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South West England is one of nine official
regions of England The regions, formerly known as the government office regions, are the highest tier of sub-national division in England. Between 1994 and 2011, nine regions had officially devolved functions within government. While they no longer fulfill this r ...

regions of England
. It consists of the counties of
Bristol Bristol () is a city and ceremonial county in England. With a population of 463,400, it is the most populous city in South West England. The wider Bristol Built-Up Area has the 10th-largest population in England. The urban area population of 6 ...

Bristol
,
Cornwall Cornwall (; kw|Kernow ) is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is recognised as one of the Celtic nations and is the homeland of the Cornish people. Cornwall is bordered to the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by ...

Cornwall
(including the
Isles of Scilly The Isles of Scilly (; kw|Syllan or ') is an archipelago off the southwestern tip of Cornwall. One of the islands, St Agnes, is the most southerly point in England, being over further south than the most southerly point of the British mainlan ...

Isles of Scilly
),
Dorset Dorset (; archaically: Dorsetshire) is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The ceremonial county comprises the unitary authority areas of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and Dorset. Covering an area of , Dorset b ...

Dorset
,
Devon Devon (, also known as Devonshire) is a county of England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is part of South West England, bounded by Cornwall to the west, Somerset to the north-east and Do ...

Devon
,
Gloucestershire Gloucestershire ( abbreviated Glos) (Welsh: Swydd Gaerloyw) is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean. The county to ...

Gloucestershire
,
Somerset Somerset (; archaically Somersetshire) is a county in South West England which borders Gloucestershire and Bristol to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east and Devon to the south-west. It is bounded to the north and west b ...

Somerset
and
Wiltshire Wiltshire (; abbreviated Wilts) is a county in South West England with an area of . It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. The county town was originally Wilton, aft ...

Wiltshire
. Large cities and towns in the region include
Bristol Bristol () is a city and ceremonial county in England. With a population of 463,400, it is the most populous city in South West England. The wider Bristol Built-Up Area has the 10th-largest population in England. The urban area population of 6 ...

Bristol
,
Bournemouth Bournemouth () is a coastal resort town on the south coast of England. At the 2011 census, the town had a population of 183,491. With Poole to the west and Christchurch in the east, Bournemouth is part of the South East Dorset conurbation, which ...

Bournemouth
,
Cheltenham Cheltenham () is a large spa town and borough on the edge of the Cotswolds in the county of Gloucestershire, England. Cheltenham became known as a health and holiday spa town resort following the discovery of mineral springs in 1716, and claims ...

Cheltenham
,
Exeter Exeter () is a city in Devon, England, on the River Exe northeast of Plymouth and southwest of Bristol. It is the county town of Devon, and home to Devon County Council and the University of Exeter. In Roman Britain, Exeter was established as ...

Exeter
,
Gloucester Gloucester ( ) is a cathedral city and the county town of Gloucestershire in the South West of England. Gloucester lies on the River Severn, between the Cotswolds to the east and the Forest of Dean to the west, east of Monmouth, and east of the ...

Gloucester
,
Plymouth Plymouth () is a port city in England on the south coast of Devon, approximately south-west of Exeter and west-south-west of London. Enclosing the city are the mouths of the river Plym and river Tamar, which are naturally incorporated into Pl ...

Plymouth
and
Swindon Swindon () is a large town in Wiltshire, England, between Bristol, to the west, and Reading, the same distance to the east; the town is west of London. At the 2011 census, it had a population of 182,441. The Town Development Act 1952 led to a ...

Swindon
. It is geographically the largest of the nine regions of England covering , but the third least-populous, with approximately five million residents. The region includes the
West Country The West Country is a loosely defined area of south-western England. The term usually encompasses the historic counties of (from west to east) Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, and Somerset, and is often extended to include Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, ...

West Country
and much of the ancient kingdom of
Wessex Wessex (; ang|Westseaxna rīċe , 'the Kingdom of the West Saxons') was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom in the south of Great Britain, from 519 until England was unified by Æthelstan in 927. The Anglo-Saxons believed that Wessex was founded by Cerdic ...

Wessex
. It includes two entire
national parks (''Capra ibex'') in the Gran Paradiso National Park, Piedmont, Italy. The Ibex population increased tenfold since the area was declared a national park in 1922.|275x275px A national park is a park in use for conservation purposes, created and p ...

national parks
,
Dartmoor Dartmoor is an upland area in southern Devon, England. The moorland and surrounding land has been protected by National Park status since 1951. Dartmoor National Park covers . The granite which forms the uplands dates from the Carboniferous Per ...

Dartmoor
and
Exmoor Exmoor is loosely defined as an area of hilly open moorland in west Somerset and north Devon in South West England. It is named after the River Exe, the source of which is situated in the centre of the area, two miles north-west of Simonsbath. ...

Exmoor
(a small part of the
New Forest The New Forest is one of the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest in Southern England, covering southwest Hampshire and southeast Wiltshire. It was proclaimed a royal forest by William the Conqueror, featur ...

New Forest
is also within the region); and four
World Heritage Sites A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ha ...

World Heritage Sites
:
Stonehenge Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, west of Amesbury. It consists of an outer ring of vertical Sarsen standing stones, each around high, wide, and weighing around 25 tons, topped by connecting hor ...

Stonehenge
, the
Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape The Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape is a World Heritage site which includes select mining landscapes in Cornwall and West Devon in the south west of England. The site was added to the World Heritage List during the 30th Session of the UNESC ...

Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape
, the
Jurassic Coast The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site on the English Channel coast of southern England. It stretches from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset, a distance of about , and was inscribed on the World Heritage List in mid-December 20 ...

Jurassic Coast
and the
City of Bath Bath is the largest city in the county of Somerset, England, known for and named after its Roman-built baths. In 2011, the population was 88,859.(Combined populations of the 16 wards that made-up the unparished area at the time of the 2011 ce ...

City of Bath
. The northern part of Gloucestershire, near
Chipping Campden Chipping Campden is a small market town in the Cotswold district of Gloucestershire, England. It is notable for its elegant terraced High Street, dating from the 14th century to the 17th century. ("Chipping" is from Old English ''cēping'', "a m ...

Chipping Campden
, is as close to the Scottish border as it is to the tip of Cornwall. The region has by far the longest coastline of any English region. The region is at the
first level
first level
of
NUTS
NUTS
for
Eurostat Eurostat (European Statistical Office) is a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in the Kirchberg quarter of Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Its main responsibilities are to provide statistical information to the institutions of th ...

Eurostat
purposes. Key data and facts about the region are produced by the
South West Observatory
South West Observatory
. Following the abolition of the
South West Regional Assembly
South West Regional Assembly
and
Government Office Government Offices for the English Regions (GOs) were established in 1994 by the John Major administration. Until 2011, they were the primary means by which a wide range of policies and programmes of the Government of the United Kingdom were deliver ...

Government Office
, local government coordination across the region is now undertaken by
South West Councils South West Councils is an association of council leaders from the South West of England. It is a regional grouping of the Local Government Association and the regional employers organisation. It was established in May 2009 following the abolition ...

South West Councils
. The region is known for its rich
folklore Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. These include oral traditions such as tales, proverbs and jokes. They include material ...

folklore
, including the legend of
King Arthur King Arthur ( cy|Brenin Arthur, kw|Arthur Gernow, br|Roue Arzhur) was a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries. T ...

King Arthur
and
Glastonbury Tor Glastonbury Tor is a hill near Glastonbury in the English county of Somerset, topped by the roofless St Michael's Tower, a Grade I listed building. The entire site is managed by the National Trust and has been designated a scheduled monument. Th ...

Glastonbury Tor
, as well as its traditions and customs. Cornwall has its own language,
Cornish
Cornish
, and some regard it as a
Celtic nation
Celtic nation
. The South West is known for
Cheddar cheese Cheddar cheese, commonly known as just cheddar, is a relatively hard, off-white (or orange if colourings such as annatto are added), sometimes sharp-tasting, natural cheese. Originating in the English village of Cheddar in Somerset, cheeses of th ...

Cheddar cheese
, which originated in the
Somerset Somerset (; archaically Somersetshire) is a county in South West England which borders Gloucestershire and Bristol to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east and Devon to the south-west. It is bounded to the north and west b ...

Somerset
village of
Cheddar
Cheddar
; Devon
cream tea A cream tea (also known as a Devon cream tea, Devonshire tea, or Cornish cream tea) is a form of afternoon tea, consisting of tea served with a combination of scones, clotted cream (or, less authentically, whipped cream), jam, and sometimes butte ...

cream tea
s,
crab Crabs are decapod crustaceans of the infraorder Brachyura, which typically have a very short projecting "tail" (abdomen) ( el|βραχύς |translit=brachys = short, / = tail), usually hidden entirely under the thorax. They live in all the world ...

crab
s,
Cornish pasties
Cornish pasties
, and
cider Cider ( ) is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of apples. Cider is widely available in the United Kingdom (particularly in the West Country) and the Republic of Ireland. The UK has the world's highest per capita consumption, as ...

cider
. It is home to the
Eden Project The Eden Project ( kw|Edenva) is a visitor attraction in Cornwall, England, UK. The project is located in a reclaimed china clay pit, located from the town of St Blazey and from the larger town of St Austell.Ordnance Survey (2005). ''OS Explor ...

Eden Project
,
Aardman Animations Aardman Animations, Ltd. (also known as Aardman Studios or simply Aardman) is a British animation studio based in Bristol, England. Aardman is known for films made using stop-motion clay animation techniques, particularly those featuring Plastici ...

Aardman Animations
, the
Glastonbury Festival Glastonbury Festival (formally Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts) is a five-day festival of contemporary performing arts that takes place in Pilton, Somerset, in England. In addition to contemporary music, the festival hosts ...

Glastonbury Festival
, the
Bristol International Balloon Fiesta The Bristol national Balloon Festival is held annually in England. Teams from the UK and other parts of the world bring their hot air balloons to the site and participate in mass ascents where as many as 100 balloons may launch at a time. The ev ...

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta
,
trip hop Trip hop (sometimes used synonymously with "downtempo") is a musical genre that originated in the early 1990s in the United Kingdom, especially Bristol. It has been described as "a fusion of hip hop and electronica until neither genre is recogn ...

trip hop
music and Cornwall's [[surfing beaches. The region has also been home to some of Britain's most renowned writers, including [[Daphne du Maurier, [[Agatha Christie and [[Enid Blyton, all of whom set many of their works here, and the South West is also the location of [[Thomas Hardy's Wessex, the setting for many of his best-known novels.


Geography


Geology and landscape

Most of the region is located on the [[South West Peninsula, between the [[English Channel and [[Bristol Channel. It has the longest coastline of all the English regions, totalling over . Much of the coast is now protected from further substantial development because of its environmental importance, which contributes to the region's attractiveness to tourists and residents. Geologically the region is divided into the largely [[igneous rock|igneous and [[metamorphic rock|metamorphic west and [[sedimentary rock|sedimentary east, the dividing line slightly to the west of the [[River Exe. Cornwall and West Devon's landscape is of rocky coastline and high moorland, notably at [[Bodmin Moor and
Dartmoor Dartmoor is an upland area in southern Devon, England. The moorland and surrounding land has been protected by National Park status since 1951. Dartmoor National Park covers . The granite which forms the uplands dates from the Carboniferous Per ...

Dartmoor
. These are due to the [[granite and [[slate that underlie the area. The highest point of the region is [[High Willhays, at , on
Dartmoor Dartmoor is an upland area in southern Devon, England. The moorland and surrounding land has been protected by National Park status since 1951. Dartmoor National Park covers . The granite which forms the uplands dates from the Carboniferous Per ...

Dartmoor
. In North Devon the slates of the west and limestones of the east meet at
Exmoor Exmoor is loosely defined as an area of hilly open moorland in west Somerset and north Devon in South West England. It is named after the River Exe, the source of which is situated in the centre of the area, two miles north-west of Simonsbath. ...

Exmoor
National Park. The variety of rocks of similar ages seen has led to the county's name being given to that of the [[Devonian period. The east of the region is characterised by wide, flat clay [[Valley|vales, and [[chalk and [[limestone [[downland. The vales, with good irrigation, are home to the region's dairy agriculture. The [[Blackmore Vale was [[Thomas Hardy's "Vale of the Little Dairies"; another, the [[Somerset Levels was created by reclaiming wetlands. The [[Southern England Chalk Formation extends into the region, creating a series of high, sparsely populated and archaeologically rich downs, most famously [[Salisbury Plain, but also [[Cranborne Chase, the [[Dorset Downs and the [[Purbeck Hills. These downs are the principal area of [[arable land|arable agriculture in the region. Limestone is also found in the region, at the [[Cotswolds, [[Quantock Hills and [[Mendip Hills, where they support sheep farming. All of the principal rock types can be seen on the
Jurassic Coast The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site on the English Channel coast of southern England. It stretches from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset, a distance of about , and was inscribed on the World Heritage List in mid-December 20 ...

Jurassic Coast
of Dorset and East Devon, where they document the entire [[Mesozoic era from west to east.


