In 2010 a major conservation programme was undertaken on the Jesse Tree window.  There is a large projecting porch on the north side of the nave forming an entry into the cathedral.  John Davies has been Dean of Wells since 2016. , Its Gothic architecture is mostly in Early English style of the late 12th – early 13th centuries, lacking the Romanesque work that survives in many other cathedrals. , By the middle of the 19th century, a major restoration programme was needed. 2.9 miles, - , At the lowest level of the façade is a plain base, contrasting with and stabilising the ornate arcades that rise above it. The carvings are arranged in five bands. We recommend booking Wells Cathedral tours ahead of time to secure your spot. Building began about 1175 at the east end with the choir. , The earliest remains of a building on the site are of a late-Roman mausoleum, identified during excavations in 1980. , The building programme, begun by Reginald Fitz Jocelin, Bishop in the 12th century, continued under Jocelin of Wells, who was a canon from 1200, then bishop from 1206. In 1197 Reginald's successor, Savaric FitzGeldewin, with the approval of Pope Celestine III, officially moved his seat to Glastonbury Abbey. It is one of the earliest lierne vaults in England. 5.3 miles (Museum), Chalice Well and Gardens - Today at the Cathedral. No longer the dean's residence, it is used as diocesan offices.  Malcolm Archer was the appointed Organist and Master of the Choristers in 1996–2004. , The monuments and tombs include Gisa, bishop, †1088; William of Bitton, bishop, †1274; William of March, bishop, †1302; John Droxford, †1329; John Godelee, †1333; John Middleton, died †1350; Ralph of Shrewsbury, died †; John Harewell, bishop, †1386; William Bykonyll, †c.  Since the 11th century the church has had a chapter of secular clergy, like the cathedrals of Chichester, Hereford, Lincoln and York. What hotels are near Wells Cathedral? Wells Cathedral Wells.  As at Chichester, there is no northern range to the cloisters. The exterior clock is a relative newcomer, built 70 years after the interior clock. The image of the "Pelican in her Piety" (believed to feed her young on her own blood) is a recognised symbol for Christ's love for the Church. The Greek Taverna (653) 4 min ££ - £££ Mediterranean. Website +44 1749 674483. The path to the north porch is lined by four sculptures in Purbeck stone, each by Mary Spencer Watson, representing the symbols of the Evangelists. 2 0 0. The triforium is separated from the arcade by a single horizontal string course that runs unbroken the length of the nave. The Palace is regularly open to visitors, but even when it isn't you can usually stroll around the moat and watch the swans swimming as they have done for centuries. The focus of the collection is predominantly theology, but there are volumes on science, medicine, exploration, and languages. It shows the Earth at the centre, with the Sun and Moon revolving around it.  Many of the subjects carry traditional interpretations. To the right of the central tower is the choir with the Lady Chapel projecting beyond it, and the chapter house, extreme right. , In 2010 the official clock-winder retired and was replaced by an electric mechanism.. The Lady Chapel was probably designed by Thomas Witney, (1310–19). If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. The font in the cathedral's south transept is from this church and is the oldest part of the present building. The Good Earth (371) 6 min ££ - £££ Cafe. Following Creighton's appointment as bishop, the post of dean went to Ralph Bathurst, who had been chaplain to the king, president of Trinity College, Oxford and fellow of the Royal Society. He donated a set of hangings for the choir of the cathedral. Norreys' original design called for towers topped by spires rising on each side of the screen, but these were never built, perhaps due to lack of funds or the death of the designer. The mechanism was built between 1386-1392, and while the clock face is original, the mechanism was replaced in the Victorian period and preserved in the Science Museum in London, where it continues to function. , Employed staff include the organist and master of choristers, head virger, archivist, librarian and the staff of the shop, café and restaurant. The effect is simply jaw-dropping, and almost completely overwhelms the three west doorways, which have been compared to a trio of rabbit holes set in a mountainside. The facade of the the medieval Wells Cathedral built in the Early English Gothic style in 1175, Wells Somerset, England ID: EJH988 (RF) City of Wells, England.  In the north transept chapel is a 17th-century oak screen with columns, formerly used in cow stalls, with artisan Ionic capitals and cornice, set forward over the chest tomb of John Godelee. The third stages of the flanking towers were both built in the Perpendicular style of the late 14th century, to the design of William Wynford; that on the north-west was not begun until about 1425. , The cloisters were built in the late 13th century and largely rebuilt from 1430 to 1508 and have wide openings divided by mullions and transoms, and tracery in the Perpendicular Gothic style. , The cathedral also has a chamber organ, built by the Scottish organ-builders Lammermuir, which is normally kept in the choir but which can be moved around for services and concerts. 