Plymouth is a port city situated on the south coast of Devon, England 37 miles south-west of Exeter and 190 miles west-south-west of London. Enclosing the city are the mouths of the river Plym and river Tamar, which are incorporated into Plymouth Sound to form a boundary with Cornwall. Plymouth's early history extends to the Bronze Age; this settlement continued as a trading post for the Roman Empire, until it was surpassed by the more prosperous village of Sutton founded in the ninth century, now called Plymouth. In 1620, the Pilgrim Fathers departed Plymouth for the New World and established Plymouth Colony, the second English settlement in what is now the United States of America. During the English Civil War, the town was held by the Parliamentarians and was besieged between 1642 and 1646. Throughout the Industrial Revolution, Plymouth grew as a commercial shipping port, handling imports and passengers from the Americas, exporting local minerals; the neighbouring town of Devonport became a strategic Royal Naval dockyard town.
In 1914 three neighbouring independent towns, viz. the county borough of Plymouth, the county borough of Devonport, the urban district of East Stonehouse were merged to form a single County Borough. The combined town took the name of Plymouth; the city's naval importance led to its being targeted by the German military and destroyed by bombing during World War II, an act known as the Plymouth Blitz. After the war the city centre was rebuilt and subsequent expansion led to the incorporation of Plympton and Plymstock along with other outlying suburbs in 1967; the city is home to 263,100 people, making it the 30th-most populous built-up area in the United Kingdom and the second-largest city in the South West, after Bristol. It is represented nationally by three MPs. Plymouth's economy remains influenced by shipbuilding and seafaring including ferry links to Brittany and Spain, but has tended toward a service-based economy since the 1990s, it has the largest operational naval base in Western Europe, HMNB Devonport, is home to the University of Plymouth.
Upper Palaeolithic deposits, including bones of Homo sapiens, have been found in local caves, artefacts dating from the Bronze Age to the Middle Iron Age have been found at Mount Batten, showing that it was one of few principle trading ports of pre Roman Britannia dominating continental trade with Armorica. An unidentified settlement named TAMARI OSTIA is listed in Ptolemy's Geographia and is presumed to be located in the area of the modern city. An ancient promontory fort was located at Rame Head at the mouth of Plymouth Sound with ancient hillforts located at Lyneham Warren to the east, Boringdon Camp and Maristow Camp to the north; the settlement of Plympton, further up the River Plym than the current Plymouth, was an early trading port. As the river silted up in the early 11th century and merchants were forced to settle downriver at the current day Barbican near the river mouth. At the time this village was called meaning south town in Old English; the name Plym Mouth, meaning "mouth of the River Plym" was first mentioned in a Pipe Roll of 1211.
The name Plymouth first replaced Sutton in a charter of King Henry VI in 1440. See Plympton for the derivation of the name Plym. During the Hundred Years' War a French attack burned a manor house and took some prisoners, but failed to get into the town. In 1403 the town was burned by Breton raiders. On 12 November 1439, the English Parliament made Plymouth the first town incorporated. In the late fifteenth century, Plymouth Castle, a "castle quadrate", was constructed close to the area now known as The Barbican; the castle served to protect Sutton Pool, where the fleet was based in Plymouth prior to the establishment of Plymouth Dockyard. In 1512 an Act of Parliament was passed for further fortifying Plymouth. A series of fortifications were built, including defensive walls at the entrance to Sutton Pool. Defences on St Nicholas Island date from this time, a string of six artillery blockhouses were built, including one on Fishers Nose at the south-eastern corner of the Hoe; this location was further strengthened by the building of a fort in 1596.
