor, lived at Ham Manor in Bowlish, near Shepton Mallet, as a child.
  • William Henry Coombes
    William Henry Coombes
    William Henry Coombes was an English Roman Catholic priest, theologian and writer.-Life:He passed his early years at Meadgate, Somerset, England, the property and for many years the residence of his uncle, Rev. William Coombes , of Douai College, Grand-Vicar of the Western District...

     (1767—1850), Catholic theologian, was a priest in Shepton Mallet from 1810 to 1849, following which he retired to the nearby Downside Abbey
    Downside Abbey
    The Basilica of St Gregory the Great at Downside, commonly known as Downside Abbey, is a Roman Catholic Benedictine monastery and the Senior House of the English Benedictine Congregation. One of its main apostolates is a school for children aged nine to eighteen...

    .
  • Edmund Adams
    Edmund Adams
    Edmund Joe Adams was an English cricketer who played one first-class match for Somerset in July 1935. Adams was born in Shepton Mallet and died in Kingston upon Thames....

     (1915-2005), Cricketer, born in Shepton Mallet.
  • Herbert Foxwell
    Herbert Foxwell
    Herbert Somerton Foxwell was an English economist. He played an important role in the fostering of economic studies in Britain through his teaching, his work with the Royal Economic Society and other organisations, and his prodigious book collecting...

     (1849—1936), economist, was born in Shepton Mallet on 17 June 1849.
  • Sir Ronald Gould
    Ronald Gould
    Sir Ronald Gould was General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers from 1947–1970. He was the son of the Labour MP Frederick Gould.-Early life:He was born in Midsomer Norton, Somerset...

     (1904—1986), General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers
    National Union of Teachers
    The National Union of Teachers is a trade union for school teachers in England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. It is a member of the Trades Union Congress...

     from 1947—1970, was educated at Shepton Mallet Grammar School.
  • Hugh Inge
    Hugh Inge
    Hugh Inge or Ynge was an English born judge and prelate in sixteenth century Ireland who held the offices of Bishop of Meath, Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor of Ireland....

    , Archbishop of Dublin
    Archbishop of Dublin
    The Archbishop of Dublin may refer to:* Archbishop of Dublin – an article which lists of pre- and post-Reformation archbishops.* Archbishop of Dublin – the title of the senior cleric who presides over the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin....

     and Lord Chancellor of Ireland
    Lord Chancellor of Ireland
    The office of Lord Chancellor of Ireland was the highest judicial office in Ireland until the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. From 1721 to 1801 it was also the highest political office of the Irish Parliament.-13th century:...

     ( died 1528 ) was a native of Shepton Mallet.
  • John Lewis
    John Lewis (department store founder)
    John Lewis was the founder of the John Lewis department store on Oxford Street, London.-Background:John Lewis was born in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England into a Jewish family and became an orphan at the age of seven. He was brought up by an aunt, Miss Ann Speed...

     (1836—1928), founder of the British department store John Lewis
    John Lewis (department store)
    -Recent developments:In June 2004, John Lewis announced plans to open its first store in Northern Ireland at the Sprucefield Park development, the province's largest out of town shopping centre, located outside Lisburn and from Belfast. The application was approved in June 2005 and the opening of...

    , was born in Town Street in Shepton Mallet on 24 February 1836.
  • Frank Tuohy
    Frank Tuohy
    John Francis Tuohy, was an English writer and academic. Born in London, he attended Stowe School and went on to read Moral Sciences and English at King's College, Cambridge. On completion of his studies, he worked in numerous academic posts under the auspices of the British Council. This included...

    (1925—1999), novelist and short-story writer, lived in Shepton Mallet following his retirement, and died in the town's hospital on 11 April 1999.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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