5 4 1. High quality Wells Cathedral inspired Art Prints by independent artists and designers from around the world. If you approach the cathedral from the market place, through Penniless Porch, don't immediately turn right to the cathedral entrance. , Since the 13th century, Wells Cathedral has been the seat of the Bishop of Bath and Wells. The effect is simply astounding; even more so when you consider that the statues would originally have been colourfully painted. Christ and the Virgin Mary are also represented by now headless figures in a Coronation of the Virgin in a niche above the central portal. They were omitted from several other secular cathedrals but were built here and at Chichester. Find the perfect wells cathedral stock photo. , The 15th-century cloisters have many small bosses ornamenting the vault.  The bracing arches are known as "St Andrew's Cross arches", in a reference to the patron saint of the cathedral. When he refused to surrender it, Barrett ran him through with a sword and he died six weeks later, on 10 October 1646. , The Lady Chapel has five windows, of which four date from 1325–30 and include images of a local saint, Dunstan. The round font in the south transept is from the former Saxon cathedral and has an arcade of round-headed arches, on a round plinth.  Here the carving of the foliage is varied and vigorous, the springing leaves and deep undercuts casting shadows that contrast with the surface of the piers. Shop unique cards for Birthdays, Anniversaries, Congratulations, and more.  It is also a venue for musical events such as an annual concert by the Somerset Chamber Choir. On entering the cathedral, look down the nave and you will see the 'signature' view of Wells; the extraordinary scissor arches that support the crossing. There is a sculpture of the Virgin and Christ Child above the west door. Wells Cathedral is an Anglican church in Wells, Somerset, England. 1.8 miles (Countryside), Burcott Mill - It has been serviced by the same company ever since. After you've visited the cathedral, spare a few minutes to wander around the north side, onto Cathedral Green (that's the name of the street, not the actual green).  In 1909–1910 an organ was built by Harrison & Harrison of Durham, with the best parts of the old organ retained. These include a man with toothache and a series of four scenes depicting the "Wages of Sin" in a narrative of fruit stealers who creep into an orchard and are then beaten by the farmer. There must have been an impressive building here during the Saxon and Norman periods, but the cathedral we see today was begun in 1176. The Wells Cathedral Clock (a 14th Century astronomical clock installed in 1380s), Somerset, England; Wells Cathedral clock made in 1390, the second oldest working clock in the world with the oldest original dials, Wells England; Jack Blandifers, a figure who strikes a bell - part of The Wells cathedral clock - or Wells Clock, Wells, Somerset UK The liveliness contrasts with the formality of the moulded shafts and the smooth unbroken areas of ashlar masonry in the spandrels. Other large figures, including that of Christ, occupy the gable. These bells are now hung in the south-west tower, although some were originally hung in the central tower.  While Wells survived the Dissolution of the Monasteries better than the cathedrals of monastic foundation, the abolition of chantries in 1547 resulted in a reduction in its income.  The tower was later braced internally with arches by William Joy.  In the transepts and towards the crossing in the nave the capitals have many small figurative carvings among the leaves.  Despite its lack of spires or pinnacles, the architectural historian Banister Fletcher describes it as "the highest development in English Gothic of this type of façade.". Two windows in the south choir aisle are from 1310–20. Also known as 'Doulting Stone' this beautiful yellow rock was obtained from quarries around Doulting, near Shepton Mallet.  Entry is free, but visitors are encouraged to make a donation towards the annual running costs of around £1.5 million in 2015. The choir has made many recordings and toured frequently, including performances in Beijing and Hong Kong in 2012. Many mouldings look almost like sculptures. A smaller organ, probably for the Lady Chapel, was installed in 1415.  The piers have attached shafts of marble, and, with the vaults that they support, create a vista of great complexity from every angle. All orders are custom made and most ship worldwide within 24 hours. , In the north transept is Wells Cathedral clock, an astronomical clock from about 1325 believed to be by Peter Lightfoot, a monk of Glastonbury. , The Early English west front was commenced around 1230 by Thomas Norreys, with building and sculpture continuing for thirty years. Balance was restored in the 13th century when the see became shared between the two places.  