Climate

The climate of South West England is classed as [[Oceanic climate|oceanic (''Cfb'') according to the [[Köppen climate classification. The oceanic climate typically experiences 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. Summer maxima averages range from to and winter minimum averages range from to across the south-west. It is the second windiest area of the United Kingdom, the majority of winds coming from the south-west and north-east. Government organisations predict the region to rise in temperature and become the hottest region in the United Kingdom. Inland areas of low altitude experience the least amount of precipitation. They experience the highest summer maxima temperatures, but winter minima are colder than the coast. Snowfalls are more frequent in comparison to the coast, but less so in comparison to higher ground. It experiences the lowest wind speeds and sunshine total in between that of the coast and the moors. The climate of inland areas is more noticeable the further north-east into the region. In comparison to inland areas, the coast experiences high minimum temperatures, especially in winter, and it experiences slightly lower maximum temperatures during the summer. Rainfall is the lowest at the coast and snowfall is rarer than the rest of the region. Coastal areas are the windiest parts of the peninsula and they receive the most sunshine. The general coastal climate is more typical the further south-west into the region. Areas of [[moorland inland such as: [[Bodmin Moor,
Dartmoor Dartmoor is an upland area in southern Devon, England. The moorland and surrounding land has been protected by National Park status since 1951. Dartmoor National Park covers . The granite which forms the uplands dates from the Carboniferous Per ...

Dartmoor
and
Exmoor Exmoor is loosely defined as an area of hilly open moorland in west Somerset and north Devon in South West England. It is named after the River Exe, the source of which is situated in the centre of the area, two miles north-west of Simonsbath. ...

Exmoor
experience lower temperatures and more precipitation than the rest of the southwest (approximately twice as much rainfall as lowland areas), because of their high altitude. Both of these factors also cause it to experience the highest levels of snowfall and the lowest levels of sunshine. Exposed areas of the moors are windier than lowlands and can be almost as windy as the coast.


Regional identity

The boundaries of the South West region are based upon those devised by central government in the 1930s for civil defence administration and subsequently used for various statistical analyses. The region is also similar to that used in the 17th-century [[Rule of the Major-Generals under [[Oliver Cromwell|Cromwell. (For further information, see [[Historical and alternative regions of England). By the 1960s, the South West region (including Dorset, which for some previous purposes had been included in a Southern region), was widely recognised for government administration and statistics. The boundaries were carried forward into the 1990s when regional administrations were formally established as Government Office Regions. A [[South West Regional Assembly|regional assembly and [[South West of England Regional Development Agency|regional development agency were created in 1999, then abolished in 2008 and 2012 respectively. It has been argued that the official South West region does not possess a cultural and historic unity or identity of itself, which has led to criticism of it as an "artificial" construct. The large area of the region, stretching as it does from the Isles of Scilly to Gloucestershire, encompasses diverse areas which have little more in common with each other than they do with other areas of England. The region has several TV stations and newspapers based in different areas, and no single acknowledged regional "capital". Many people of the region have some level of a 'South West', or 'West Country' regional identity, although this may not necessarily correspond to an identification with the official government-defined [[Regions of England|region. It is common for people in the region to identify at a national level (whether [[English nationalism|English, [[British nationalism|British, [[Cornish nationalism|Cornish, and/or a county or city/town level). Identifying as being from 'the Westcountry', amorphous though it is, tends to be more predominant further into the peninsula where the status of being from the region is less equivocal. In particular,
Cornwall Cornwall (; kw|Kernow ) is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is recognised as one of the Celtic nations and is the homeland of the Cornish people. Cornwall is bordered to the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by ...

Cornwall
's inclusion in the region is disputed by Cornish nationalists. The cross-party [[Cornish Constitutional Convention and Cornish nationalist party [[Mebyon Kernow have campaigned for a [[Cornish Assembly ever since the idea of regional devolution was put forward.


Settlements

The South West region is largely rural, with small towns and villages; a higher proportion of people live in such areas than in any other English region. The largest cities and towns are
Bristol Bristol () is a city and ceremonial county in England. With a population of 463,400, it is the most populous city in South West England. The wider Bristol Built-Up Area has the 10th-largest population in England. The urban area population of 6 ...

Bristol
,
Plymouth Plymouth () is a port city in England on the south coast of Devon, approximately south-west of Exeter and west-south-west of London. Enclosing the city are the mouths of the river Plym and river Tamar, which are naturally incorporated into Pl ...

Plymouth
,
Bournemouth Bournemouth () is a coastal resort town on the south coast of England. At the 2011 census, the town had a population of 183,491. With Poole to the west and Christchurch in the east, Bournemouth is part of the South East Dorset conurbation, which ...

Bournemouth
and [[Poole (which together with [[Christchurch, Dorset|Christchurch make up the [[South East Dorset conurbation),
Swindon Swindon () is a large town in Wiltshire, England, between Bristol, to the west, and Reading, the same distance to the east; the town is west of London. At the 2011 census, it had a population of 182,441. The Town Development Act 1952 led to a ...

Swindon
, [[Torbay,
Gloucester Gloucester ( ) is a cathedral city and the county town of Gloucestershire in the South West of England. Gloucester lies on the River Severn, between the Cotswolds to the east and the Forest of Dean to the west, east of Monmouth, and east of the ...

Gloucester
,
Cheltenham Cheltenham () is a large spa town and borough on the edge of the Cotswolds in the county of Gloucestershire, England. Cheltenham became known as a health and holiday spa town resort following the discovery of mineral springs in 1716, and claims ...

Cheltenham
,
Exeter Exeter () is a city in Devon, England, on the River Exe northeast of Plymouth and southwest of Bristol. It is the county town of Devon, and home to Devon County Council and the University of Exeter. In Roman Britain, Exeter was established as ...

Exeter
, [[Bath, Somerset|Bath, [[Weston-super-Mare, [[Taunton, [[Salisbury, and [[Weymouth, Dorset|Weymouth. The population of the South West is about five million.


Transport

The region lies on [[List of railway lines in Great Britain#South West|several main line railways. The [[Great Western Main Line runs from [[Paddington railway station|London Paddington to [[Bristol Temple Meads railway station|Bristol, [[Exeter St Davids railway station|Exeter, [[Plymouth railway station|Plymouth and [[Penzance railway station|Penzance in the far west of Cornwall. The [[South Western Main Line runs from [[London Waterloo railway station|London Waterloo and [[Southampton Central railway station|Southampton to [[Bournemouth railway station|Bournemouth, [[Poole railway station|Poole and [[Weymouth railway station|Weymouth in Dorset. The [[West of England Main Line runs from London Waterloo to Exeter via south Wiltshire, north Dorset and south Somerset. The [[Wessex Main Line runs from Bristol to [[Salisbury railway station|Salisbury and on to Southampton. The [[Heart of Wessex Line runs from Bristol in the north of the region to Weymouth on the south
Dorset Dorset (; archaically: Dorsetshire) is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The ceremonial county comprises the unitary authority areas of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and Dorset. Covering an area of , Dorset b ...

Dorset
coast via [[Westbury railway station|Westbury, [[Castle Cary railway station|Castle Cary and [[Yeovil Town railway station|Yeovil, with most services starting at [[Gloucester railway station|Gloucester. The vast majority of trains in the region are operated by [[CrossCountry, [[Great Western Railway (train operating company)|Great Western Railway (GWR) and [[South Western Railway (train operating company)|South Western Railway (SWR). GWR is the key operator for all counties in the region except Dorset where SWR is the key operator. CrossCountry operates services to [[Manchester Piccadilly railway station|Manchester Piccadilly, [[Glasgow Central railway station|Glasgow and [[Aberdeen railway station|Aberdeen. Dorset is currently the only county in the region where there are electric trains, though the Great Western Main Line and the [[South Wales Main Line in Wiltshire, Somerset, Greater Bristol and Gloucestershire is [[21st-century modernisation of the Great Western main line|being electrified. SWR operate services to and from London Waterloo and serves every county in the region except Gloucestershire and Cornwall. GWR serves all counties in the region and operate to various destinations, some of which run to South Wales and the West Midlands, though almost all intercity trains operated by GWR run through the region. [[Transport for Wales Rail|Transport for Wales also operates services between and and [[West Midlands Trains operates a [[parliamentary train between and (there was once a regular service on the route, but this was withdrawn in 2009). It has been proposed that the former [[London & South Western Railway [[Exeter to Plymouth railway of the LSWR|Exeter to Plymouth railway be reopened to connect Cornwall and Plymouth as an alternative to the route via the [[Dawlish seawall that is susceptible to closure in bad weather. Local bus services are primarily operated by [[FirstGroup, [[Go-Ahead Group and [[Stagecoach Group|Stagecoach subsidiaries as well as independent operators. [[Megabus (Europe)|Megabus and [[National Express Coaches|National Express operate long-distance services from South West England to all parts of the United Kingdom. Three major roads enter the region from the east. The [[M4 motorway from London to South Wales via Bristol is the busiest. The [[A303 road|A303 cuts through the centre of the region from Salisbury to [[Honiton, where it merges with the [[A30 road|A30 to continue past Exeter to the west of Cornwall. The [[A31 road|A31, an extension of the [[M27 motorway|M27, serves Poole and Bournemouth and the Dorset coast. The [[M5 motorway|M5 runs from the [[West Midlands (region)|West Midlands through Gloucestershire, Bristol and Somerset to Exeter. The [[A38 road|A38 serves as a western extension to Plymouth. There are three other smaller motorways in the region, all [[Transport in Bristol|in the Bristol area. Passenger airports in the region include [[Bristol Airport|Bristol, [[Exeter Airport|Exeter, [[Newquay Airport|Newquay and [[Bournemouth Airport|Bournemouth. Within the region the local transport authorities carry out transport planning through the use of a [[Local transport plan|Local Transport Plan (LTP) which outlines their strategies, policies and implementation programme. The most recent LTP is that for the period 2006–11. In the South West region the following transport authorities have published their LTP online:
Bournemouth Bournemouth () is a coastal resort town on the south coast of England. At the 2011 census, the town had a population of 183,491. With Poole to the west and Christchurch in the east, Bournemouth is part of the South East Dorset conurbation, which ...

Bournemouth
U.A.,
Cornwall Cornwall (; kw|Kernow ) is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is recognised as one of the Celtic nations and is the homeland of the Cornish people. Cornwall is bordered to the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by ...

Cornwall
U.A.,
Devon Devon (, also known as Devonshire) is a county of England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is part of South West England, bounded by Cornwall to the west, Somerset to the north-east and Do ...

Devon
,
Dorset Dorset (; archaically: Dorsetshire) is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The ceremonial county comprises the unitary authority areas of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and Dorset. Covering an area of , Dorset b ...

Dorset
,
Gloucestershire Gloucestershire ( abbreviated Glos) (Welsh: Swydd Gaerloyw) is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean. The county to ...

Gloucestershire
,
Plymouth Plymouth () is a port city in England on the south coast of Devon, approximately south-west of Exeter and west-south-west of London. Enclosing the city are the mouths of the river Plym and river Tamar, which are naturally incorporated into Pl ...

Plymouth
U.A.,
Somerset Somerset (; archaically Somersetshire) is a county in South West England which borders Gloucestershire and Bristol to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east and Devon to the south-west. It is bounded to the north and west b ...

Somerset
,
Swindon Swindon () is a large town in Wiltshire, England, between Bristol, to the west, and Reading, the same distance to the east; the town is west of London. At the 2011 census, it had a population of 182,441. The Town Development Act 1952 led to a ...

Swindon
U. A., [[Torbay U. A. and [[Wiltshire Council|Wiltshire unitary authority. The transport authorities of [[Bath and North East Somerset U. A.,
Bristol Bristol () is a city and ceremonial county in England. With a population of 463,400, it is the most populous city in South West England. The wider Bristol Built-Up Area has the 10th-largest population in England. The urban area population of 6 ...

Bristol
U. A., [[North Somerset U. A. and [[South Gloucestershire U. A. publish a single Joint Local Transport Plan as part of the [[West of England|West of England Partnership.


History


Pre-Roman

There is evidence from [[flint [[Artifact (archaeology)|artefacts in a quarry at [[Westbury-sub-Mendip that an ancestor of modern man, possibly [[Homo heidelbergensis, was present in the future Somerset from around 500,000 years ago. There is some evidence of human occupation of southern England before the [[Last glacial period|last ice age, such as at [[Kents Cavern in Devon, but largely in the [[South East England|south east. The British mainland was connected to the continent during the ice age and humans may have repeatedly migrated into and out of the region as the climate fluctuated. There is evidence of human habitation in the caves at [[Cheddar Gorge 11,000–10,000 years BC, during a partial thaw in the ice age. The earliest scientifically dated cemetery in [[Great Britain was found at [[Aveline's Hole in the [[Mendip Hills. The human bone fragments it contained, from about 21 different individuals, are thought to be roughly between 10,200 and 10,400 years old. During this time the tundra gave way to [[birch forests and [[grassland and evidence for human settlement appears at [[Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire and [[Hengistbury Head, Dorset. At the end of the last Ice Age the [[Bristol Channel was dry land, but subsequently the sea level rose, resulting in major coastal changes. The [[Somerset Levels were flooded, but the [[dry points such as [[Glastonbury and [[Brent Knoll are known to have been occupied by [[Mesolithic hunters. The landscape at this time was [[tundra. Britain's oldest complete skeleton, [[Cheddar Man, lived at Cheddar Gorge around 7150 BC (in the [[Upper Palaeolithic or Old Stone Age), shortly after the end of the ice age; however, it is unclear whether the region was continuously inhabited during the previous 4000 years, or if humans returned to the gorge after a final cold spell. A [[Palaeolithic flint tool found in West Sedgemoor is the earliest indication of human presence on the Somerset Levels. During the 7th millennium BC the sea level rose and flooded the valleys, so the [[Mesolithic people occupied seasonal camps on the higher ground, indicated by scatters of flints. The [[Neolithic people continued to exploit the reed swamps for their natural resources and started to construct wooden trackways. These included the [[Post Track and the [[Sweet Track. The Sweet Track, dating from the 39th century BC, is thought to be the world's oldest [[timber trackway and was once thought to be the world's oldest engineered roadway. The Levels were also the location of the [[Glastonbury Lake Village as well as two lake villages at [[Meare.
Stonehenge Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, west of Amesbury. It consists of an outer ring of vertical Sarsen standing stones, each around high, wide, and weighing around 25 tons, topped by connecting hor ...

