Taunton is home to Musgrove Park Hospital and 40 Commando, Royal Marines as well as the Somerset County Cricket Club's County Cricket Ground. In Central Taunton the West Country Carnival is held yearly. The carnival has the Taunton flower show that has taken place in Vivary Park since 1866.
Before 904 a monastery was established there. The manor was owned by the bishops of Winchester and received its first charter from King Edward in 904 due to their "men of Taunto." This charter freed them from royal and county tribute. Taunton became a borough that had many privileges some time before the Doomsday Survey and had a population of about 1,500. From 1209 to 1311 the Taunton Manor that was under the ownership of the Bishop of Winchester increase 2 ½ times.
A skirmish happened in Taunton between Thomas de Courtenay, 13th Earl of Devon and Baron Bonville during the Wars of the Roses. In 1471 Queen Margaret and her troops came through Taunton and met defeat at the Battle of Tewkesbury. The provost of Penryn on The Parade was murdered in 1497 by a Cornish rebel army in Taunton also that year Henry VII cross examined Perkin Warbeck about its rebellion that had ended in Taunton.
During the Civil War from 1642 to 1645 Taunton Castle changed hands many times. Robert Black defended the castle form July of 1644 to July of 1645 during the Siege of Taunton. During this time the many medieval and Tudor's buildings in town were destroyed. In 1662 when the war was over the keep was destroyed leaving only the base.
The fairs and markets during medieval times sold wool cloth known as Tauntons that the town made. In the 18th Century silk weaving took hold after the decline in the wool industry. The Grand Western Canal reached Taunton in 1839 which aided trade with the south and in 1842 the installation of the railway boosted trade even more. Taunton Deane Council started plans in 2006 to create Project Taunton that is designed to regenerate areas of the town with the goal of making it a central business hub for the southwest.
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