During the 16th century, locally produced wool was the major export commodity. Plymouth was the home port for successful maritime traders, among them Sir John Hawkins, who led England's first foray into the Atlantic slave trade, as well as Sir Francis Drake, Mayor of Plymouth in 1581 and 1593. According to legend, Drake insisted on completing his game of bowls on the Hoe before engaging the Spanish Armada in 1588. In 1620 the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for the New World from Plymouth, establishing Plymouth Colony – the second English colony in what is now the United States of America. During the English Civil War Plymouth sided with the Parliamentarians and was besieged for four years by the Royalists; the last major attack by the Royalists was by Sir Richard Grenville leading thousands of soldiers towards Plymouth, but they were defeated by the Plymothians at Freedom Fields Park. The civil war ended as a Parliamentary win, but monarchy was restored by King Charles II in 1660, who imprisoned many of the Parliamentary heroes on Drake's Is
Stumped is a method of dismissal in cricket. The action of stumping can only be performed by a wicket-keeper and, according to the Laws of Cricket, a batsman can be given out stumped if: the wicket-keeper puts down the wicket, while the batsman is: out of his ground. Being "out of his ground" is defined as not having any part of the batsman's body or his bat touching the ground behind the crease – i.e. if his bat is elevated from the floor despite being behind the crease, or if his foot is on the crease line itself but not across it and touching the ground behind it he would be considered out. One of the fielding team must appeal for the wicket by asking the umpire; the appeal is directed to the square-leg umpire, who would be in the best position to adjudicate on the appeal. Stumping is the fifth most common form of dismissal after caught, leg before wicket and run out, though it is seen more in Twenty20 cricket because of its more aggressive batting, it is governed by Law 39 of the Laws of Cricket.
It is seen with a medium or slow bowler, as with fast bowlers a wicket-keeper takes the ball too far back from the wicket to attempt a stumping. It includes co-operation between a bowler and wicket-keeper: the bowler draws the batsman out of his ground, the wicket-keeper catches and breaks the wicket before the batsman realises he has missed the ball and makes his ground, i.e. places the bat or part of his body on the ground back behind the popping crease. If the bails are removed before the wicket-keeper has the ball, the batsman can still be stumped if the wicket-keeper removes one of the stumps from the ground, while holding the ball in his hand; the bowler is credited for the batsman's wicket, the wicket-keeper is credited for the dismissal. A batsman may be out stumped off a wide delivery but cannot be stumped off a no-ball as bowler is credited for the wicket. Notes: The popping crease is defined as the back edge of the crease marking (i.e. the edge closer to the wicket. Therefore, a batsman whose bat or foot is on the crease marking, but does not touch the ground behind the crease marking, can be stumped.
This is quite common. The wicket must be properly put down in accordance with Law 28 of the Laws of cricket: using either the ball itself or a hand or arm, in possession of the ball. Note that since the ball itself can put down the wicket, a stumping is still valid if the ball rebounds from the'keeper and breaks the wicket though never controlled by him; the wicket-keeper must allow the ball to pass the stumps before taking it, unless it has touched either the batsman or his bat first. If the wicket-keeper fails to do this, the delivery is a "no-ball", the batsman cannot be stumped
Devon known as Devonshire, its common and official name, 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, Dorset to the east; the city of Exeter is the county town. The county includes the districts of East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge and West Devon. Plymouth and Torbay are each geographically part of Devon, but are administered as unitary authorities. Combined as a ceremonial county, Devon's area is 6,707 km2 and its population is about 1.1 million. Devon derives its name from Dumnonia. During the British Iron Age, Roman Britain, the early Middle Ages, this was the homeland of the Dumnonii Brittonic Celts; the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain resulted in the partial assimilation of Dumnonia into the Kingdom of Wessex during the eighth and ninth centuries. The western boundary with Cornwall was set at the River Tamar by King Æthelstan in 936.
Devon was constituted as a shire of the Kingdom of England. The north and south coasts of Devon each have both cliffs and sandy shores, the county's bays contain seaside resorts, fishing towns, ports; the inland terrain is rural and hilly, has a lower population density than many other parts of England. Dartmoor is the largest open space in southern England, at 954 km2. To the north of Dartmoor are the Culm Measures and Exmoor. In the valleys and lowlands of south and east Devon the soil is more fertile, drained by rivers including the Exe, the Culm, the Teign, the Dart, the Otter; as well as agriculture, much of the economy of Devon is based on tourism. The comparatively mild climate and landscape make Devon a destination for recreation and leisure in England, with visitors attracted to the Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks; the name Devon derives from the name of the Britons who inhabited the southwestern peninsula of Britain at the time of the Roman conquest of Britain known as the Dumnonii, thought to mean "deep valley dwellers" from proto Celtic *dubnos'deep'.