Stonehenge
, [[Avebury and [[Stanton Drew stone circles|Stanton Drew are perhaps the most famous Neolithic sites in the UK. The region was heavily populated during the Neolithic, [[Bronze Age and [[Iron Age periods. Many monuments, barrows and trackways exist. Coin evidence shows that the region was split between the [[Durotriges, [[Dobunni and [[Dumnonii. The Iron Age tribe in Dorset were the Durotriges, "water dwellers", whose main settlement is represented by [[Maiden Castle, Dorset|Maiden Castle. [[Ptolemy stated that [[Bath, Somerset|Bath was in the territory of the [[Belgae, but this may be a mistake. The Celtic gods were worshipped at the temple of [[Sulis at [[Bath, Somerset|Bath and possibly the temple on [[Brean Down. Iron Age sites on the [[Quantock Hills include major [[hill forts at [[Dowsborough and [[Ruborough, as well as smaller earthwork enclosures, such as [[Trendle Ring, [[Elworthy Barrows and [[Plainsfield Camp. At the time of the [[Roman invasion of Britain|Roman invasion, the inhabitants of the entire area spoke a [[Brythonic Languages|Brythonic Celtic language. Its descendant languages are still spoken to a greater or lesser extent in
Cornwall Cornwall (; kw|Kernow ) is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is recognised as one of the Celtic nations and is the homeland of the Cornish people. Cornwall is bordered to the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by ...

Cornwall
, Wales, and [[Brittany.


Roman period

During the [[Roman Britain|Roman era, the east of the region, particularly the Cotswolds and eastern Somerset, was heavily Romanised but Devon and Cornwall were much less so, though Exeter was a regional capital. There are villas, farms and temples dating from the period, including the remains at Bath. The area of
Somerset Somerset (; archaically Somersetshire) is a county in South West England which borders Gloucestershire and Bristol to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east and Devon to the south-west. It is bounded to the north and west b ...

Somerset
was part of the [[Roman Empire from AD 47 to about AD 409. The empire disintegrated gradually, and elements of [[Romanitas lingered on for perhaps a century. In AD 47, Somerset was invaded from the south-east by the [[Legio II Augusta|Second Legion ''Augusta'', under the future emperor [[Vespasian. The [[hillforts of the [[Durotriges at [[Ham Hill Country Park|Ham Hill and [[Cadbury Castle, Somerset|Cadbury Castle were captured. Ham Hill probably had a temporary Roman occupation. The massacre at Cadbury Castle seems to have been associated with the later [[Boudicca|Boudiccan Revolt of AD 60–61. The Roman invasion, and possibly the preceding period of involvement in the internal affairs of the south of England, was inspired in part by the lead mines of the [[Mendip Hills, which also offered the potential for the extraction of silver. Forts were set up at [[Bath, Somerset|Bath and [[Ilchester. The lead and silver [[mining|mines at [[Charterhouse Roman Town|Charterhouse in the Mendip Hills were run by the military. The Romans established a defensive boundary along the new military road known the [[Fosse Way (from the Latin ''fossa'' meaning "ditch"). The Fosse Way ran through [[Bath, Somerset|Bath, [[Shepton Mallet, [[Ilchester and south-west towards [[Axminster. The road from [[Dorchester, Dorset|Dorchester ran through [[Yeovil to meet the Fosse Way at Ilchester. Salt was produced on the [[Somerset Levels near [[Highbridge, Somerset|Highbridge and [[quarrying took place near Bath, named after the [[Roman Baths (Bath)|Roman baths. Excavations carried out before the flooding of [[Chew Valley Lake also uncovered Roman remains, indicating agricultural and industrial activity from the second half of the 1st century until the 3rd century AD. The finds included a moderately large [[Roman villa|villa at Chew Park, where wooden writing tablets (the first in the UK) with ink writing were found. There is also evidence from the [[Pagans Hill Roman Temple at [[Chew Stoke. In October 2001 the [[West Bagborough Hoard of 4th-century Roman silver was discovered in [[West Bagborough. The 681 coins included two [[denarius|denarii from the early 2nd century and 8 [[miliarense|miliarensia and 671 [[siliquae all dating from AD 337 to 367. The majority were struck in the reigns of emperors [[Constantius II and [[Didius Julianus|Julian and derive from a range of mints including [[Arles and [[Lyons in France, [[Trier in Germany, and Rome. In April 2010, the [[Frome Hoard, one of the largest ever hoards of Roman coins discovered in Britain, was found by a metal detectorist. The hoard of 52,500 coins dated from the 3rd century AD and was found buried in a field near [[Frome, in a jar below the surface. The coins were excavated by archaeologists from the [[Portable Antiquities Scheme.


British kingdoms and the arrival of the Saxons

After the Romans left at the start of the 5th century AD, the region split into several British kingdoms, including [[Dumnonia, centred around the old tribal territory of the [[Dumnonii.Pearce, Susan M. (1978), ''The Kingdom of Dumnonia: Studies in History and Tradition in South-Western Britain A.D. 350–1150'' Padstow: Lodenek Press. The upper Thames area soon came under [[Anglo-Saxon England|Anglo-Saxon control but the remainder of the region was in British control until the 6th century. [[Bokerley Dyke, a large defensive ditch on [[Cranborne Chase dated to 367, delayed the [[Anglo-Saxons|Saxon conquest of Dorset, with the Romano-British remaining in Dorset for 200 years after the withdrawal of the Roman legions. The Western [[Wansdyke (earthwork)|Wandsdyke earthwork was probably built during the 5th or 6th century. This area became the border between the [[Romano-British [[Celts and the [[Anglo-Saxons|West Saxons following the [[Battle of Deorham in 577.''The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle''
501–97 AD
.
The Anglo-Saxons then gained control of the Cotswold area; but most of Somerset, Dorset and Devon (as well as Cornwall) remained in British hands until the late 7th century. According to the ''[[Anglo-Saxon Chronicle'', the Saxon [[Cenwalh of Wessex|Cenwalh achieved a breakthrough against the [[Brython|British Celtic tribes, with victories at [[Bradford-on-Avon (in the ''Avon Gap'' in the Wansdyke) in 652,''The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle''
645–56 AD
and further south at the [[Battle of Peonnum (at [[Penselwood) in 658,''The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle''
658–75 AD
followed by an advance west through the [[Polden Hills to the [[River Parrett.''The Victoria History of the County of Somerset'', Vol 1 (1906) The Saxon advance from the east seems to have been halted by battles between the British and Saxons, for example at the siege of Badon [[Mons Badonicus (which may mave been in the Bath district, perhaps at [[Solsbury Hill), or [[Bathampton Down. The Battle of [[Bedwyn was fought in 675 between [[Aescwine of Wessex|Escuin, a [[Wessex|West Saxon nobleman who had seized the throne of [[Seaxburh of Wessex|Queen Saxburga, and [[King Wulfhere of [[Mercia. The earliest fortification of [[Taunton started for King [[Ine of Wessex and [[Æthelburg of Wessex|Æthelburg, in or about the year 710. However, according to the ''Anglo-Saxon Chronicle'' this was destroyed 12 years later. [[Alfred the Great refortified Exeter as a defensive [[burh, followed by new erections at [[Lydford, [[Halwell and [[Pilton, Devon|Pilton, although these fortifications were small compared to [[burhs further east, suggesting that they were protection for the elite only.


9th century and the arrival of the Danes

The English defeated a combined Cornish and Danish force at [[Hingston Down (near Gunnislake) in 838. [[Edward the Elder built similarly at [[Barnstaple and [[Totnes. But sporadic Viking incursions continued until the [[Norman conquest of England|Norman Conquest, including the disastrous defeat of the Devonians at the [[Battle of Pinhoe. In 876 King Alfred the Great trapped a Danish fleet at [[Arne, Dorset|Arne and then drove it out; 120 ships were wrecked at [[Studland. Although King Alfred had lands in Cornwall, it continued to have a British king. It is generally considered that Cornwall came fully under the dominion of the English Crown in the time of [[Athelstan of England|Athelstan's rule, i.e. 924–939.[[Philip Payton|Payton, Philip (1996). ''Cornwall''. Fowey: Alexander Associates In the absence of any specific documentation to record this event, supporters of Cornwall's English status presume that it then became part of England. However, in 944, within a mere five years of Athelstan's death, [[Edmund I of England|King Edmund issued a charter styling himself "King of the English ''and ruler of this province of the Britons''". Thus we can see that then the "province" was a territorial possession, which has long claimed a special relationship to the English Crown. [[Corfe Castle in 978 saw the murder of King [[Edward the Martyr, whose body was taken first to [[Wareham, Dorset|Wareham and then to [[Shaftesbury. Somerset played an important part in stopping the spread of the Danes in the 9th century. [[Viking raids took place for instance in 987 and 997 at [[Watchet and the [[Battle of Cynwit. King Alfred was driven to seek refuge from the Danes at [[Athelney before defeating them in 878 at the [[Battle of Ethandun, usually considered to be near [[Edington, Wiltshire, but possibly the village of [[Edington, Somerset|Edington in Somerset. Alfred established a series of forts and lookout posts linked by a military road, or [[Herepath, to allow his army to cover Viking movements at sea. The Herepath has a characteristic form which is familiar on the Quantocks: a regulation 20 m wide track between avenues of trees growing from [[hedge laying embankments. A peace treaty with the Danes was signed at [[Treaty of Wedmore|Wedmore and the Danish king [[Guthrum the Old was baptised at [[Aller, Somerset|Aller. ''[[Burhs'' (fortified places) had been set up by 919, such as [[Lyng, Somerset|Lyng. The [[Alfred Jewel, an object about long, made of filigree gold, [[cloisonné-enamelled and with a rock crystal covering, was found in 1693 at [[Petherton Park, [[North Petherton. This is believed to have been owned by King Alfred. [[Monasteries and [[Minster (cathedral)|minster churches were set up all over Somerset, with daughter churches of the minsters in manors. There was a royal palace at , which was used at times in the 10th century to host the [[Witenagemot.


11th century

In the late pre-Norman period, the east coast of modern-day England came under the growing sway of the [[Norsemen. Eventually England came to be ruled by Norse monarchs, and the [[Anglo-Saxon kingdoms fell one by one,
Wessex Wessex (; ang|Westseaxna rīċe , 'the Kingdom of the West Saxons') was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom in the south of Great Britain, from 519 until England was unified by Æthelstan in 927. The Anglo-Saxons believed that Wessex was founded by Cerdic ...

Wessex
being conquered in 1013 by King [[Sweyn Forkbeard.The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
. LondonL J. M. Dent, 1912. Translation by [[James Ingram (antiquary)|James Ingram (London, 1823) and [[J. A. Giles (London, 1847). Medieval and Classical Literature Library Release #17. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
Lapidge, Michael (2001). "Swein Forkbeard", ''The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England''. Ed. Michael Lapidge, John Blair, et al. London: Blackwell Publishing; p. 437. . Sweyn's realms included [[Denmark and [[Norway, and parts of England such as [[Mercia (an Anglian kingdom roughly coinciding with the [[English Midlands), much of which, along with northern England, fell under the [[Danelaw. Sweyn ruled Wessex, along with his other realms, from 1013 onwards, followed by his son [[Canute the Great. But Cornwall was ''not'' part of his realm of Wessex. A map by the American historian called "The Dominions of Canute" (pictured just above) shows that Cornwall, like Wales and Scotland, was part neither of Sweyn Forkbeard's nor of Canute's Danish empire. Neither Sweyn Forkbeard nor Canute conquered or controlled Scotland, Wales or Cornwall; but these areas were "client nations": subject to payment of a yearly tribute or ''[[danegeld'' to Sweyn and later Canute, all three areas retained their autonomy from the Danes. Ultimately, the Danes lost control of Wessex in 1042 on the death of both of Canute's sons. [[Edward the Confessor retook Wessex for the Saxons. In 1016 [[Edmund Ironside was crowned king at Glastonbury.


Middle Ages

After the Norman Conquest the region was controlled by various Norman as well as [[Breton people|Breton lords and later by local gentry, a few of whom appear to have been descended from pre-Conquest families. In 1140, during the [[The Anarchy|civil war of [[Stephen of England|King Stephen's reign, the castles of Plympton and [[Rougemont Castle|Exeter were held against the king by [[Baldwin de Redvers, 1st Earl of Devon|Baldwin de Redvers and this gave rise to the defensive castles at [[Corfe Castle, [[Powerstock, [[Wareham, Dorset|Wareham and [[Shaftesbury. The period saw the growth of towns such as [[Truro, [[Totnes, [[Okehampton and [[Plympton in the west of the region, but these were small compared with the established wealth of ancient [[cathedral city|cathedral cities in the east of the region such as
Exeter Exeter () is a city in Devon, England, on the River Exe northeast of Plymouth and southwest of Bristol. It is the county town of Devon, and home to Devon County Council and the University of Exeter. In Roman Britain, Exeter was established as ...

