Wellington, Somerset

Wellington, Somerset

infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 50.9755
longitude= -3.2243
official_name= Wellington
population = 13,696cite web |url=http://www.somerset.gov.uk/somerset/statistics/contents/population/estimates/2002mye/ |title=Population estimates 2002 (Figure obtained by combining population of Wellington and Wellington Without parishes.) |accessdate=2007-10-15 |format= |work=Somerset County Council ]
shire_district= Taunton Deane
shire_county = Somerset
region= South West England
constituency_westminster= Taunton
post_town= WELLINGTON
postcode_district = TA21
postcode_area= TA
dial_code= 01823
os_grid_reference= ST140203

Wellington is a small industrial town in rural Somerset, England, situated seven miles south west of Taunton in the Taunton Deane district, near the border with Devon, which runs along the Blackdown Hills to the south of the town. The town has a population of 13,696 this includes the Mister residents.


Wellington gave its name to the first Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley. Nearby Wellington Hill boasts a large, spotlit obelisk to his honour, the Wellington Monument. Because of this, Wellington, Somerset can have a claim to have contributed to the more widespread use of the term in other place names and, of course, the Wellington Boot.


Wellington is in the Taunton Deane local government district which is part of the county of Somerset.

It falls within the Taunton represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. Following the review of parliamentary representation in Somerset, the Boundary Commission for England has created a modified Taunton constituency with the name change Taunton Deane, to reflect the district name. The current MP is Jeremy Browne, a member of the Liberal Democrats. [cite web | url= http://www.parliament.uk/directories/hciolists/alcm.cfm#T | title= Alphabetical List of Constituencies and Members of Parliament | publisher= House Of Commons Information Office | accessdate= 2008-01-19]

It is within the South West England (European Parliament constituency) which elects 7 MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.


The town has many dependent villages including West Buckland, Langford Budville, Nynehead, Sampford Arundel and Sampford Moor. Rockwell Green is a formerly-independent village to the West of the town and while there is a green wedge of land in between them, the Rockwell Green ward elects three members to the town council. [cite web | title=Councillors | work= The Official Web Site of Wellington Town Council | url=http://www.wellingtontowncouncil.co.uk/framed_main/council_today.htm | accessdate=2007-10-15]


The town has a population of 13,696. Large growth occurred during the 1970s when housing developments were built on the South side of the town. These were largely prompted by Wellington's proximity to Junction 26 of the M5 motorway.


Wellington's main industry was wool-making, but this has now declined. The Fox family, still one of the more renowned names in the town, was at the forefront of this, and the name still lives on today. Local industries are celebrated at the Wellington Museum in Fore street. Wellington was home of Fox, Fowler and Company, which was the last commercial bank permitted to print their own sterling banknotes in England and Wales.

The town is still largely dependent on industry, notably its aerosol factory. Swallowfield plc benefited from the growth of own-brand products during the 1970s and now produces aerosol, cosmetic and toiletry products. It was founded in 1876 as Walter Gregory & Co Ltd who manufactured animal husbandry products. The company diversified and in 1950 produced the first commercial aerosols in the UK which were basically farm products, air fresheners and insecticides. [cite web | title=The History of Aerosols | work=British Aerosol Manufacturers' Association website | url=http://www.bama.co.uk/educ_history.htm#First | accessdate=2007-10-16] [cite web | title=Testimonials | work=InvestInWellington.co.uk | url=http://www.investinwellington.co.uk/pages/testimonials.shtml | accessdate=2007-10-16]

Bed manufacturers Relyon employ some 400 people. The company started in 1858 as a wool merchant, Price Brothers and Co., but the business soon moved into manufacturing beds and in 1935 changed its name to Relyon Ltd. In 2001 it was acquired by Steinhoff International Holdings Ltd., a quoted South African group. [cite web | title=Relyon History | work=Relyon website | url=http://www.relyon.co.uk/data.asp?rn=9 | accessdate=2007-10-15]


The town had its own railway station on the Bristol and Exeter Railway from 1 May 1843 until 5 October 1964. It was here that extra locomotives were attached to heavy trains to help them up the incline to Whiteball Tunnel on their way south. The railway from Penzance to London, and also to Bristol and the North, continue to pass through the town, but no trains stop. The nearest stations are Taunton and Tiverton Parkway.


Wellington is home to a public school, Wellington School, Somerset, not to be confused with Wellington School, Shropshire or Wellington College. Famous alumni of Wellington School include actor David Suchet and peer Lord Archer.

The main secondary school in the town is Court Fields Community School. The school is a technology college, and a new state-of-the-art sports complex is being developed here, which is due for completion in early 2008.

Religious sites

In spite of its small size, Wellington has historically been notable for its profusion of churches of many different denominations, including a Quaker meeting house, [cite web | title=Friends' Meeting House | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=269988 | accessdate=2007-10-15] the 15th century Church of St John the Baptist, [cite web | title=Church of St John the Baptist | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=270011 | accessdate=2007-10-15] which includes a monument to John Popham,cite book |title=Curiosities of Somerset |last=Leete-Hodge |first=Lornie |authorlink= |coauthors= |year=1985 |publisher=Bossiney Books |location=Bodmin |isbn=0906456983 |pages=67 ] and the Roman Catholic Church of St John Fisher which was built in 1606 as Popham's Almshouses and converted into a Roman Catholic church 1936. [cite web | title=Roman Catholic Church of St John Fisher | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=270025 | accessdate=2007-10-15]


Wellington has its own amateur dramatic group called Wellington Arts Association, which holds productions both at Wellington Arts Centre and at the Wellesley Theatre (the cinema and theatre in the town). The town also has its own weekly newspaper, the Wellington Weekly News.

Wellington is twinned to the town of Immenstadt in Germany, the town of Lillebonne in France and Torres Vedras in Portugal. [cite web |url=http://www.wellingtontowncouncil.co.uk/organisations/organisations.htm |title=Twin Towns |accessdate=2007-10-15 |format= |work=Wellington Town Council ]


External links

* [http://www.heartofsomerset.com Taunton Deane Tourism Web Site]
* [http://www.w-a-a.org/ Wellington Arts Association]
* [http://www.wellesleytheatre.co.uk/ Wellesley Theatre, Wellington]
* The Somerset Urban Archaeological Survey: [http://www.somerset.gov.uk/somerset/cultureheritage/heritage/projects/eus/wellington Wellington ] , by Clare Gathercole

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