Langport’s growth was due largely to the successful river trade built up in the 17th and 18th centuries. Wharves and warehouses were built at the western end of Bow Street by the Great Bow Bridge, and also on the opposite banks, at Westover. Before 1840 the arches of the old bridge were too low for large vessels to get further up the river, so goods such as timber, stone, salt, iron and corn had to be unloaded at the wharf for onward transport to other destinations, either by smaller boats or by road. There was a storehouse on the site by 1652, and the trading company of Stuckey & Bagehot developed a highly successful business in the 19th century, based at what is now Great Bow Wharf.
The arrival of the railways heralded the decline of the river trade, and the wharves and warehouses gradually fell into disuse. The site was occupied by the Silkolene lubricants company until the mid 20th century, when the warehouse was left empty. A new development of eco-homes was built behind the warehouse in 2007, as part of which the warehouse was restored. It now houses a café, exhibition space, offices and meeting rooms, some of which are named after Stuckey and Bagehot.
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