Exeter
, [[Bath, Somerset|Bath and [[Wells, Somerset|Wells. Wealth grew from sheep farming in the east of the region: church controlled estates such as [[Glastonbury Abbey and [[Wells, Somerset|Wells became among the richest in England, while [[tin and silver mining was important in Devon and Cornwall; [[Stannary Parliaments with semi-autonomous powers were established. Farming prospered until it was severely hit by the [[Black Death which arrived in
Dorset Dorset (; archaically: Dorsetshire) is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The ceremonial county comprises the unitary authority areas of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and Dorset. Covering an area of , Dorset b ...

Dorset
in 1348 and quickly spread through Somerset, causing widespread death, with mortality rates perhaps as high as 50% in places. The resulting labour shortage led to changes in feudal practices. Crafts and industries also flourished; the Somerset woollen industry was then one of the largest in England. Coal mining in the [[Mendip Hills|Mendips was an important source of wealth while [[quarrying also took place. Many parish churches were rebuilt in this period. Between 1107 and 1129 [[William Giffard, the Chancellor of King [[Henry I of England|Henry I, converted the bishop's hall in Taunton into [[Taunton Castle. [It passed to the king in 1233 and in 1245 repairs were ordered to its [[motte and bailey|motte and towers. During the 11th-century [[Second Barons' War against [[Henry III of England|Henry III, Bridgwater was held by the barons against the King. During the [[Middle Ages sheep farming for the wool trade came to dominate the economy of
Exmoor Exmoor is loosely defined as an area of hilly open moorland in west Somerset and north Devon in South West England. It is named after the River Exe, the source of which is situated in the centre of the area, two miles north-west of Simonsbath. ...

Exmoor
. The wool was spun into thread on isolated farms and collected by merchants to be woven, fulled, dyed and finished in thriving towns such as [[Dunster. The land started to be enclosed and from the 17th century onwards larger estates developed, leading to establishment of areas of large regular shaped fields. During this period a [[royal forest and hunting ground was established, administered by the Warden. The royal forest was sold off in 1818. Where conditions were suitable, coastal villages and ports had an economy based on fishing. The larger ports such as [[Fowey contributed vessels to the naval enterprises of the King and were subject to attack from the French in return. Bridgwater was part of the [[Port of Bristol until the Port of Bridgwater was created in 1348, covering of the Somerset coast line, from the
Devon Devon (, also known as Devonshire) is a county of England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is part of South West England, bounded by Cornwall to the west, Somerset to the north-east and Do ...

Devon
border to the mouth of the [[River Axe (Bristol Channel)|River Axe.Lawrence, J.F. (revised and completed by Lawrence, J.C.) (2005). ''A History of Bridgwater''. Chichester: Phillimore. . Chapter 8: "The Medieval Port of Bridgwater". Historically, the main port on the river was at Bridgwater; the river being bridged at this point, with the first bridge being constructed in 1200. [[Quays were built in 1424; with another quay, the ''Langport slip'', being built in 1488 upstream of the Town Bridge. In
Bristol Bristol () is a city and ceremonial county in England. With a population of 463,400, it is the most populous city in South West England. The wider Bristol Built-Up Area has the 10th-largest population in England. The urban area population of 6 ...

Bristol
the port began to develop in the 11th century. By the 12th century Bristol was an important port, handling much of England's trade with Ireland. During this period Bristol also became a centre of shipbuilding and manufacturing. Bristol was the starting point for many important voyages, notably [[John Cabot's 1497 voyage of exploration to North America. By the 14th century Bristol was one of England's three largest [[medieval towns after London, along with [[York and [[Norwich, with perhaps 15,000–20,000 inhabitants on the eve of the [[Black Death of 1348–49. The plague resulted in a prolonged pause in the growth of Bristol's population, with numbers remaining at 10,000–12,000 through most of the 15th and 16th centuries. During the [[Wars of the Roses, there were frequent skirmishes between the [[House of Lancaster|Lancastrian [[Thomas de Courtenay, 5th/13th Earl of Devon|Thomas Courtenay, Earl of Devon and [[House of York|Yorkist [[William Bonville, 1st Baron Bonville|William, Lord Bonville. In 1470, [[Edward IV of England|Edward IV pursued [[Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick|Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and [[George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence|George, Duke of Clarence as far as Exeter after the [[Battle of Lose-coat Field. The organisation of the region remained based on the shires and Church estates, which were largely unchanged throughout the period. In 1497, early in [[Henry VII of England|Henry VII's reign, the royal pretender [[Perkin Warbeck, besieged Exeter. The [[Cornish Rebellion of 1497 led by [[An Gof and [[Thomas Flamank ended in a march to [[Blackheath, London|Blackheath in London where the [[Cornish people|Cornish forces were massacred.


16th century

Great disturbances throughout both Cornwall and Devon followed the introduction of [[Edward VI of England|Edward VI's [[Book of Common Prayer. The day after [[Whit Sunday 1549, a priest at [[Sampford Courtenay was persuaded to read the old [[mass (liturgy)|mass. This insubordination spread swiftly into serious revolt. The Cornish quickly joined the men of Devon in the [[Prayer Book Rebellion and Exeter was besieged until relieved by Lord Russell. The Cornish had a particular motivation for opposing the new English language prayer book, as there were still many monoglot speakers in West Cornwall. The [[Cornish language declined rapidly afterwards and the [[Dissolution of the Monasteries resulted in the eventual loss of the Cornish language as a primary language. By the end of the 18th century it was no longer a first language. The [[Council of the West was a short-lived administrative body established by Henry VIII for the government of the western counties of England. It was analogous in form to the [[Council of the North. The council was established in March 1539, with [[John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford|Lord Russell as its Lord President. Members included Thomas Derby, Sir Piers Edgcumbe, Sir Richard Pollard and John Rowe. However, the fall of [[Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex|Thomas Cromwell, the chief political supporter of government by Councils, and the tranquillity of the western counties made it largely superfluous. It last sat in summer 1540, although it was never formally abolished.


17th century

The [[Bristol Channel floods, 1607|Bristol Channel floods of 1607 are believed to have affected large parts of the [[Somerset Levels, with flooding up to above sea level. In 1625, a House of Correction was established in [[Shepton Mallet, and when it closed [[Shepton Mallet (HM Prison)|HMP Shepton Mallet was England's oldest prison still in use. During the [[English Civil War, Somerset was largely [[Roundhead|Parliamentarian, although [[Dunster was a Royalist stronghold. The county saw important battles between the [[Cavalier|Royalists and the Parliamentarians, notably at [[Battle of Lansdowne|Lansdowne in 1643 and [[Battle of Langport|Langport in 1645. Bristol was occupied by Royalist military, after they overran [[Royal Fort, the last Parliamentarian stronghold in the city. [[Taunton Castle had fallen into ruin by 1600 but it was repaired during the Civil War. The castle changed hands several times during 1642–45 along with the town. During the [[Siege of Taunton it was defended by [[Robert Blake (admiral)|Robert Blake, from July 1644 to July 1645. After the war, in 1662, the keep was demolished and only the base remains. This war resulted in castles being slighted (destroyed to prevent their re-use). In 1685, [[James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth|the Duke of Monmouth led the [[Monmouth Rebellion in which a force partly raised in Somerset fought against [[James II of England|James II. The rebels landed at [[Lyme Regis and travelled north hoping to capture
Bristol Bristol () is a city and ceremonial county in England. With a population of 463,400, it is the most populous city in South West England. The wider Bristol Built-Up Area has the 10th-largest population in England. The urban area population of 6 ...

Bristol
and [[Bath, Somerset|Bath, Puritan soldiers damaged the west front of [[Wells Cathedral, tore lead from the roof to make bullets, broke the windows, smashed the organ and the furnishings, and for a time stabled their horses in the nave. They were defeated in the [[Battle of Sedgemoor at [[Westonzoyland, the last battle fought on English soil. The [[Bloody Assizes which followed saw the losers being sentenced to death or [[Penal transportation|transportation. At the time of the [[Glorious Revolution, [[James II of England|King James II gathered his main forces, altogether about 19,000 men, at [[Salisbury, James himself arriving there on 19 November 1688. The first blood was shed at the [[Wincanton Skirmish in
Somerset Somerset (; archaically Somersetshire) is a county in South West England which borders Gloucestershire and Bristol to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east and Devon to the south-west. It is bounded to the north and west b ...

Somerset
. In Salisbury, James heard that some of his officers, such as [[Edward Hyde, 3rd Earl of Clarendon|Edward Hyde, had deserted, and he broke out in a nose-bleed which he took as a bad omen. His commander in chief, the [[Louis de Duras, 2nd Earl of Feversham|Earl of Feversham, advised retreat on 23 November, and the next day [[John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough|John Churchill deserted to William. On 26 November, James's daughter [[Anne, Queen of Great Britain|Princess Anne did the same, and James returned to London the same day, never again to be at the head of a serious military force in England.


Modern history

Since 1650, the City of
Plymouth Plymouth () is a port city in England on the south coast of Devon, approximately south-west of Exeter and west-south-west of London. Enclosing the city are the mouths of the river Plym and river Tamar, which are naturally incorporated into Pl ...

Plymouth
has grown to become the largest city in Devon, mainly due to the naval base at [[Devonport, Devon|Devonport. [[HMNB Devonport|Her Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Devonport is one of three operating bases in the United Kingdom for the [[Royal Navy. HMNB Devonport is now the largest naval base in Western Europe. The large [[Portland Harbour, built at the end of the 19th century and protected by [[Nothe Fort and the [[Verne Citadel, was for many years, including during the wars, another of the largest Royal Navy bases. The 19th century saw improvements to roads in the region with the introduction of [[turnpike trust|turnpikes and the building of canals and railways. The usefulness of the canals was short-lived, though they have now been restored for recreation. [[Chard, Somerset|Chard claims to be the birthplace of [[powered flight, in 1848 when the [[Victorian Age|Victorian aeronautical pioneer [[John Stringfellow first demonstrated that engine-powered flight was possible through his work on the [[Aerial Steam Carriage. [[North Petherton was the first town in England (and one of the few ever) to be lit by [[acetylene gas lighting. Around the 1860s, at the height of the iron and steel era, a [[pier and a deep-water [[Dock (maritime)|dock were built, at [[Portishead, Somerset|Portishead to accommodate the large ships that had difficulty in reaching [[Bristol Harbour. The [[Portishead power stations were coal-fed [[power stations built next to the dock. Industrial activities ceased in the dock with the closure of the power stations. The Port of Bristol Authority finally closed the dock in 1992, and it has now been developed into a marina and residential area. During the [[First World War many soldiers from the South West were killed, and war memorials were put up in most of the towns and villages; only a few villages escaped casualties. There were also casualties – though much fewer – during the Second World War, who were added to the memorials. Several areas were bases for troops preparing for the 1944 [[D-Day landings. [[Exercise Tiger, or Operation Tiger, was the code names for a full-scale rehearsal in 1944 for the [[Operation Overlord|D-Day invasion of [[Normandy. The British Government evacuated approximately 3,000 local residents in the area of [[Slapton, Devon|Slapton, now [[South Hams|South Hams District of
Devon Devon (, also known as Devonshire) is a county of England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is part of South West England, bounded by Cornwall to the west, Somerset to the north-east and Do ...

Devon
. Some of them had never left their villages before.Stokes, Paul. "Veterans honour 749 who died in D-Day rehearsal" – ''[[The Daily Telegraph|The Daily Telegraph – London'' – 29 April 1994 Bristol's city centre suffered severe damage from [[Luftwaffe bombing during the [[Bristol Blitz of World War II. The [[Royal Ordnance Factory [[ROF Bridgwater was constructed early in [[World War II for the [[Ministry of Supply (United Kingdom)|Ministry of Supply.Cocroft, Wayne D. (2000). ''Dangerous Energy: The archaeology of gunpowder and military explosives manufacture''. Swindon: English Heritage. The [[Taunton Stop Line was set up to resist a potential German invasion, and the remains of its [[Bunker|pill boxes can still be seen, as well as others along the coast.
Exmoor Exmoor is loosely defined as an area of hilly open moorland in west Somerset and north Devon in South West England. It is named after the River Exe, the source of which is situated in the centre of the area, two miles north-west of Simonsbath. ...

Exmoor
was one of the first British National Parks, designated in 1954, under the 1949 [[National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act. and is named after its main river. It was expanded in 1991 and in 1993 Exmoor was designated as an [[Environmentally Sensitive Area. The [[Quantock Hills were designated as an [[Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1956, the first such designation in England under the [[National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. The [[Mendip Hills followed with AONB designation in 1972.


World War II

Much of the [[Battle of the Beams was carried out at the [[Telecommunications Research Establishment at [[Worth Matravers in Dorset; the [[H2S (radar)|H2S radar was developed by Sir [[Bernard Lovell of Bristol. The [[Gloster Meteor at [[Classic Air Force|Newquay Air Museum is the oldest flying jet aircraft in the world. [[Long Ashton Research Station in Somerset invented [[Ribena (for population health in World War II) and improved cider.


