Langport

Langport is an ancient market town and noted for the distinctive houses on Bow Street and the 'Hanging Chapel' gatehouse of the old town walls with a chapel above. Langport is situated at a bridging point on the River Parrett and the Romans saw the use of this waterway to the sea and built a causeway.

The main road, Bow Street - bur straet meaning 'the (Roman) villa on the (Roman) road' now occupies the same route. It is thought that only the fronts of the buildings along Bow Street have the benefit of the foundation of the Roman causeway - which is why all the buildings along this street lean gently backwards.

The hill rising above the River Parrett made a strategically defensive position from which to control the river crossing and the Saxons certainly had a fortress here. Langport prospered throughout the Roman period as their barges transported goods to the sea, but its use as an inland port declined during the Saxon period due mainly to the Parrett's silting problems.

When its river-borne trade finally failed completely in the late 18th Century, Langport found fame and prosperity by local merchants - the Stuckeys - becoming bankers. The English Civil War's last battle in the region took place nearby in 1645. Nowadays the riverbank is a prime attraction, for fishing, canoeing, walks and picnics.