Located in the centre of the town, the Grade 2 listed Town Hall was built in 1733. The Town Clerk’s office is here, and it’s where the Town Council normally meets.
At various times the building has housed the town’s horse-drawn fire engine, the cells and the county court. It was also used as a market area. The building is now home to Langport Town Council, Somerset Arts Week (SAW) and RAISE . In the Undercroft of the Town Hall, you will find regular markets.
This Grade 1 listed building and Scheduled Monument, formally known as the Chantry of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a 15th century structure with 12th century origins. Over the centuries it has housed the town hall, a Sunday School, an armoury, a museum, grammar school and, since 1891, the Portcullis Lodge of Freemasons. The name ‘Hanging Chapel’ refers to its position over the road, and not, as is sometimes claimed, to the actions of Judge Jeffreys’ ‘Bloody Assize’ after the 1685 Monmouth Rebellion.
Ridgway Hall, in Stacey’s Court, Bow Street is owned by Landmark Langport CIO and is available for hire by the public, community groups and businesses. Ridgway Hall has a main hall, open plan reception and kitchen area and a smaller lounge room which is mainly used by the youth club.
The main hall is suitable for larger gatherings of up to approximately 80 people, fitness classes, community events and private parties and will happily accommodate more vigorous activities such as children’s sports and discos (with lighting) or bouncy castles with various large entrance doors for ease of access of large equipment.
The second large room incorporates an open plan kitchen which can equally be used for meetings, parties and public events. The fully fitted kitchen has an oven, fridge and freezer, microwave and numerous crockery and utensils.
To the rear of the Town Hall lies the Walter Bagehot Town Garden, which was reconstructed and given to the Town Trust by Tesco when they developed their supermarket in North Street. With seats and picnic tables it is a popular place to eat your lunch, and there’s a great view over the moor to the railway viaduct. A footpath leads from the garden to the Tesco supermarket.
The garden can be used for outdoor performances amd functions.
The garden is named after Langport’s most famous resident, the Victorian writer and economist Walter Bagehot, who was born, lived, worked and died in Langport. A large information display about Bagehot was unveiled on 25 March 2013. (And in case you were wondering, his name is pronounced ‘badge-it’.)