Langport’s most famous (and probably the most reproduced) landmark, the Grade 1 listed Hanging Chapel, forms an arch over The Hill, one of the earliest roads in Langport. It was built on the site of a defensive Saxon bank that circled the town. Its origins are thought to lie in the 13th century, and it was mentioned in the 14th century as the Guild Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It has been much altered, but the present building probably dates from the 15th century. Its name was in use at least a century before the Monmouth Rebellion, when several men were rumoured to have been hanged there.
It was used as the Town Hall for a brief period at the end of the 16th century. For most of the 18th century it was Langport Grammar School. It has also been home to a museum, an arms store and a Sunday School. Since 1891 it has been leased by the Portcullis Lodge of the Freemasons, who still use it today.
Early in the 1990s a footpath was made alongside the Chapel. Before that people and cars all had to go through the arch on the road, which must have been quite dangerous. Recently traffic bollards have been installed as a safety measure to prevent damage to the structure by vehicles that are too large to go through the arch.
Click on an image to enlarge it and see the caption