In the Brittonic, Devon is known as Welsh: Dyfnaint, Breton: Devnent and Cornish: Dewnens, each meaning "deep valleys." Among the most common Devon placenames is -combe which derives from Brittonic cwm meaning'valley' prefixed by the name of the possessor. William Camden, in his 1607 edition of Britannia, described Devon as being one part of an older, wider country that once included Cornwall: THAT region which, according to the Geographers, is the first of all Britaine, growing straiter still and narrower, shooteth out farthest into the West, was in antient time inhabited by those Britans whom Solinus called Dumnonii, Ptolomee Damnonii For their habitation all over this Countrey is somewhat low and in valleys, which manner of dwelling is called in the British tongue Dan-munith, in which sense the Province next adjoyning in like respect is at this day named by the Britans Duffneit, to say, Low valleys, but the Country of this nation is at this day divided into two parts, knowen by names of Cornwall and Denshire, The term "Devon" is used for everyday purposes e.g. "Devon County Council" but "Devonshire" continues to be used in the names of the "Devonshire and Dorset Regiment" and "The Devonshire Association".
One erroneous theory is that the "shire" suffix is due to a mistake in the making of the original letters patent for the Duke of Devonshire, resident in Derbyshire. However, there are references to "Defenascire" in Anglo-Saxon texts from before 1000 AD, which translates to modern English as "Devonshire"; the term Devonshire may have originated around the 8th century, when it changed from Dumnonia to Defenascir. Kents Cavern in Torquay had produced. Dartmoor is thought to have been occupied by Mesolithic hunter-gatherer peoples from about 6000 BC; the Romans held the area under military occupation for around 350 years. The area began to experience Saxon incursions from the east around 600 AD, firstly as small bands of settlers along the coasts of Lyme Bay and southern estuaries and as more organised bands pushing in from the east. Devon became a frontier between Brittonic and Anglo-Saxon Wessex, it was absorbed into Wessex by the mid 9th century. A genetic study carried out by the University of Oxford & University College London discovered separate genetic groups in Cornwall and Devon, not only were there differences on either side of the Tamar, with a division exactly along the modern county boundary dating back to the 6th Century but between Devon and the rest of Southern England, similarities with the modern northern France, including Brittany.
This suggests the Anglo-Saxon migration into Devon was limited rather than a mass movement of people. The border with Cornwall was set by King Æthelstan on the east bank of the River Tamar in 936 AD. Danish raids occurred sporadically along many coastal parts of Devon between around 800AD and just before the time of the Norman conquest, including the silver mint at Hlidaforda Lydford in 997 and Taintona in 1001. Devon has featured in most of th
Twenty20 cricket, sometimes written Twenty-20, abbreviated to T20, is a short form of cricket. At the professional level, it was introduced by the England and Wales Cricket Board in 2003 for the inter-county competition in England and Wales. In a Twenty20 game the two teams have a single innings each, restricted to a maximum of 20 overs. Together with first-class and List A cricket, Twenty20 is one of the three current forms of cricket recognised by the International Cricket Council as being at the highest international or domestic level. A typical Twenty20 game is completed in about three hours, with each innings lasting around 90 minutes and an official 10 minute break between the innings; this is much shorter than previously-existing forms of the game, is closer to the timespan of other popular team sports. It was introduced to create a fast-paced form of the game which would be attractive to spectators at the ground and viewers on television; the game has succeeded in spreading around the cricket world.
