Cricket had probably reached the county of Somerset by the end of the seventeenth century and the earliest definite reference to it is a match in July 1751 that was played as a tribute to the late Frederick, Prince of Wales, who had been a cricket patron. Various local teams operated in Somerset over the next hundred years but there was no real attempt at creating a county team until the 1860s when a "Gentlemen of Somerset" team was formed. In 1875, this team went to Sidmouth for a game against a similar Devon team and, having won this game, they held a meeting and decided to form Somerset County Cricket Club there and then. This is believed to be the only time a county club was founded in a place outside its own county boundaries.
Somerset's early history is chequered by doubts about the team's status. They are now reckoned to have been first-class for four seasons from 1882 to 1885, and then second-class from 1896 to 1890. In 1891, Somerset joined the County Cricket Championship, which began as an official competition in 1890, and have been first-class since then. They have not yet won the County Championship but have finished second six times in the 21st century. They have won seven limited overs tournaments and one Twenty20 Cup.
The club's home base, since 1882, is the County Cricket Ground, Taunton. Among famous Somerset players have been Len Braund, Sammy Woods, Jack White, Harold Gimblett, Bill Alley, Viv Richards, Joel Garner, Ian Botham, Andy Caddick and Marcus Trescothick.