The Hanging Chapel
|Chantry Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary|
|Native name The Hanging Chapel|
|Location||Langport, Somerset, England|
|Designated||17 April 1959|
|Designated||3 July 2000|
The Hanging Chapel (more formally known as the Chantry Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary) in Langport, Somerset, England is a 13th-century archway, bearing a Perpendicular building known as the hanging chapel. It has been designated as a Grade I listed building, and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Excavation in the 1990s showed that the gateway and chapel had been built on the site of a Saxon bank around the town. The archway is all that remains of the east gate of the defended town. The archway which goes over the former main road takes the form of a pointed barrel vault.
It was given by the corporation to the trustees of Thomas Gillett's free grammar school, and underwent repairs in 1706 and 1716 to house the town's grammar school, which had been founded in 1675. The grammar school used the premises until 1790, and the chapel was then used as a Sunday school from 1818 to 1827.
It then became the Quekett museum, named after John Thomas Quekett (1815–61) the histologist, and master of Langport Grammar School, holding Edward Quekett's collection of stuffed birds from 1834 to 1875. It has also been an armoury.
In 1998 long scars, 10 millimetres (0.39 in) to 15 millimetres (0.59 in) deep, were left in the archway when it was hit by a lorry, although no structural damage occurred.
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