Langport is a small town and civil parish in Somerset, England, situated five miles west of Somerton in the South Somerset district. The town has a population of 1,067. The parish includes the hamlet of Bowdens. Langport lies on the east bank of the river Parrett, near the point where that river debouches from the hills on to the Somerset Levels through which it flows to the Bristol Channel. It was previously also known as Langport Eastover, with the part on the western bank being Langport Westover, now known just as Westover.
Langport (old forms are "Langeberga", "Langeport") owed its origin to its defensible position on a hill, and its growth to its facilities for trade on the chief river of Somerset. Its name looks like Anglo-Saxon for "long port", but it may be the place that occurs in old Welsh sources as "Llongborth" = "Ship-port", where the Battle of Llongborth happened. It was a town before the Anglo-Saxons came and was important during the Roman occupation. It was a royal borough in Saxon times, and in 1086 had 34 resident burgesses.
The first charter, given by Elizabeth I in 1562, recognized that Langport was a borough of great antiquity, which had enjoyed considerable privileges, being governed by a portreeve. It was incorporated by James I in 1617, but the corporation was abolished in 1883. Langport was represented in parliament in 1304 and 1306.
The charter of 1562 granted three annual fairs to Langport, on the 28th of June, the 11th of November and the second Monday in Lent. One fair only is now held, on the 3rd of September, which is a horse and cattle fair. A Saturday market was held under the grant of 1562, but in the 19th century the market day was changed to Tuesday.
On July 10th, 1645, the Battle of Langport was fought here, in which the last effective Royalist field army was destroyed and the Parliamentary victory in the Civil War became all but inevitable.
Around 1840 the Westport Canal was built which joined the river at Langport.
The main street leads up a slope from the river to the fine Perpendicular church of All Saints, which is a grade I listed building. The octagonal tower, which is in three stages, dates from the 15th century but the top section was rebuilt in 1833. It has a number of interesting gargoyles known locally as ‘hunky punks’. The church is no longer used for services and is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust who have carried out extensive rebuilding work. Its congregation has been merged with nearby St. Mary's. Close to All Saints, an archway crosses the road, bearing a Perpendicular building known as the hanging chapel. After serving this purpose it housed first the grammar-school (founded 1675), then the Quekett museum, named after John Thomas Quekett (1815-1861) the histologist, a native of the town, whose father was master of the school. The hanging chapel afterwards became a masonic hall. Not far distant is St. Mary's, in Huish Episcopi, with one of the finest of the Perpendicular towers for which Somerset is noted.