Langport Town Guide
...the heart of the Somerset Levels
Langport together with the local villages in the surrounding area, which are all connected by country lanes and droves, all make up the picturesque area called the Somerset Levels.
Langport consists of two parts, one on the hill and one by the river. The first settlement was on the hill as it was a natural defensible position and covered the main river crossing. Later the riverside settlement developed to benefit from the trade possibilities that river transport offered.
The Royal charter of 1562 by Elizabeth I gave Langport three annual fairs and made it an important town in the area although only one fair continues now.
In 1645 the battle of Langport too place on nearby Sedgemoor where the last stand of the Royalist army was defeated by the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War.
The Somerset Levels and Moors are a sparsely populated area of wetland which contains 32 sites of specific scientific interest and of these 12 are special protection areas. As a result of the wetlands there is a rich biodiversity of both national and international importance. This makes for a stay over in Langport to be a varied and interesting sightseeing trip for the nature lover or for anyone just looking for a rural getaway with plenty to see and do.
The town sits on the east bank of the river Parrett close to where it joins the river Yeo. Within the town there are many features worthy of note. The Tudor House is an 18th century house which is now a grade II listed building thanks to the repair work of the Somerset Buildings Preservation Trust. Similarly the Warehouse in Great Bow Yard is late Victorian industrial architecture and was also restored.
The church of All Saints, a 15th century church although largely rebuilt in 1833, contains some fine 15th century glass windows and also a perpendicular building that crosses the road on a 13th century archway called the Hanging Chapel.
Things to see and do
Somerset levels– plenty of walking and sightseeing for the nature lover.
Langport walking festival– held over a weekend in early June come and join the fun and exercise. There are various routes and lengths to allow for all walkers from marathon walkers to weekend walkers and families. People from far and wide join in so it is a great chance to meet some new friends and enjoy the area, the local pubs, small attractions and cottage industries along the way.
Langport and River Parrett visitor Centre- Find out about the River Parrett Trail with a hands on experience in the 'Discovery Room', or enjoy the displays and exhibits explaining the fascinating story of historic Langport, local industries, wildlife, etc. Cycle hire and sales, cycle routes, circular walks. Free admission. Langport, Somerset, TA10 9RB 01458 250350
Fishing– There is an abundance of fishing opportunities in the area on the River Parrett and also the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal.
Local places of interest
Muchelney Abbey– 2 miles to the south. Once an important Benedictine House and partly demolished in 1538 by Henry VIII it still offers plenty to inspire the history lover and casual visitor alike. It is owned and run by English Heritage.
Priests House– a National Trust medieval hall house built in 1308 for the priest of Muchelney Abbey. Admission by guided tour.
Stembridge Tower Mill– the last surviving thatched windmill in England built in 1822. Owned by the National Trust and open between mid March and mid September.
Somerton– the ancient Royal town of Wessex
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015