Scientific heritage

[[William Herschel, previously a clarinet player, of Bath discovered [[infrared radiation on 11 February 1800, and the planet [[Uranus in March 1781; he had made important improvements to the [[reflecting telescope by increasing the mirror diameter. Herschel then built a 20-ft reflecting telescope and invented the [[star count, working out that the [[Milky Way is a disc, which he called a ''grindstone'', and that it is a galaxy. Sir [[Arthur C. Clarke of [[Minehead invented the idea of artificial [[satellites; he sent a letter to [[Harry Wexler who then developed the first [[weather satellite [[TIROS-1. Sir [[Arthur Eddington of Weston-super-Mare was the first to realise that [[nuclear fusion powered the Sun; at the 1920 [[British Science Association|British Association meeting he said that the Sun converted hydrogen into helium, although the mechanism ([[nuclear fission) was not known until 1933. [[James Bradley was an important astronomer from Gloucestershire, who discovered the [[aberration of light. [[Jan Ingenhousz, the Dutch biologist, discovered [[photosynthesis in 1779 at [[Bowood House in Wiltshire; on 1 August 1774, [[Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen there too. A fossil of the oldest ancestor of the [[Tyrannosaurus was found in Gloucestershire; [[Mary Anning was a famous fossil collector from [[Lyme Regis. [[Edward Jenner, pioneer of vaccination, was from Gloucestershire.


Industrial heritage

Sir [[Benjamin Baker (engineer)|Benjamin Baker from Cheltenham jointly-designed the 1890 [[Forth Bridge. [[William Murdoch in 1792 lit his house in Redruth with gas, the first in Britain. [[Plasticine was invented 1897 in Bath by [[William Harbutt. [[Thomas Young (scientist)|Thomas Young of Somerset is known for his [[double-slit experiment in optics, and in [[solid mechanics for his famous [[Young's modulus. [[Henry Fox Talbot, inventor of a [[Negative (photography)|negative-positive [[Calotype|process in 1841, from Wiltshire made the first photograph in August 1835; [[Nicéphore Niépce of France can claim the [[View from the Window at Le Gras|first photo in 1826; [[William Friese-Greene of Bristol is thought to be the ''father of cinematography'' after inventing his ''chronophotographic camera'' in 1889. [[Hinkley Point A nuclear power station was a [[Magnox [[power station constructed between 1957 and 1962 and operating until ceasing generation in 2000. [[Hinkley Point B Nuclear Power Station|Hinkley Point B is an [[Advanced gas cooled reactor|Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR) which was designed to generate 1250 MW of electricity ([[MWe#Electrical and thermal|MWe). Construction of Hinkley Point B started in 1967. In September 2008 it was announced, by [[Electricité de France (EDF), that a third, twin-unit [[European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) reactor known as [[Hinkley Point C nuclear power station|Hinkley Point C is planned, to replace Hinkley Point B which is due for closure in 2016. In 1989 the [[Berkeley nuclear power station was the first in the UK to be decommissioned. The [[steam-generating heavy water reactor was developed at [[Winfrith in Dorset. [[Edgar F. Codd|Ted Codd, inventor of databases and [[SQL, was from Poole. [[Campden BRI at [[Ebrington in north-east Gloucestershire was an important research centre for [[Canning|canned food; [[J. S. Fry & Sons of Bristol made world's first chocolate bar in 1847. The first [[carpets were made in Britain in 1741 at [[Wilton, Wiltshire. In 1698, [[Thomas Savery of Devon developed an early [[steam engine; [[Thomas Newcomen from Dartmouth made another early steam engine in 1710. [[Edward Butler (inventor)|Edward Butler, a farmer from Devon born in [[Bickington in 1862, invented the petrol engine.


Demographics

At the [[United Kingdom Census 2001|2001 census, the population of the South West region was 4,928,434. It had grown in the previous 20 years by 12.5% from 4,381,400 in mid-1981, making it the fastest growing region in England. [[Teignbridge in Devon had the largest population gain with 26.3% and Devon as whole grew by 17.6%. Population falls occurred in the two major cities of
Bristol Bristol () is a city and ceremonial county in England. With a population of 463,400, it is the most populous city in South West England. The wider Bristol Built-Up Area has the 10th-largest population in England. The urban area population of 6 ...

Bristol
and
Plymouth Plymouth () is a port city in England on the south coast of Devon, approximately south-west of Exeter and west-south-west of London. Enclosing the city are the mouths of the river Plym and river Tamar, which are naturally incorporated into Pl ...

Plymouth
. As of 2001, 97.71% of the South West's population were classified as white. At the 2011 census, the proportion of white people in the region fell from 97.7% to 95.4%, with the proportion of black and Asian residents doubling. As of 2011, 91.8% of the region's residents were classed as White British, which is high compared with the England average of 79.8%. The region has the oldest [[Population pyramid|median age in England; in the 2011 census, West Somerset was the UK's oldest average age – almost 48. The region has the second-highest proportion (23%) of rural population in the UK (less than 2,000 inhabitants), after Northern Ireland. Swindon is the most statistically-average place in the UK.


Housing

35% of people in the region own their homes outright, with no debt, the highest in the UK. The Cotswold district had the biggest house price increases in the region, and the second-biggest in the UK outside of London and the South-East, in a March 2015 survey. [[Weymouth and Portland has the highest council tax in England. West Somerset has the lowest average full-time pay at £287; West Somerset is also the district where poor children do much worse than wealthier children at school, with some of the worst differences in the UK, according to [[Ambition School Leadership.


Teenage pregnancy

For top-tier authorities, Torbay has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the region, with Exeter the highest rate for council districts. For top-tier authorities, North Somerset (closely followed by Bath & NE Somerset) has the lowest rate, with [[Cotswold (district)|Cotswold having the lowest rate for council districts.


Health

The population in the region with the highest obesity level is [[Sedgemoor in Somerset, with 73.4%, the fifth in the UK. North Dorset has the lowest proportion of cancer deaths in England – 97 per 100,000 (the England average is 142 per 100,000), down from 162 ten years earlier. In the 2011 census, East Dorset had the highest rate of marriage in the UK; East Dorset also has the third-highest life expectancy for men in the UK at 82.7.


Crime

For England and Wales in 2015, [[Wiltshire Police|Wiltshire has the fourth-lowest crime rate, and [[Devon and Cornwall Police|Devon and Cornwall has the fifth-lowest.


Deprivation

As measured by the [[Indices of deprivation 2007|English Indices of Deprivation 2007, the region shows similarities with [[Southern England in having more [[Super Output Areas|Lower Layer Super Output Areas in the 20% least [[Multiple deprivation index|multiple deprived districts than the 20% most deprived. The relative amount of deprivation is similar to the [[East Midlands, except the South West has much fewer deprived areas. According to the LSOA data in 2007, the most deprived districts (before Cornwall became a unitary authority) were, in descending order: Bristol (64th in England), Torbay (71st), Plymouth (77th), [[Kerrier (86th), [[Restormel (89th), [[North Cornwall (96th), and West Somerset (106th). At county level, the deprived areas are City of Bristol (49th in England), Torbay (55th), Plymouth (58th), and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (69th). The least deprived council districts are, in descending order: East Dorset, North Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire, Cotswold, Kennet, Stroud, Tewkesbury, West Wiltshire, Salisbury, and Bath and North East Somerset. At county level, the least deprived areas, in descending order, are South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Poole, North Somerset, and Somerset. For smaller areas, the least-deprived in the region are E01015563 (139th in England) – Shaw and Nine Elms ward, in north Swindon; E01014791 (163rd in England) – Portishead East ward, in North Somerset off the A369 in [[Portishead and North Weston; E01020377 (184th in England) – [[Colehill East ward, in East Dorset, east of Wimborne Minster. In March 2011, the region had the second-lowest [[Jobseeker's Allowance|unemployment claimant count in England, second to [[South East England, with 2.7%. Inside the region, [[Torbay has the highest rate with 4.5%, followed by Bristol and Plymouth with 3.8%. East Dorset has the lowest rate with 1.4%.


Language

The [[Cornish language evolved from the [[Southwestern Brythonic languages|Southwestern dialect of the [[British language (Celtic)|British language spoken during the [[British Iron Age|Iron Age and [[Roman Britain|Roman period. The area controlled by the Britons was progressively reduced by the expansion of
Wessex Wessex (; ang|Westseaxna rīċe , 'the Kingdom of the West Saxons') was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom in the south of Great Britain, from 519 until England was unified by Æthelstan in 927. The Anglo-Saxons believed that Wessex was founded by Cerdic ...

Wessex
after the 6th century, and in 936 [[Athelstan of England|Athelstan set the east bank of the [[River Tamar|Tamar as the boundary between [[Anglo-Saxon
Wessex Wessex (; ang|Westseaxna rīċe , 'the Kingdom of the West Saxons') was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom in the south of Great Britain, from 519 until England was unified by Æthelstan in 927. The Anglo-Saxons believed that Wessex was founded by Cerdic ...

Wessex
and [[Celts|Celtic Cornwall.[[Philip Payton|Payton, Philip ''Cornwall''. Fowey: Alexander Associates (1996). The Cornish language continued to flourish during the [[Middle Ages but declined thereafter, and the last speaker of traditional Cornish died in the 19th century. Geographical names derived from the British language are widespread in South West England, and include several examples of the [[River Avon (disambiguation)|River Avon, from ''abonā'' = "river" (cf. [[Welsh language|Welsh ''afon''), and the words "[[tor (rock formation)|tor" and "[[wikt:combe|combe". Until the 19th century, the
West Country The West Country is a loosely defined area of south-western England. The term usually encompasses the historic counties of (from west to east) Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, and Somerset, and is often extended to include Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, ...

West Country
and its dialects of the [[English language were largely protected from outside influences, due to its relative geographical isolation. The West Country dialects derive not from a corrupted form of modern English, but from the Southwestern dialects of [[Middle English, which themselves derived from the dialects of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of
Wessex Wessex (; ang|Westseaxna rīċe , 'the Kingdom of the West Saxons') was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom in the south of Great Britain, from 519 until England was unified by Æthelstan in 927. The Anglo-Saxons believed that Wessex was founded by Cerdic ...

Wessex
. [[Late West Saxon, which formed the earliest English language standard, from the time of King Alfred until the late 11th century, is the form in which the majority of Anglo-Saxon texts are preserved. [[Thomas Spencer Baynes claimed in 1856 that, due to its position at the heart of the Kingdom of Wessex, the relics of Anglo-Saxon accent, idiom and vocabulary were best preserved in the Somerset dialect. There is some influence from the [[Welsh language|Welsh and languages, depending on the specific location. West Country dialects are commonly represented as "[[Mummerset", a kind of catchall southern [[rural accent invented for broadcasting.


Economy and industry

The most economically productive areas within the region are Bristol, the [[M4 corridor and south east Dorset, which are the areas with the best links to London. Bristol alone accounts for a quarter of the region's economy, with the surrounding areas of Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire accounting for a further quarter. Bristol's economy has been built on maritime trade, including the import of tobacco and the [[slave trade. Since the early 20th century, however, [[aeronautics have taken over as the basis of Bristol's economy, with companies including [[Airbus|Airbus UK, [[Rolls-Royce plc|Rolls-Royce (military division) and [[BAE Systems (former [[Bristol Aeroplane Company then [[British Aircraft Corporation|BAC) manufacturing in [[Filton. [[Defence Equipment and Support is at [[MoD Abbey Wood. More recently defence, telecommunications, information technology and electronics have been important industries in Bristol, Swindon and elsewhere. The [[Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, the [[Soil Association, [[Clerical Medical, and [[Bristol Water are in Bristol; [[Indesit makes [[Clothes dryer|tumble dryers in [[Yate; [[Hewlett-Packard|HP and [[Infineon Technologies|Infineon Technologies UK are at [[Stoke Gifford. [[Knorr-Bremse|Knorr-Bremse UK make [[Air brake (road vehicle)|air brakes in [[Emersons Green. The 's Economy Module provides a detailed analysis of the region's economy. The region's [[Gross value added (GVA) breaks down as 69.9% [[service industry, 28.1% [[Manufacturing|production industry and 2.0% agriculture. This is a slightly higher proportion in production, and lower proportion in services, than the UK average. Agriculture, though in decline, is important in many parts of the region. [[Dairy farming is especially important in Dorset and Devon, and the region has 1.76 million cattle, second to only one other UK region, and of grassland, more than any other region. Only 5.6% of the region's agriculture is [[arable agriculture|arable. Tourism is important in the region, and in 2003 the tourist sector contributed £4,928 million to the region's economy. In 2001 the GVA of the hotel industry was £2,200 million, and the region had 13,800 hotels with 250,000 bed spaces. There are large differences in prosperity between the eastern parts of the region and the west. While Bristol is the second most affluent large city in England after London, parts of Cornwall have among the lowest average incomes in Northern Europe. The region's [[Manufacturing Advisory Service is on the [[A38 road|A38 north of Gloucester at [[Twigworth, and the [[UK Trade & Investment|UKTI office is at the Leigh Court Business Centre in [[Abbots Leigh, [[North Somerset.


