Shepton Mallet

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Coordinates: 51°11′33″N 2°32′45″W / 51.1925°N 2.5458°W / 51.1925; -2.5458

Shepton Mallet is a small rural town and civil parish in the Mendip district of Somerset in South West England. Situated approximately 18 mi (29 km) south of Bristol and 5 mi (8.0 km) east of Wells, the town is estimated to have a population of 9,700.[1] It contains the administrative headquarters of Mendip District Council. Bowlish is a hamlet on the A371 road between Shepton Mallet and Croscombe.

The Mendip Hills lie to the north, and the River Sheppey runs through the town. Shepton Mallet lies on the route of the Fosse Way, the principal Roman road into the south west of England, and there is evidence of Roman settlement. The town contains a fine parish church and a considerable number of listed buildings. Shepton Mallet Prison is England's oldest prison still in use.

In medieval times, the wool trade was important in the town's economy, although this declined in the 18th century to be replaced by other industries such as brewing; the town continues to be a major centre for the production of cider. Shepton Mallet is the closest town to the site of the Glastonbury Festival, the largest music festival in Europe. Also nearby is the Royal Bath and West of England Society showground which hosts the Royal Bath and West Show, and other major shows and festivals.

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