The Walter Bagehot Town Garden
To the rear of the Town Hall lies the Walter Bagehot Town Garden, which was reconstructed and given to the Town Trust by Tesco when they developed their supermarket in North Street. Its seats and picnic tables are a popular place to eat your lunch, and there’s a great view over the moor to the railway viaduct. A footpath leads from the garden to the Tesco supermarket.
The garden is named after Langport’s most famous resident, the Victorian writer and economist Walter Bagehot, who was born, lived, worked and died in Langport. A large information display about Bagehot was unveiled on 25 March 2103. (And in case you were wondering, his name is pronounced ‘badge-it’.)
The board tells the story of Bagehot’s life and work in Langport, and his national and international significance. He was a banker in the local Stuckey’s Bank, editor of The Economist, and a writer on the constitution whose works are still taught in universities today. There is even an asteroid named after him! You can read more on the board…
Also in the garden is a restored drainage pump, which is now dedicated to the man who was instrumental in saving it from obscurity and installing it in the garden, Chris Osborne, a former Chairman of the Town Council. It was his background in engineering that first brought him to Langport, and he was personally involved in saving Langport from flooding in the early 1960s. An information board tells the story of ‘the pump that saved Langport’, and how Chris saved the pump.
There is also a clay oven (now in need of some tlc) which was used to great effect during the Langport Festival of 2012. You can read more about it here.