On most international tours there is at least one Twenty20 match and all Test-playing nations have a domestic cup competition. The inaugural ICC World Twenty20 was played in South Africa in 2007 with India winning by five runs against Pakistan in the final. Pakistan won the second tournament in 2009, England won the title in the West Indies in 2010. West Indies won with Sri Lanka winning the 2014 tournament. West Indies are the reigning champions, winning the 2016 competition, in doing so, became the first nation to win the tournament twice. Was originated in 2005 When the Benson & Hedges Cup ended in 2002, the ECB needed another one day competition to fill its place. Cricketing authorities were looking to boost the game's popularity with the younger generation in response to dwindling crowds and reduced sponsorship, it was intended to deliver fast-paced, exciting cricket accessible to thousands of fans who were put off by the longer versions of the game. Stuart Robertson, the marketing manager of the ECB, proposed a 20 over per innings game to county chairmen in 2001 and they voted 11–7 in favour of adopting the new format.
The first official Twenty20 matches were played on 13 June 2003 between the English counties in the Twenty20 Cup. The first season of Twenty20 in England was a relative success, with the Surrey Lions defeating the Warwickshire Bears by 9 wickets in the final to claim the title; the first Twenty20 match held at Lord's, on 15 July 2004 between Middlesex and Surrey, attracted a crowd of 27,509, the highest attendance for any county cricket game at the ground – other than a one-day final – since 1953. Thirteen teams from different parts of the country participated in Pakistan's inaugural competition in 2004, with Faisalabad Wolves the first winners. On 12 January 2005 Australia's first Twenty20 game was played at the WACA Ground between the Western Warriors and the Victorian Bushrangers, it drew a sell-out crowd of 20,000, the first time in nearly 25 years the ground had been sold out. Starting 11 July 2006 19 West Indies regional teams competed in what was named the Stanford 20/20 tournament; the event was financially backed by billionaire Allen Stanford, who gave at least US$28,000,000 funding money.
It was intended. Guyana won the inaugural event, defeating Trinidad and Tobago by 5 wickets, securing US$1,000,000 in prize money. On 5 January 2007 Queensland Bulls played the New South Wales Blues at The Brisbane. A crowd of 11,000 was expected based on pre-match ticket sales. However, an unexpected 16,000 turned up on the day to buy tickets, causing disruption and confusion for surprised Gabba staff as they were forced to throw open gates and grant many fans free entry. Attendance reached 27,653. For 1 February 2008 Twenty20 match between Australia and India, 85,824 people attended the match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground involving the Twenty20 World Champions against the ODI World Champions; the Stanford Super Series was held in October 2008 between Middlesex and Trinidad and Tobago, the respective winners of the English and Caribbean Twenty20 competitions, a Stanford Superstars team formed from West Indies domestic players. On 1 November, the Stanford Superstars played England in what was expected to be the first of five fixtures in as many years with the winner claiming a US$20,000,000 in each match.
The Stanford Superstars won the first match, however no further fixtures were held as Allen Stanford was charged with fraud in 2009. Several T20 leagues started after the popularity of the 2007 ICC World Twenty20. BCCI started the Indian Premier League in 2008, which utilizes the North American sports franchise system with eight teams in major Indian markets, is in its eleventh season of competition. In September 2017, the broadcasting and digital rights for the next five years of the IPL were sold to Star India for US$2.55 billion, making it one of the world's most lucrative sports league per match. The IPL has seen a spike in its brand valuation to US$5.3 billion after the 10th edition, according to global valuation and corporate finance advisor Duff & Phelps. The Big Bash League, Bangladesh Premier League, Pakistan Super League, Caribbean Premier League started thereafter and remained popular with the fans; the Women's Big Bash League was started in 2015 by Cricket Australia, while the Kia Super League was started in England and Wales in 2016.
The first Twenty20 International match was held on 5 August 2004 between the England and New Zealand women's teams with New Zealand winning by nine runsOn 17 February 2005 Australia defeated New Zealand in the first men's full international Twenty20 match, played at Eden Park in Auckland
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of, a 20-metre pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each player. Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, by the fielding side catching the ball after it is hit by the bat, but before it hits the ground; when ten players have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a third umpire and match referee in international matches, they communicate with two off-field scorers. There are various formats ranging from Twenty20, played over a few hours with each team batting for a single innings of 20 overs, to Test matches, played over five days with unlimited overs and the teams each batting for two innings of unlimited length.
