The Hanging Chapel

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Chantry Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Native name The Hanging Chapel
Hanging chapel Langport.jpg
Location Langport, Somerset, England
Coordinates 51°02′11″N 2°49′30″W / 51.03639°N 2.82500°W / 51.03639; -2.82500Coordinates: 51°02′11″N 2°49′30″W / 51.03639°N 2.82500°W / 51.03639; -2.82500
Built 13th century
Listed Building – Grade I
Designated 17 April 1959[1]
Reference no. 263183
Designated 3 July 2000[2]
Reference no. 33713
The Hanging Chapel is located in Somerset
The Hanging Chapel
Location of Chantry Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Somerset

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,[1] and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.[2]

Excavation in the 1990s showed that the gateway and chapel had been built on the site of a Saxon bank around the town.[3] 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.[4]

After the Reformation, having served as the chapel of the tradesmen's guild of Langport who also formed the Corporation, it became the Town Hall in 1570,[2] and courthouse.[5]

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.[6]

It then became the Quekett museum, named after John Thomas Quekett (1815–61) the histologist, and master of Langport Grammar School,[5] holding Edward Quekett's collection of stuffed birds from 1834 to 1875.[7] It has also been an armoury.[8]

The hanging chapel became a masonic hall in 1891,[1] and is currently leased by the town council to the Portcullis Lodge.[9]

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.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Hanging Chapel". Images of England. Retrieved 2006-11-06. 
  2. ^ a b c d "The Hanging Chapel and a medieval gateway at The Hill". Somerset Historic Environment Record. Somerset County Council. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  3. ^ "Evaluation (1992) and excavation (1996), Hanging chapel, Langport". Somerset Historic Environment Record. Somerset County Council. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  4. ^ "The history of Langport". Langport.org. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  5. ^ a b "Langport". Victoria County History: A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 3 (1974), pp. 16-38. British History Online. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  6. ^ "Gate, Bridge and Causeway Chapels: Chapter 3". English Heritage. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  7. ^ Byford, Enid (1987). Somerset Curiosities. Dovecote Press. pp. 68–69. ISBN 0946159483. 
  8. ^ "Langport and River Parret education pack" (PDF). Langport and River Parret visitor centre. p. 9. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  9. ^ "Council services". Langport Town Council. Retrieved 2009-07-07.