Sketch from 1792
The site at Lady Margaret's Medieval Hall dates back to the 11th century. Founded by the French knight William de Tracey, known to have been one of the assassins of Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury.
Formerly St Margaret's Chapel, her origins range from Leper hospital to Almshouses, forming a group with the cottages next door on the same site.
In the early 1500's the existing structures were seriously deteriorating. Thomas Chard, Abbot of Forde, restored the buildings, enlarging the leper house and governor's quarters and in 1530, the present chapel was erected.
By the late 18th century the need for a leper hospital no longer existed and the complex was used to house poor, elderly people as Almshouses. In 1807, four new homes were built with the side wings on the original central cottage on the north side of the road being added. The governor of these Almshouses was required to read prayers to the residents twice a week in the chapel.
Regular services were held in St Margaret's until very recently. Now privately owned along with the cottages, the former chapel now registered for civil wedding ceremonies, retains many of it's original features including the fully functioning bell, should you wish to ring in good wishes to the new bride and groom!