Traditionally cricketers play in all-white kit, but in limited overs cricket they wear club or team colours. In addition to the basic kit, some players wear protective gear to prevent injury caused by the ball, a hard, solid spheroid made of compressed leather with a raised sewn seam enclosing a cork core, layered with wound string. Cricket's origins are uncertain and the earliest definite reference is in south-east England in the middle of the 16th century, it spread globally with the expansion of the British Empire, leading to the first international matches in the second half of the 19th century. The game's governing body is the International Cricket Council, which has over 100 members, twelve of which are full members who play Test matches; the game's rules are held in a code called the Laws of Cricket, owned and maintained by Marylebone Cricket Club in London. The sport is followed in the Indian subcontinent, the United Kingdom, southern Africa and the West Indies, its globalisation occurring during the expansion of the British Empire and remaining popular into the 21st century.
Women's cricket, organised and played separately, has achieved international standard. The most successful side playing international cricket is Australia, having won seven One Day International trophies, including five World Cups, more than any other country, having been the top-rated Test side more than any other country. Cricket is one of many games in the "club ball" sphere that involve hitting a ball with a hand-held implement. In cricket's case, a key difference is the existence of a solid target structure, the wicket, that the batsman must defend; the cricket historian Harry Altham identified three "groups" of "club ball" games: the "hockey group", in which the ball is driven to and fro between two targets. It is believed that cricket originated as a children's game in the south-eastern counties of England, sometime during the medieval period. Although there are claims for prior dates, the earliest definite reference to cricket being played comes from evidence given at a court case in Guildford on Monday, 17 January 1597.
The case concerned ownership of a certain plot of land and the court heard the testimony of a 59-year-old coroner, John Derrick, who gave witness that: "Being a scholler in the ffree schoole of Guldeford hee and diverse of his fellows did runne and play there at creckett and other plaies". Given Derrick's age, it was about half a century earlier when he was at school and so it is certain that cricket was being played c. 1550 by boys in Surrey. The view that it was a children's game is reinforced by Randle Cotgrave's 1611 English-French dictionary in which he defined the noun "crosse" as "the crooked staff wherewith boys play at cricket" and the verb form "crosser" as "to play at cricket". One possible source for the sport's name is the Old English word "cryce" meaning a staff. In Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, he derived cricket from "cryce, Saxon, a stick". In Old French, the word "criquet" seems to have meant a kind of stick. Given the strong medieval trade connections between south-east England and the County of Flanders when the latter belonged to the Duchy of Burgundy, the name may have been derived from the Middle Dutch "krick", meaning a stick.
Another possible source is the Middle Dutch word "krickstoel", meaning a long low stool used for kneeling in church and which resembled the long low wicket with two stumps used in early cricket. According to Heiner Gillmeister, a European language expert of Bonn University, "cricket" derives from the Middle Dutch phrase for hockey, met de sen. Gillmeister has suggested that not only the name but the sport itself may be of Flemish origin. Although the main object of the game has always been to score the most runs, the early form of cricket differed from the modern game in certain key technical aspects; the ball was bowled underarm by the bowler and all along the ground towards a batsman armed with a bat that, in shape, resembled a hockey stick.
In cricket, a player's bowling average is the number of runs they have conceded per wicket taken. The lower the bowling average is, the better the bowler is performing, it is one of a number of statistics used to compare bowlers used alongside the economy rate and the strike rate to judge the overall performance of a bowler. When a bowler has taken only a small number of wickets, their bowling average can be artificially high or low, unstable, with further wickets taken or runs conceded resulting in large changes to their bowling average. Due to this, qualification restrictions are applied when determining which players have the best bowling averages. After applying these criteria, George Lohmann holds the record for the lowest average in Test cricket, having claimed 112 wickets at an average of 10.75 runs per wicket. A cricketer's bowling average is calculated by dividing the numbers of runs they have conceded by the number of wickets they have taken; the number of runs conceded by a bowler is determined as the total number of runs that the opposing side have scored while the bowler was bowling, excluding any byes, leg byes, or penalty runs.