Cornwall

Major companies in Cornwall include [[Imerys who are major producers of kaolin. [[Rodda's make [[clotted cream near [[Scorrier, off the A30 east of Redruth. [[Fugro Seacore in [[Mongleath near Falmouth are leading offshore drilling contractors; [[Pendennis (company)|Pendennis makes [[luxury yachts at [[Falmouth Docks. [[Kensa Heat Pumps are west of Truro. Cornish Country Larder, owned by Arla, make cheese ([[Cornish Brie) at [[Trevarrian on the B3276 in [[Mawgan-in-Pydar, north of [[Newquay Cornwall Airport (former [[RAF St Mawgan). [[Allen & Heath make [[mixing consoles in [[Penryn, Cornwall|Penryn. [[Fourth Element (wet suits) are on the A3083 at [[Cury, south of [[RNAS Culdrose (HMS Seahawk)|RNAS Culdrose and Helston. [[A.P. Valves make diving equipment in Helston off the B3297 on Water-Ma-Trout Ind Estate, next to [[Helston Community College; [[Spiral Construction is the UK's leading manufacturer of [[Spiral stairs|spiral staircases. [[Gul (clothing) (watersports clothing) are on Callywith Gate Ind Est in [[Cooksland, Cornwall|Cooksland Bodmin at the western end of the A38, on the north end of the Bodmin bypass; [[C-Skins ([[wetsuits) are on the Walker Lines Ind Est, south of Bodmin on the B3268; [[Fitzgerald Lighting are west of the [[Carminow Cross junction. [[GCHQ Bude is an important radar station in [[Morwenstow. On the other side of the river from Devonport is [[HMS Raleigh (shore establishment)|HMS Raleigh, off the [[A374 road|A374 at [[Torpoint, home of the [[Royal Navy Submarine School (moved from [[HMS Dolphin (shore establishment)|HMS Dolphin in [[Gosport in 1999) and its [[Submarine Command Course; it provides all the training for the [[Royal Naval Reserve (RNR). Cornwall has become reliant on tourism, more so than the other counties of the South West. In 2010 Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly had the lowest GVA per head of any county or unitary authority in England. It contributes only 7.4% of the region's economy and has received [[Regional policy of the European Union|EU Convergence funding (formerly Objective One funding) since 2000. Over four million people visit the county each year. The reasons for Cornwall's poor economic performance are complex and apparently persistent, but causes include its remoteness and poor transport links, the decline of its traditional industries, such as [[Mining in Cornwall|mining, agriculture and fishing, the low-wealth generating capacity of tourism, relocation of higher skilled jobs to other parts of the South West, and lack of a concerted economic strategy (although use of European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund monies have been deployed in an attempt at restructuring).


Devon

The [[Met Office is in
Exeter Exeter () is a city in Devon, England, on the River Exe northeast of Plymouth and southwest of Bristol. It is the county town of Devon, and home to Devon County Council and the University of Exeter. In Roman Britain, Exeter was established as ...

Exeter
, as are [[Pennon Group, the water company, [[Pedigree Dolls & Toys ([[Sindy doll), and [[Thrifty Car Rental UK, which is at Ashton Business Centre in [[St Thomas, Exeter|St Thomas on the A377 opposite the Exeter Retail Park. The airline [[Flybe is based at Exeter Airport; [[Plymouth City Airport closed in 2011. [[Chatham Marine clothing and footwear is off the B3123 on the Marsh Barton Trading Estate, near [[Alphington, Devon|Alphington. [[Eclipse Internet and [[EDF Energy are in the same building south-east of the Met Office next to the M5; [[Stovax Group, who make [[Wood-burning stove|wood and [[Gas stove|gas-burning stoves, are further south on Sowton Ind Est next to [[Howmet Castings|Alcoa Howmet UK, who make [[vacuum alloy [[airfoil castings for industrial gas turbines. [[Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs|DEFRA have a main site for Devon at [[Winslade Park, to the east at [[Clyst St Mary; nearby to the south on the [[A376 road|A376 is the HQ of [[Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service. [[Dormakaba UK, at Tiverton, are a world-leader in [[turnstiles, [[revolving doors and [[Lock (security device)|locks; [[Heathcoat Fabrics make the ''DecelAir'' fabric for [[parachutes. Taw Valley cheese is made by [[Arla Foods UK (former Milk Link) at [[North Tawton off the [[A3124 road|A3124, also the HQ of Gregory Distribution. [[XYZ Machine Tools is off the A38 close to the M5 bridge in [[Burlescombe near the Somerset boundary. [[The Donkey Sanctuary is in [[Sidmouth. [[Axminster Carpets makes carpets for every [[Wetherspoons pub. [[Appledore Shipbuilders are based at [[Appledore, Torridge, Devon, three miles north of [[Bideford, who built sections of the [[Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers. [[Parker Hannifin have their instrumentation division next to the [[Barnstaple Western Bypass|Taw Bridge ([[A361 road|A361) at [[Pottington in Barnstaple; [[CQC (company)|CQC makes personal equipment and [[Osprey body armour; off the A361 towards Barnstaple, is a [[Particle board|chipboard (Conti and Caberboard) plant of [[Norbord. Next to [[Royal Marines Base Chivenor, [[Perrigo makes [[Germolene and own-label OTC medicines at the Wrafton Laboratories in [[Heanton Punchardon on the A361. [[Actavis UK (former Cox Pharmaceuticals, part of [[Hoechst AG), off the A361 east of Barnstaple, make [[levothyroxine and other [[thyroid hormones. [[Dartington Crystal in [[Great Torrington|Torrington makes [[Royal Brierley. [[Pall Corporation|Pall Europe make filtration products in [[Ilfracombe. All [[Ambrosia (food brand)|Ambrosia (former Unilever) products are made at the [[Ambrosia Creamery in [[Lifton, Devon|Lifton, off the A30 on the [[River Lyd (Devon)|River Lyd. [[Parkham Farms make [[West Country Farmhouse Cheddar|Westcountry Farmhouse Cheddar at [[Woolfardisworthy, Torridge. [[SC Group (Supacat) at [[Dunkeswell Aerodrome, north of [[Honiton, make protective vehicles for the Army, notably the [[Jackal (MWMIK)|Jackal; these vehicles are also made in Plymouth by [[Babcock International formerly [[Devonport Management Limited (DML); [[Oceanic Worldwide UK makes [[scuba diving gear. [[Quested (company)|Quested make high-end [[loudspeakers on Heathpark Ind Est, west of Honiton, next to the railway. [[Centrax make industrial gas turbines in [[Newton Abbot; to the north-west, on the A38 at the A382 junction at [[Heathfield, Devon|Heathfield in [[Bovey Tracey, [[British Ceramic Tile have the largest ceramic [[tile plant in Europe. [[Suttons Seeds is in [[Paignton; [[AVX Corporation|AVX, off the [[A3022 road|A3022, was a worldwide site for [[tantalum capacitors, until the company moved production to the Czech Republic in 2009. [[Britannia Royal Naval College is at [[Dartmouth, Devon|Dartmouth. [[HMNB Devonport (HMS Drake, the largest naval base in western Europe) is in Plymouth. Toshiba had a large presence in [[Ernesettle, in the north of Plymouth, which was the second-largest employer after the Royal Navy, until they moved production of televisions to [[Kobierzyce in Poland in 2009; it made its last television at the site on 27 August 2009; [[Vispring (beds) is next to [[Kawasaki Heavy Industries|Kawasaki Precision Machinery. [[Snowbee make [[fishing tackle. [[3 Commando Brigade is at [[Stonehouse Barracks. [[The Range (retailer)|The Range (home and leisure) is on the B3432 in [[Estover, Plymouth|Estover east of Plymouth Airport; opposite is [[Fine Tubes and further east [[Barden Corporation|Barden make ball-bearings for the aerospace industry; on the furthest east of the industrial estate is [[Wrigley Company UK; its ''[[Extra (gum)|Extra'' brand is the second best-selling confectionery in the UK after ''[[Cadbury Dairy Milk|Dairy Milk''. [[X-Fab UK ([[semiconductor fabrication plant, former Plessey Semiconductors) is next to the [[A386 road (England)|A386 [[Bickleigh, South Hams|Bickleigh Cross roundabout; nearby [[Becton Dickinson|BD have a large plant making medical [[vacutainers (for blood samples) on Belliver Way Ind Est in the north of Plymouth; south of BD off the B3373 in [[Southway is Silicon Sensing Systems (who make [[vibrating structure gyroscopes and are owned by [[UTC Aerospace Systems, previously BAE Systems, and [[BAe Dynamics, who had made [[nose cones for aircraft including Concorde), and [[Schneider Electric UK ([[Drayton Controls, market-leading [[thermostatic radiator valves for [[central heating, previously owned by Invensys Controls UK). [[Hemerdon Mine, east of Plymouth, has one of the largest deposits of [[tungsten in the world. [[Wills Marine make motor [[inflatable boats off the [[A379 road|A379 in [[Kingsbridge.


Dorset

[[New Look (clothing retailer)|New Look is in [[Weymouth, Dorset|Weymouth; it is Britain's second-biggest value clothing retailer, with over 800 stores in 21 countries. [[Wytch Farm (BP) is the UK's largest onshore oil field. [[Meggitt is a leading aerospace and defence contractor, based west of Bournemouth Airport, with [[Hobbycraft, at a former [[British Aircraft Corporation|BAC works in [[Hurn, close to [[West Parley. The [[Royal Armoured Corps is based at [[Bovington Camp, and next door is the [[Bovington Tank Museum; the Army has three armoured regiments ([[Royal Dragoon Guards, [[Royal Tank Regiment and [[King's Royal Hussars) and 227 FV4034 70-tonne [[Challenger 2 tanks; Germany has around 1,000 tanks and Russia has 3,300. [[Westwind Air Bearings (owned by Novanta) is off the [[A352 road|A352 at [[Wareham St Martin, west of Poole, near [[Holton Heath railway station, with [[Mathmos (lighting), founded by [[Edward Craven Walker who invented the [[lava lamp. [[Tata Consultancy Services (former [[Unisys|Unisys Insurance Services before 2010) is in Bournemouth. [[Imagine Publishing, a magazine publisher, with [[The Mortgage Works (owned by Nationwide Building Society), is at the [[A35 road|A35/A347 Richmond Hill Roundabout; [[Organix (company)|Organix is in the centre; [[McCarthy & Stone, who make much of Britain's retirement housing, is on the B3066. [[Liverpool Victoria|LV= (insurance) is at [[Frizzell House at [[Westbourne, Dorset|Westbourne at the County Gates Gyratory A35/A338 roundabout. JPMorgan have their large Chaseside site at the A3060/A338 junction opposite the [[Royal Bournemouth Hospital, [[RIAS (insurance)|RIAS (insurance) and [[Teachers Assurance, towards [[Holdenhurst. [[Merlin Entertainments (who own [[Sea Life Centres, and are the world's second largest [[theme park operator after [[Walt Disney Parks and Resorts|Disney) is in [[Poole with a former division, [[Aquarium Technology, at the end of the A350 near the [[Twin Sails bridge. [[Ryvita is made in [[Parkstone on the B3061. [[Fitness First, the largest privately owned health club group in the world, originated in Bournemouth and is now globally headquartered south of Fleet's Corner. [[Siemens Plessey|Siemens Traffic Controls make most of the UK's traffic lights west near Fleet's Corner; the main traffic light in the UK is the Siemens Helios (the other make is the [[Peek Traffic|Peek Elite). North of Fleets Lane, south of the Wessex Gate Retail Park, is [[Parvalux, on the A3049 on the West Howe Ind Estate in [[Wallisdown, which makes geared [[Brushed DC electric motor|DC electric motors and gearboxes; further south is [[Faerch Plast (former [[Sealed Air, which makes trays for food) then Fitness First, and [[Aeronautical & General Instruments; further north is [[Lush (company)|Lush, the cosmetics company, with Hamworthy [[Wärtsilä (Finnish), and Hamworthy Combustion (owned by [[Koch Industries), at the A349/A3049 junction in [[Fleetsbridge, is an international engineering consultancy. [[Sunseeker International is a main motor [[yacht manufacturer; it made the boat in the opening sequence of ''[[The World Is Not Enough''. The [[Special Boat Service is based at [[RM Poole, home of the Navy's [[amphibious warfare section, off the B3068 at [[Hamworthy in the west of Poole. [[Tangerine Confectionery (former Parrs) made gums and jellies on the Redlands Trading Estate off the [[A3040 road (Great Britain)|A3040 near [[Branksome railway station to the east. [[Aish Technologies makes console (display) systems for the Royal Navy off B3068 in [[Alderney, Dorset|Alderney. [[Cobham plc, in [[Wimborne Minster towards [[Leigh, Dorset|Leigh, is a world-leader in [[Aerial refueling|air-to-air refuelling, developed by Sir [[Alan Cobham at [[RAF Tarrant Rushton, and aircraft antennas. [[Durable UK (office products) is in Wimborne; [[Caterpillar Inc.|Caterpillar's Wimborne Marine Power Centre make [[Perkins Engines|Perkins Sabre marine diesel generators on [[Ferndown Ind Est off the A31; to the south is the paint manufacturer [[Farrow & Ball in [[Hampreston and [[Stapehill, in Ferndown. [[Manitou UK, owner of the American [[Gehl Company and from [[Nanterre in France, is based at [[Verwood on the Ebblake Ind Est off the B3081 near the Hampshire boundary. [[Sigma-Aldrich UK (pharmaceuticals) are off the B3092 on Brickfield Business Park in [[Gillingham, Dorset|Gillingham, next to the [[River Stour, Dorset|River Stour and railway. [[Cygnus Instruments, on the B3144 in Dorchester, is the leading manufacturer of [[Ultrasonic thickness measurement|ultrasonic thickness gauges, developing the technique in the early 1980s. [[Edwards Sports Products of Bridport, owned by [[Broxap of Staffordshire, make football goals for the Premier League, and tennis nets and posts for [[The Championships, Wimbledon|Wimbledon.


