Battle of Langport 1645


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
South Somerset (District Authority)
High Ham
South Somerset (District Authority)
Huish Episcopi
South Somerset (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 44127 27594



The Civil Wars of the mid seventeenth century were a reflection of profound political, constitutional, religious and social conflict which was expressed in a struggle for control between King and Parliament.

Under pressure from the victorious New Model Army after Naseby, a Royalist army under General George Goring looked to retreat from its position at Langport to relative safety in Bridgewater. The Royalists attempted a delaying action positioning themselves on high ground outside Langport.

The Parliamentarians advanced, attacking the Royalists guarding the crossing point of the valley. Once taken, the crossing allowed the Parliamentarian cavalry to charge on General Goring forces. The Royalists crumbled and fled for safety, having failed to delay the New Model Army to any great extent.

The defeat at Langport was more damaging to the Royalists' morale than to their numbers. Langport soon fell, allowing Parliament to battle up the Royalist supporters in the south west. The New Model Army continued its successful campaign.

The landscape of the battle was one of irregular hedged enclosures with pasture in the wet valley bottom and open arable fields on the slopes above. Not until 1799 was the land divided into the regular, straight-sided fields of today. A high railway embankment bisects the battlefield but does not affect the crucial locations.

AMENITY FEATURES Good viewpoints of the battlefield from both Royalist and Parliamentarian perspectives are possible from public highways and footpaths but waymarking is currently poor. Wagg bridge, the focal point of the battle, lies on a busy road and great caution is needed. The bridge itself was rebuilt earlier this century on the site of the earlier bridge.

OTHER DESIGNATIONS Much of the battlefield has been identified for landscape improvement in the Local Plan (policy C15). Wagg Meadow is a Site of Ecological Value (C13).

KEY SOURCES Bulstrode, Sir R, 1721, Memoirs and reflections upon the reign and government of King Charles the First and King Charles the Second Norris, H, 1894, 'The Battle of Langport', in Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society, XL

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment to the Selected Sources on 10/04/2019


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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English Heritage Battlefield Report: Battle of Langport 1645 (Published 1995), accessed 10th April 2019 from


This battlefield is registered within the Register of Historic Battlefields by Historic England for its special historic interest.

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