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At the edge of the village of Norton Fitzwarren on the old turnpike road from Taunton to Bishop’s Lydeard stands a handsome 18th century inn of honey-gold Hamstone and red clay roof tiles The Cross Keys. Once a coaching inn on the busy turnpike this Somerset village inn is bounded by the gentle rolling Quantock Hills to the north with its picturesque hamlets and narrow country lanes while just to the south lie the Blackdown Hills an enchanting landscape of steep ridges and tranquil wooded valleys on the Devon and Somerset border.Norton Fitzwarren itself was a thriving market town in the medieval period larger than Taunton and the Grade II listed church dates back to at least 1219. Once part of the Taunton Deane Hundred the settlement of Norton Fitzwarren dates back thousands of years as evidenced by nearby Norton Hillfort a large fortified hilltop site occupied since neolithic times. Legend has it that a fearsome dragon once inhabited the hillfort and terrorised the local people until it was slain by a medieval knight Fulk itzWarin.Surrounded by the picturesque Somerset landscape The Cross Keys is a handsome country pub perfectly located in the Vale of Taunton Deane to relax and unwind after a day spent exploring the area’s sleepy hamlets and stunning countryside. It’s the ideal venue for a delicious pub lunch with seasonal specials Sunday lunches fine wines and cask ales.
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