Gloucestershire

In Cheltenham are [[Endsleigh Insurance in [[Shurdington, [[Kohler Mira Ltd (showers), [[Superdry (clothing), [[Collins Bartholomew|Collins Geo (maps), and [[Chelsea Building Society are on the A435 to the south-east. North of Cheltenham at [[Bishop's Cleeve, south of the village on the A435, is [[GE Aviation Systems|GE Aviation Systems UK on the large Cleeve Business Park; this which was the former 300-acre site of the Cheltenham Division of [[Smiths Group|Smiths Industries that made flight control systems and flight deck displays; further up the A435 is a main site of [[Zurich Insurance Group|Zurich Assurance UK. [[Weird Fish (clothing) is near [[Spirax-Sarco Engineering|Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc (pumps) off the [[A4019 road|A4019 in Kingsditch in [[Swindon Village, north of Cheltenham; on the other side of the A4019, [[Douglas Equipment, next to [[All Saints' Academy, Cheltenham, makes [[Pushback|towing tractors for aircraft. [[Gulf Oil UK was headquartered on B4075 in Prestbury (near the racecourse) until 1997, when [[Royal Dutch Shell|Shell UK bought its petrol stations; the former headquarters became a student hall of the [[University of Gloucestershire. Computer security firm [[NortonLifeLock|Symantec have a site in Gloucester, the base of [[Ecclesiastical Insurance. [[Dowty Rotol (who make propellors) and [[Bond Aviation Group (helicopter leasing) are next to [[Gloucestershire Airport at [[Staverton, Gloucestershire|Staverton; Helimedia is the UK distributor of the L-3 [[Wescam, the Canadian thermal imaging system found with many UK [[Police aviation in the United Kingdom|police air support units and [[Air ambulances in the United Kingdom|air ambulances. The [[Cheltenham & Gloucester bank was [[Barnwood (north Gloucester), next to [[Unilever's manufacturing site for [[Wall's (ice cream)|Wall's ice cream at the [[A417 road|A417/A38 roundabout next to the railway; on other side of the railway in [[Elmbridge, Gloucester|Elmbridge is [[Lanes Health who make [[Olbas Oil and [[Kalms; to the south, [[EDF Energy (former [[British Energy) have their [[Nuclear power in the United Kingdom|nuclear energy engineering centre with [[Horizon Nuclear Power. Between the former C&G and EDF at Barnwood, Barclays' data centre services all of its [[Automated teller machine|ATMs in the south of England. [[Moog Inc.|Moog Controls UK, on the [[Ashchurch Ind Estate by [[Ashchurch for Tewkesbury railway station|Ashchurch for Tewkesbury near junction 9 (A46) of the M5, make [[Electrohydraulic servo valve|servo valves for the aerospace industry ([[Aircraft flight control system|flight control systems or AFCS), in [[Northway, Gloucestershire|Northway; also on the estate is [[Steinhoff International|Steinhoff UK, who own [[Sleepmasters and [[Bensons for Beds. [[Floortex (floor coverings) is on Tewkesbury Business Park, west of the M5 south of [[Duraflex. Near the M5 Ashchurch Interchange off the [[A438 road|A438, [[RR Donnelley GDS print Barclaycard statements. The [[Colt Car Company|Colt Car Company UK (who distribute [[Mitsubishi Motors) are in [[Cirencester, and [[Corin Group make [[Joint replacement|artificial joints on the [[A429 road|A429 near the [[Royal Agricultural University. The [[Stroud & Swindon Building Society and [[Ecotricity are in [[Stroud, Gloucestershire|Stroud near [[Stroud railway station|Stroud station. [[WSP Textiles (a former division of [[Milliken & Company|Milliken) on the A46 towards [[Rodborough in the south of Stroud make felt for [[billiard tables ([[Strachan cloth), and for [[tennis balls for three [[Grand Slam (tennis)|Grand Slam tournaments ([[William Playne & Co|Playne's tennis ball cloth). [[Dairy Crest makes [[Frijj milkshake at its large dairy at [[Severnside on the Stroudwater Business Park at [[Stonehouse, Gloucestershire|Stonehouse next to the M5, within walking distance of [[Stonehouse railway station|Stonehouse station; nearby ReedHycalog (owned by [[National Oilwell Varco) make industrial [[drill bits off the [[A419 road|A419 on the Oldends Ind Est, near [[ABB Group|ABB UK, who make [[Flow measurement|flow meters; [[Delphi Automotive|Delphi Diesel Systems UK, on the business park, make [[Unit Injector|electronic unit injectors; Renishaw plc have large machining centre on north of the business park; [[SKF (Swedish) make [[ball bearings (Aeroengine & High Precision Bearings Division, for Rolls-Royce) to the south of the estate (former [[Ransome Hoffmann Pollard), then [[NSK Ltd.|NSK until 2002); the company has another site at Clevedon in Somerset. [[Beverage Brands is based at [[Hucclecote on the [[Gloucester Business Park off B4641 east of the M5 [[Brockworth, Gloucestershire|Brockworth Interchange, with Horizon Nuclear Power, and next to [[NHS Gloucestershire); in the same building is MessageLabs ([[NortonLifeLock|Symantec), and a main office of [[Ageas UK (insurance). Further south in Brockworth is [[Direct Wines (Laithwaites); to the east is a [[G-TEKT Corporation|G-TEKT (former Takao Europe) automotive [[Stamping (metalworking)|metal pressings and sub-assemblies factory and a large [[Invista textiles factory (former ICI Fibres, then Dupont from 1992, which makes nylon fibres); the site is built on the former Gloster Aircraft factory, which closed around 1960. [[Renishaw plc is in [[Wotton-under-Edge, previously being in [[Nailsworth. [[Lister Petter, off the [[A4135 road|A4135 in [[Dursley, make [[Diesel generator|diesel engine generator sets; [[Lister Shearing is the only British manufacturer of [[Hair clipper|clipping and [[Sheep shearing|shearing (animals) equipment. The [[Fire Service College is in [[Moreton-in-Marsh near [[Moreton-in-Marsh railway station|Moreton-in-Marsh station. [[Northcot Brick is at [[Blockley, in the north-east, next to the [[Cotswold Line|railway; [[Per Una is based near [[Draycott, Gloucestershire|Draycott. [[Mabey Group, off the [[A48 road|A48 at [[Lydney make wind turbine towers; on the other side of the A48, [[Federal-Mogul have a foundry making [[camshafts. [[Suntory (Japanese) makes [[Lucozade (from 1957) and [[Ribena (from 1947) at the [[Royal Forest Factory off the B4228 in [[Coleford, Gloucestershire|Coleford in the [[Forest of Dean (district)|Forest of Dean; [[William Horlick, originator of another well-known former [[GlaxoSmithKline|GSK product, was born in the Forest of Dean in 1846.


Somerset

[[File:Shunting the engine - geograph.org.uk - 107049.jpg|[[Mendip Vale railway station|Mendip Vale the nearest station to the city of [[Wells, Somerset|Wells which is cut off from the rest of the UK by the [[Beeching Axe. [[Screwfix is in Yeovil, and [[C&J Clark|Clarks shoes with [[K-Swiss Europe are in [[Street, Somerset|Street, although most of its shoes are made in the Far East. [[Shepton Mallet is home of [[Blackthorn Cider and the [[Gaymer Cider Company. [[Dairy Crest packs [[Cathedral City Cheddar|Cathedral City cheese in [[Frome. The
Glastonbury Festival Glastonbury Festival (formally Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts) is a five-day festival of contemporary performing arts that takes place in Pilton, Somerset, in England. In addition to contemporary music, the festival hosts ...

Glastonbury Festival
at [[Pilton, Somerset|Pilton (nearer to Shepton Mallet than Glastonbury), off the [[A361 road|A361, is the UK's biggest music festival. The [[Royal Marines have a [[Norton Manor Camp|large base for [[40 Commando west of [[Taunton, with their [[Commando Training Centre Royal Marines|training centre at [[Lympstone Commando in Devon, on the [[Avocet Line with its own station of [[Lympstone Commando railway station|Lympstone and the A376 and [[River Exe. [[Attentional in Taunton deliver audience figures for [[Broadcasters' Audience Research Board|BARB. [[DS Smith's [[Wansbrough Paper Mill at [[Watchet on the coast is the UK's largest manufacturer of [[coreboard. [[Fletcher Boats make speedboats in [[Langport. [[TePe UK (Swedish) supply toothbrushes. Thales Defence closed its radar site (former EMI Electronics) near Wookey Hole, in [[St Cuthbert Out. [[Thales Underwater Systems (former [[Plessey Marine) is at [[Templecombe|Abbas and Templecombe, Somerset, off the A357 towards Dorset in the [[Blackmore Vale, east of Yeovil. [[Commando Helicopter Force at [[RNAS Yeovilton (HMS Heron)|Yeovilton operates Merlins and Wildcats (the upgraded version of the [[Westland Lynx|Lynx). [[Mulberry (company)|Mulberry is based at [[Chilcompton on the B3139, north of Shepton Mallet, in the Mendips. [[Cox & Cox furnishings, is north of Frome in [[Berkley, Somerset off the A361. [[Fox Brothers make cloth in [[Wellington, Somerset|Wellington, and [[Relyon (furniture)|Relyon (part of [[Steinhoff International) make beds. Italian defence contractor [[Leonardo S.p.A.|Leonardo makes helicopters at [[Yeovil, formerly the home of [[Westland Helicopters, building the [[AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat. To the east of Yeovil, in [[Houndstone, Garador make [[garage doors (part of Hörmann Group of [[Amshausen, Europe's largest mechanical door manufacturer). [[Yeo Valley Organic is in [[Blagdon. [[Numatic International Limited makes [[vacuum cleaners in [[Chard, Somerset|Chard, and [[Brecknell Willis, a railway engineering company on the [[A30 road|A30, makes [[Pantograph (rail)|pantographs; [[ActionAid UK is based off the A358 in the north of Chard, near a centrifugal [[oil filter plant of [[Mann+Hummel. [[Dairy Crest made [[brandy butter south of the town in [[Tatworth and Forton, near the meeting point of Dorset, Somerset and Devon. [[Ministry of Cake, owned by Greencore since December 2007 on the A3065 in [[Staplegrove in the west of Taunton, is the leading provider of frozen desserts to the UK foodservice industry. The [[United Kingdom Hydrographic Office is in Taunton. [[Pilgrims Choice cheddar is made by Adams Foods (former [[North Downs Dairy) at Wincanton. [[Ariel Motor Company in Crewkerne, make the [[Ariel Atom. [[Gerber Products Company|Refresco Gerber in the north of Bridgwater, between the A38 and the [[River Parrett, make [[SunnyD, [[Libby's, [[Innocent Drinks, [[Del Monte Foods|Del Monte, [[Just Juice and [[Ocean Spray (cooperative)|Ocean Spray. Next to the [[Royal Portbury Dock, off junction 19 of the M5 on the A369 is [[Lafarge (company)|Lafarge Plasterboard. [[Thatchers Cider is in [[Sandford, Somerset|Sandford, [[North Somerset on the [[A368 road|A368, two miles east of the M5. Towards Bristol Airport, [[Claverham (company)|Claverham make actuation equipment for the aerospace sector in [[Yatton in [[North Somerset, off the [[A370 road|A370, and is part of [[Hamilton Sundstrand, derived from the electrical systems part of [[Fairey Aviation. [[Wessex Water, [[Future plc, [[Buro Happold and [[Rotork are in [[Bath, Somerset|Bath. Cadbury used to make ''[[Curly Wurly'', ''[[Double Decker (chocolate bar)|Double Decker'' and ''[[Crunchie'' at the [[Somerdale Factory, [[Keynsham until Kraft closed the plant in March 2011 and moved production to [[Skarbimierz, Opole Voivodeship in Poland.


