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All Saints, Langport, Somerset

(51°2′9″N, 2°49′32″W)
ST 422 266
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Somerset
now Somerset
medieval Wells
now Bath & Wells
  • Robin Downes
  • Robin Downes
10 November 2005, 13 April 2022

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Feature Sets

The ancient parts of Langport [probably the etymology of its name is ‘long (market) town’] surround All Saints church on an originally fortified hilltop, stretch W below the hill along a causeway leading to the crossing of the major Somerset river, the Parrett. From late Saxon times the river was a major communication link enabling Langport to be a very important trading hub. It is still noticeably commercial although no longer holding the importance it had before the growth of other Somerset towns based on road and rail developments. Nowadays the principal communications are along the road more or less keeping to the high ground afforded by the Blue Lias ridge and running from Taunton in the W to Somerton and that road’s offshoot E of Langport running along the foot of the S scarp of the Blue Lias ridge and leading to the A303 London road.

To simplify geology and topography, at Langport the River Parrett cuts through the well-known WSW/ENE outcrop of the Limestone variety known as Blue Lias. The current geological description of the surface geology of the hill on which All Saints church perches categorises the stone as belonging to the Triassic type: ‘Westbury Formation & Cotham Member Mudstone & Limestone’. The church itself rests on ‘Langport Member, Blue Lias Formation & Charmouth Mudstone’.

Although the church mainly dates from the 15thc and 16thc, it houses a resited Romanesque lintel.


Langport was recorded as a fortified burh in the early 10thc. By 1066 it was held of the Crown as part of the manor of Somerton, and is recorded in Domesday Book as such. Before 1156, however, the borough had been granted to Hugh de Gundeville, (who last occurs as holding the town in 1181). From then until the early 16thc Langport was held with the manor of Curry Rivel.

For most of its history apart from much of the 20thc, All Saints Church was a subsidiary chapel to the church of St Mary in neighbouring Huish Episcopi at the very short distance of 500m down the hill to the E. Langport became a separate parish in the late 19thc but by 1979 it was again reunited with the parish of Huish Episcopi. All Saints was made redundant in 1995.


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration

  1. F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications, London 1899, III, 176.

A. P. Baggs, R. J. E. Bush, M. Tomlinson, 'Parishes: Langport', in A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 3, ed. by R. W. Dunning, London 1974, 16-38. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/som/vol3/pp16-38 [accessed 19 April 2022].

Historic England listing 1056616.

C. Keyser, Norman Tympana and Lintels, London 1927, fig. 108 (opposite p.lx) and lxiii.

M. McDermott, All Saints Church, Langport, Somerset, London 1998.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England; South and West Somerset, Harmondsworth 1958, 216.