The bowler receives credit for any wickets taken during their bowling that are either bowled, hit wicket, leg before wicket or stumped. B o w l i n g a v e r a g e = R u n s c o n c e d e d W i c k e t s t a k e n A number of flaws have been identified for the statistic, most notable among these the fact that a bowler who has taken no wickets can not have a bowling average, as dividing by zero does not give a result; the effect of this is that the bowling average can not distinguish between a bowler who has taken no wickets and conceded one run, a bowler who has taken no wickets and conceded one hundred runs. The bowling average does not tend to give a true reflection of the bowler's ability when the number of wickets they have taken is small in comparison to the number of runs they have conceded. In his paper proposing an alternative method of judging batsmen and bowlers, Paul van Staden gives an example of this: Suppose a bowler has bowled a total of 80 balls, conceded 60 runs and has taken only 2 wickets so that..
30. If the bowler takes a wicket with the next ball bowled 20. Due to this, when establishing records for bowling averages, qualification criteria are set. For Test cricket, the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack sets this as 75 wickets, while ESPNcricinfo requires 2,000 deliveries. Similar restrictions are set for one-day cricket. A number of factors other than purely the ability level of the bowler have an effect on a player's bowling average. Most significant among these are the different eras; the bowling average tables in Test and first-class cricket are headed by players who competed in the nineteenth century, a period when pitches were uncovered and some were so badly looked after that they had rocks on them. The bowlers competing in the Howa Bowl, a competition played in South African during the apartheid-era, restricted to non-white players, during which time, according to Vincent Barnes: "Most of the wickets we played on were underprepared. For me, as a bowler, it was great." Other factors which provided an advantage to bowlers in that era was the lack of significant safety equipment.
Other variations are caused by frequent matches against stronger or weaker opposition, changes in the laws of cricket and the length of matches. Due to the varying qualifying restrictions placed on the records by different statisticians, the record for the lowest career bowling average can be different from publication to publication. In Test cricket, George Lohmann is listed as having the superior average by each of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, ESPNcricinfo and CricketArchive. Though all three use different restrictions, Lohmann's average of 10.75 is considered the best. If no qualification criteria were applied at all, three players—Wilf Barber, A. N. Hornby and Bruce Murray—would tie for the best average, all having claimed just one wicket in Test matches, without conceding any runs, thus averaging zero. ESPNcricinfo list Betty Wilson as having the best Women's Test cricket average with 11.80, while CricketArchive accept Mary Spear's average of 5.78. In One Day Internationals, the varying criteria set by ESPNcricinfo and CricketArchive result in different players being listed as holding the record.
ESPNcricinfo has the stricter restriction, requiring 1,000 deliveries: by this measure, Joel Garner is the record-holder, having claimed his wickets at an average of 18.84. By CricketArchive's more relaxed requirement of 400 deliveries, John Snow leads the way, with an average of 16.57. In women's One Day International cricket, Caroline Barrs tops the CricketArchive list with an average of 9.52, but by ESPNcricinfo's stricter guidelines, the record is instead held by Gill Smith's 12.53. The record is again split for the two websites for Twenty20 International cricket. George O'Brien's average of 8.20 holds the record using those criteri
Somerset 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 by the Severn Estuary and the Bristol Channel, its coastline facing southeastern Wales, its traditional border with Gloucestershire is the River Avon. Somerset's county town is Taunton. Somerset is a rural county of rolling hills, the Blackdown Hills, Mendip Hills, Quantock Hills and Exmoor National Park, large flat expanses of land including the Somerset Levels. There is evidence of human occupation from Paleolithic times, of subsequent settlement by the Celts and Anglo-Saxons; the county played a significant part in Alfred the Great's rise to power, the English Civil War and the Monmouth Rebellion. The city of Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Somerset's name derives from Old English Sumorsǣte, short for Sumortūnsǣte, meaning "the people living at or dependent on Sumortūn"; the first known use of Somersæte is in the law code of King Ine, the Saxon King of Wessex from 688 to 726, making Somerset along with Hampshire and Dorset one of the oldest extant units of local government in the world.