Wiltshire

[[Nationwide Building Society, [[Research Councils UK and five [[UK Research Councils|research councils, [[Intel Corporation|Intel Europe, and the [[British Computer Society are in Swindon, as are the main offices of [[Historic England and the [[National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty|National Trust, both housed in the former [[Great Western Railway's [[Swindon Works. [[Allied Dunbar was headquartered in the centre of Swindon until 1998, when bought by [[Zurich Insurance Group|Zurich Financial Services. In [[Stratton St Margaret, [[BMW press metal for the [[Mini (marque)|MINI at [[Pressed Steel Company|Swindon Pressings Ltd (the former [[Pressed Steel Company), there is a major [[List of Honda assembly plants|Honda [[Honda of the UK Manufacturing|manufacturing plant (in South Marston) where the [[Honda Fit|Jazz, [[Honda Civic|Civic and [[Honda CR-V|CR-V are manufactured at Britain's second-largest car manufacturing plant; nearby are [[Zimmer Biomet|Zimmer UK (medical devices) and [[GS Yuasa|Yuasa UK (automotive batteries). The headquarters of [[W H Smith, with [[Smiths News, is near the [[School Library Association, west of the MINI works in [[Upper Stratton. [[Valero Energy UK, who bought Texaco from [[Chevron Corporation|Chevron in 2011, are in [[Eldene, in the former head office of [[St Ivel; [[Patheon UK (pharmaceuticals, on the former site of [[Roussel Uclaf) are on the B4006 in [[Covingham, north of Valero, in the east of Swindon. [[British Gasket Group|BG Automotive, on the Cheney Manor industrial estate, make gaskets on the B4006 in [[Rodbourne; [[Dynamatic Technologies|Dynamatic UK are in a former [[Plessey factory. [[Burmah Oil was headquartered in the south of Swindon; Burmah bought [[Castrol in 1966 (owned by [[BP from 2000). [[Stanley Black & Decker|Stanley Security (former Amano Blick) is on the Techno trading estate, north of the town centre. Near the M4 Spittleborough Roundabout, close to [[Freshbrook, are [[Synergy Health and [[Npower (United Kingdom)|RWE npower; also on the Windmill Hill Business park are [[Arval (company)|Arval (vehicle leasing and fuel cards), and [[Allstar (fuel card)|Allstar (fuel card); also nearby are [[Realogy|Cartus Europe, [[Catalent|Catalent Pharma Solutions UK and [[MAN Truck & Bus UK (with [[Neoplan and [[ERF (lorry manufacturer)|ERF); further east is [[WRc (the former Water Research Centre). Nearby on Lydiard Fields in [[Lydiard Tregoze is [[Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells, which in 2002 was the world's first production site of [[Membrane electrode assembly|membrane electrode assemblies, and next door is [[Neptune (Europe)|Neptune, who make furniture and kitchens; also [[BuildStore have their National Self Build & Renovation Centre. Sauer-Danfoss UK provide hydraulics off the [[A419 road|A419 in [[Dorcan, and nearby is [[TE Connectivity UK (former Tyco Electronics and [[Raychem). The [[British and Foreign Bible Society is on the Delta Business Park in [[Westlea, near [[Intergraph UK ([[Geographic information system|geospatial software, owned by [[Hexagon AB) on the other side of Westmead industrial estate, with [[Metric Group, the only UK manufacturer of [[parking meters. [[Triumph International|Triumph International UK is in [[Blunsdon|Blunsdon St Andrew. On the A361 in [[Highworth north-east of Swindon, [[TS Tech make car seats for Honda, also with a site at the [[Renault Centre on the Rivermead industrial estate. [[Dyson (company)|Dyson is in [[Malmesbury, north of the M4. [[Cotswold Outdoor (recommended supplier to the [[The Duke of Edinburgh's Award|DofE Award and the Scout Association) is based at the [[Cotswold Airport near the Gloucestershire boundary south of Cirencester. [[Trowbridge has [[Apetito UK, [[Wiltshire Farm Foods, [[Groupe Danone|Danone UK and their subsidiary [[Numico. [[Cereal Partners make [[Shredded wheat|Shredded Wheat and [[Shreddies at [[Staverton, Wiltshire|Staverton, near Trowbridge. In [[Devizes is the [[Wadworth Brewery. [[Salisbury Cathedral in [[Salisbury attracts many tourists. [[Rockhopper Exploration is in the town and [[Naim Audio make hi-fi equipment. Nearby, [[Defence Science and Technology Laboratory|Dstl is at [[Porton Down. [[Knorr-Bremse|Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems UK (formerly Westinghouse) make [[railway air brakes in Bowerhill just south of [[Melksham and nearby are the headquarters of [[Avon Rubber and [[Herman Miller (manufacturer)|Herman Miller UK, a maker of office furniture. [[Cooper Tire & Rubber Company also make Avon Tyres in the same town. [[Chippenham has the HQ of [[Wincanton plc, the large logistics company, [[Invensys Rail Group (formerly [[Westinghouse Rail Systems) who make [[Railway signalling|rail signalling equipment, and the software company [[SCISYS. In the centre of the county are many military establishments, notably [[MoD Boscombe Down, the training sites on [[Salisbury Plain, and the army bases around [[Tidworth, [[Larkhill (home of the [[Royal School of Artillery) and [[Warminster (HQ of the [[Infantry of the British Army|Infantry).


Subdivisions

The region covers much of the historical area of
Wessex Wessex (; ang|Westseaxna rīċe , 'the Kingdom of the West Saxons') was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom in the south of Great Britain, from 519 until England was unified by Æthelstan in 927. The Anglo-Saxons believed that Wessex was founded by Cerdic ...

Wessex
(omitting only [[Hampshire and [[Berkshire), and all of the Celtic Kingdom of [[Dumnonia which comprised Cornwall, Devon, and parts of Somerset and Dorset. In terms of local government, it was divided after 1974 into [[Avon (county)|Avon, Cornwall,
Devon Devon (, also known as Devonshire) is a county of England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is part of South West England, bounded by Cornwall to the west, Somerset to the north-east and Do ...

Devon
, Dorset,
Gloucestershire Gloucestershire ( abbreviated Glos) (Welsh: Swydd Gaerloyw) is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean. The county to ...

Gloucestershire
, Somerset, and
Wiltshire Wiltshire (; abbreviated Wilts) is a county in South West England with an area of . It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. The county town was originally Wilton, aft ...

Wiltshire
. Avon has since been abolished, and several mainly urban areas have become [[Unitary authority#England|unitary authorities.


Local government

The official region consists of the following geographic counties and local government areas: UA = [[unitary authority CC = [[county council


Eurostat NUTS

In the
Eurostat Eurostat (European Statistical Office) is a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in the Kirchberg quarter of Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Its main responsibilities are to provide statistical information to the institutions of th ...

Eurostat
[[Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS), South West England is a level-1 NUTS region, coded "UKK", which is subdivided as follows:


South West Regional Assembly

Although referendums had been planned on whether elected assemblies should be set up in some of the regions, none was planned in the South West. The (SWRA) was the [[regional Assemblies in England|regional assembly for the South West region, established in 1999. It was based in
Exeter Exeter () is a city in Devon, England, on the River Exe northeast of Plymouth and southwest of Bristol. It is the county town of Devon, and home to Devon County Council and the University of Exeter. In Roman Britain, Exeter was established as ...

Exeter
and [[Taunton. The SWRA was a partnership of councillors from all local authorities in the region and representatives of various sectors with a role in the region's economic, social and environmental well-being. There was much opposition to the formation of the SWRA with critics saying it was an unelected unrepresentative and unaccountable "quango". The Regional Assembly was wound up in May 2009, and its functions taken on by the [[South West Strategic Leaders' Board|Strategic Leaders' Board (SLB) of South West Councils.


Politics

Currently the South West contains 55 seats in the [[House of Commons of the United Kingdom|House of Commons. The [[Conservative Party (UK)|Conservatives hold 48 seats, [[Labour Party (UK)|Labour 6 and the [[Liberal Democrats (UK)|Liberal Democrats 1. [[South West England (European Parliament constituency)|South West England was one of the constituencies used for elections to the [[European Parliament until [[Brexit in 2020. From the [[2004 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom|2004 election onwards, [[Gibraltar was included within the constituency for the purpose of elections to the European parliament only.


Elections

In the [[2015 United Kingdom general election|2015 general election, there was a 0.7% swing from Labour to Conservative in the region. For the region's electorate, 46% voted Conservative, 18% voted Labour, Liberal Democrats 15%, UKIP 14% and Green 6%. The Conservatives gained 15 seats almost all of which were from the Liberal Democrats. In [[2017 United Kingdom general election|2017 the Conservatives lost 3 seats ([[Bristol North West (UK Parliament constituency)|Bristol North West, [[Plymouth Sutton and Devonport (UK Parliament constituency)|Plymouth Sutton and Devonport and [[Stroud (UK Parliament constituency)|Stroud) to Labour and 1 ([[Bath (UK Parliament constituency)|Bath) to the Liberal Democrats. Labour increased their share of the vote by 11.4% while Ukip's vote collapsed. However the Conservatives still dominated the South West with 47 seats out of 55. In the 2019 general election, the Conservatives regained Stroud from Labour, bringing their total to 48.


Education


Schools


Secondary education

The South West has a below average rate of attainment in GCSE (and equivalent) examinations, with the lowest regional performance in England from 2009 to 2012.Education and Skills In Your Area - England
DfE
In 2012, [[South Hams had the highest percentage of pupils achieving 5 or more GCSEs at grade A*-C at 86%, whilst [[Purbeck District|Purbeck had the lowest at 70%. The region has an above average rate of attainment in A-Level (and equivalent) examinations, having outperformed the [[West Midlands (region)|West Midlands, [[East Midlands, [[North East England|North East and [[London in 2012.


Further education

There are around 29 [[further education colleges in the region.


Higher education

There are twelve universities in the region: * [[The Arts University Bournemouth * [[Bournemouth University * [[Bath Spa University * [[University of Bath * [[University of Bristol * [[Camborne School of Mines. Part of the University of Exeter. * [[University of Exeter * [[Falmouth University * [[University of Gloucestershire * [[The University of Law * [[Plymouth University * [[Royal Agricultural University * [[University of St Mark & St John * [[University of the West of England (UWE) There are also four higher education colleges. The region has the lowest number of people registered on higher education courses at FE colleges. The University of Bristol receives the most total funding, according to [[Higher Education Funding Council for England figures for the 2006/2007 academic year, and the largest research grant—twice as big as any other in the region. Bath has the next largest research grant, closely followed by Exeter. UWE and Plymouth get small research grants, but no other universities in the region receive much of a research grant. The University of Plymouth has the largest teaching grant. Of the region's students (postgraduate and undergraduate), 50% are from the region, and around 40% from other regions. For full-time first degree students, 35% come from the region, around 22% are from [[South East England, and 8% are from London. Including the [[East of England, around 70% are from [[Southern England. 10% are from the [[English Midlands|Midlands, and 5% from [[Northern England. The main access for students from the north is the [[Cross Country Route. Around 33% of native South West students stay in the region, with 18% going to the South East (around 60% stay in the south of England). Around 14% go to Wales, but very few go to the East of England. Access by road or rail to the East of England region is not straightforward, with around the same amount of travel as to Scotland. Many more native South West students are prepared to go to the north of England, than northern students are prepared to study in the South West. Once graduated, around 50% stay in the region, with 15% each going to London or the South East (around 80% find work in the south of England). Very few go elsewhere (especially the north of England); around 4% go to the West Midlands or Wales.


Local media


TV

*[[BBC South West, based in
Plymouth Plymouth () is a port city in England on the south coast of Devon, approximately south-west of Exeter and west-south-west of London. Enclosing the city are the mouths of the river Plym and river Tamar, which are naturally incorporated into Pl ...

Plymouth
with the ''[[Spotlight (BBC News)|Spotlight'' regional programme. *[[BBC West, based in [[Clifton, Bristol|Clifton in Bristol with the ''[[BBC Points West|Points West'' regional programme. *[[ITV West Country, based in Bristol (following the merger of [[ITV Wales & West|ITV West and [[ITV Westcountry), with the ''[[ITV News West Country'' regional programme. *N.B. Parts of Wiltshire and Dorset, including Swindon, Salisbury, Bournemouth and Poole receive [[BBC South and [[Meridian Broadcasting|ITV Meridian from [[Southampton. [[Digital switchover dates in the United Kingdom|Digital switchover from [[Mendip transmitting station|Mendip (for ''Points West'') took place in April 2010, and for the ''Spotlight'' area it took place in mid-2009.


Radio

* BBC Radios [[BBC Radio Cornwall|Cornwall, [[BBC Radio Devon|Devon, [[BBC Somerset|Somerset, [[BBC Radio Solent|Solent (Dorset), [[BBC Radio Bristol|Bristol, [[BBC Wiltshire|Wiltshire, and [[BBC Radio Gloucestershire|Gloucestershire. National radio is from [[North Hessary Tor and [[Wenvoe transmitting station|Wenvoe (west of Cardiff). * Commercial radio stations are [[Kiss 101 (Bristol), [[Star 107.2 (Bristol), [[Heart West Country, [[Pirate FM (Cornwall), [[Atlantic FM ([[St Agnes, Cornwall|St Agnes), [[Heart Devon, [[Heart Gloucestershire (Gloucester), [[Heart Wiltshire (Swindon), [[Palm 105.5 (Torquay), [[Total Star Somerset (former QuayWest 107.4FM in Bridgwater), [[Total Star Swindon (former Brunel FM), [[Total Star Warminster (former 3TR FM), [[Total Star Bath (former Bath FM), [[Nova Radio ([[Weston-super-Mare), [[Spire FM ([[Salisbury), [[Wessex FM ([[Dorchester, Dorset|Dorchester), [[Fire Radio (Bournemouth), and [[Heart Solent (Bournemouth).


Newspapers

* Regional newspapers include the [[Bath Chronicle, [[Bristol Evening Post, [[Western Daily Press, the [[Dorset Echo, the [[Express & Echo|Exeter Express and Echo, [[Western Morning News, the [[North Devon Journal, [[Cornish Guardian, [[The West Briton (Truro), [[The Cornishman, [[Wiltshire Times ([[Trowbridge), [[Gazette and Herald ([[North & West Wiltshire), [[Gloucestershire Echo, [[Gloucester Citizen, [[Plymouth Evening Herald, [[Torquay Herald Express, [[Swindon Advertiser and the [[Salisbury Journal ([[Salisbury).


Sport


Football

The region has no [[Premier League team since the relegation of [[AFC Bournemouth in 2020. During the 2016/17 season, the region had seven teams in the [[English Football League: [[Bristol City, [[Bristol Rovers, [[Cheltenham Town F.C.|Cheltenham, [[Exeter City F.C.|Exeter, [[Plymouth Argyle, [[Swindon Town F.C.|Swindon, and [[Yeovil Town F.C.|Yeovil. In the 2017/18 season they were joined by [[Forest Green Rovers. Other teams play in the South divisions of the [[Southern Football League|Southern League, at levels 7 and 8 of the [[English football league system#The system|league system. At levels 9 and 10, the [[Western Football League|Western League covers the whole region except the most eastern parts, while the [[Hellenic Football League|Hellenic League extends into Gloucestershire and north Wiltshire, and the [[Wessex Football League|Wessex League has teams from east Dorset and south Wiltshire. Also at level 10, the [[South West Peninsula League has teams from Cornwall and Devon.


References


External links


Visit South West England – Official Regional Tourist Board

Government Office for the South West
*


Further reading

* * * * * {{Coord|50.96|-3.22|display=title [[Category:South West England| [[Category:Southern England|. [[Category:West Country|. [[Category:Regions of England [[Category:NUTS 1 statistical regions of England [[Category:NUTS 1 statistical regions of the European Union