An alternative suggestion is the name derives from Seo-mere-saetan meaning "settlers by the sea lakes". The Old English name is used in the motto of the county, Sumorsǣte ealle, meaning "all the people of Somerset". Adopted as the motto in 1911, the phrase is taken from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Somerset was a part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex, the phrase refers to the wholehearted support the people of Somerset gave to King Alfred in his struggle to save Wessex from Viking invaders. Somerset settlement names are Anglo-Saxon in origin, but numerous place names include Brittonic Celtic elements, such as the rivers Frome and Avon, names of hills. For example, an Anglo-Saxon charter of 682 refers to Creechborough Hill as "the hill the British call Cructan and the Anglo-Saxons call Crychbeorh"; some modern names are Brythonic in origin, such as Tarnock, while others have both Saxon and Brythonic elements, such as Pen Hill. The caves of the Mendip Hills were settled during the Palaeolithic period, contain extensive archaeological sites such as those at Cheddar Gorge.
Bones from Gough's Cave have been dated to 12,000 BC, a complete skeleton, known as Cheddar Man, dates from 7150 BC. Examples of cave art have been found in Aveline's Hole; some caves continued to be occupied until modern times, including Wookey Hole. The Somerset Levels—specifically dry points at Glastonbury and Brent Knoll— have a long history of settlement, are known to have been settled by Mesolithic hunters. Travel in the area was facilitated by the construction of one of the world's oldest known engineered roadways, the Sweet Track, which dates from 3807 BC or 3806 BC; the exact age of the henge monument at Stanton Drew stone circles is unknown, but it is believed to be Neolithic. There are numerous Iron Age hill forts, some of which, like Cadbury Castle and Ham Hill, were reoccupied in the Early Middle Ages. On the authority of the future emperor Vespasian, as part of the ongoing expansion of the Roman presence in Britain, the Second Legion Augusta invaded Somerset from the south-east in AD 47.
The county remained part of the Roman Empire until around AD 409, when the Roman occupation of Britain came to an end. A variety of Roman remains have been found, including Pagans Hill Roman temple in Chew Stoke,Low Ham Roman Villa and the Roman Baths that gave their name to the city of Bath. After the Romans left, Britain was invaded by Anglo-Saxon peoples. By AD 600 they had established control over much of what is now England, but Somerset was still in native British hands; the British held back Saxon advance into the south-west for some time longer, but by the early eighth century King Ine of Wessex had pushed the boundaries of the West Saxon kingdom far enough west to include Somerset. The Saxon royal palace in Cheddar was used several times in the 10th century to host the Witenagemot. After the Norman Conquest, the county was divided into 700 fiefs, large areas were owned by the crown, with fortifications such as Dunster Castle used for control and defence. Somerset contains HM Prison Shepton Mallet, England's oldest prison still in use prior to its closure in 2013, having opened in 1610.
In the English Civil War Somerset was Parliamentarian, with key engagements being the Sieges of Taunton and the Battle of Langport. In 1685 the Monmouth Rebellion was played out in neighbouring Dorset; the rebels landed at Lyme Regis and travelled north, hoping to capture Bristol and Bath, but they were defeated in the Battle of Sedgemoor at Westonzoyland, the last pitched battle fought in England. Arthur Wellesley took Duke of Wellington from the town of Wellington; the Industrial Revolution in the Midlands and Northern England spelled the end for most of Somerset's cottage industries. Farming continued to flourish and the Bath and West of England Society for the Encouragement of Agriculture, Arts and Commerce was founded in 1777 to improve farming methods. Despite this, 20 years John Billingsley conducted a survey of the county's agriculture in 1795 and found that agricultural methods could still be improved. Coal mining was an important industry in north Somerset during the 18th and 19th centuries, by 1800 it was prominent in Radstock.
The Somerset Coalfield reached its peak production by the 1920s, but all the pits have now been closed, the last in 1973. Most of the surface