The lowest range of niches each contained a standing figure, of which all but four figures on the west front, two on each side, have been destroyed. It is regularly used for authentic accompaniment of Tudor and baroque music. The chapter house is amazing, with its central pier sprouting 32 vaulting ribs, but the staircase to reach it is equally notable; it curves and undulates like flowing water. Situated directly beside the cathedral, the moated palace has been the seat of the Bishop of Bath and Wells since before the Norman Conquest. The elevation is in three stages, arcade, triforium gallery and clerestory. Set in the medieval heart of England’s smallest city, and an easy drive from Bristol, Bath and Cardiff, Wells is the earliest English Cathedral to be built in the Gothic style. The brass lectern in the Lady Chapel dates from 1661 and has a moulded stand and foliate crest. , The Lady Chapel has a vault of complex and somewhat irregular pattern, as the chapel is not symmetrical about both axes. There are no vertical lines linking the three stages, as the shafts supporting the vault rise above the triforium. Similar Images .  The chapter is advised by specialists such as architects, archaeologists and financial analysts. No need to register, buy now! These exquisitely decorative arches are pierced by wide circular holes, creating a diagonal cross said to be modelled after the saltire cross of St Andrew, to whom the church is dedicated. , Wells Cathedral has one of the finest sets of misericords in Britain. He defined the theme as "a calendar for unlearned men" illustrating the doctrines and history of the Christian faith, its introduction to Britain and its protection by princes and bishops. Look carefully at the carved heads decorating the stalls; each is unique. 1 Wells Cathedral reviews. Those on the left are figurative, containing images representing the martyrdom of St Edmund the Martyr. 79,991 were here. Its broad west front and large central tower are dominant features. The west front at Wells has the paired-tower form, unusual in that the towers do not indicate the location of the aisles, but extend well beyond them, screening the dimensions and profile of the building. The quadripartite vault of the nave was decorated in the 19th century. , An account of the damage to the cathedral during the Monmouth Rebellion is included in Arthur Conan Doyle's historical novel "Micah Clarke". More have survived on the northern and eastern sides of the north tower. About Wells Cathedral  The uppermost niches of the gable contained the figure of Christ the Judge at the centre, with the Virgin Mary on his right and John the Baptist on his left. Home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for over 800 years, this stunning medieval palace is open for all to enjoy. To the south and east of the cathedral is the Bishop's Garden and reflecting pool. , The large triple lancet to the nave west end was glazed at the expense of Dean Creighton at a cost of £140 in 1664. Wells Cathedral School, which was established to educate these choirboys, dates its foundation to this point. Wells became a see in 909 AD, but in a tedious power struggle, the see was removed to Bath in 1090. , The Vicars Choral currently number twelve men, of whom three are choral scholars. , To the north of the cathedral and connected to it by the Chain Gate is Vicars' Close, a street planned in the 14th century and claimed to be the oldest purely residential street in Europe, with all but one of its original buildings intact. One gives entrance to the Bishop's Palace grounds.  According to the architectural historian Alec Clifton-Taylor, it is "one of the great sights of England". Address: Cathedral Green,  The stained glass is currently under restoration, with a programme underway to conserve the large 14th-century Jesse Tree window at the eastern terminal of the choir. The cathedral from the south east. A Sea Of Steps -- Wells Cathedral (image 1 of 3); England, 1903 Photographs Platinum print The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection, gift of The Annenberg Foundation and Carol Vernon and Robert Turbin (M.2008.40.736) Photography; 1903date QS:P571,+1903-00-00T00:00:00Z/9;  Concurrent with this work, in 1329–45 Joy made alterations and extensions to the choir, joining it to the Lady Chapel with the retrochoir, the latter in the Flowing Decorated style. , The bells at Wells Cathedral are the heaviest ring of ten bells in the world, the tenor bell (the 10th and largest), known as Harewell, weighing 56.25 long hundredweight (2,858 kg). The diocese covers the county of Somerset and a small area of Dorset.The Episcopal seat of the Bishop of Bath and Wells is located in the Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew in the city of Wells in Somerset.  The subjects, chosen either by the woodcarver, or perhaps by the one paying for the stall, have no overriding theme.  The eastern end of the choir was extended and the whole upper part elaborated in the second quarter of the 14th century by William Joy.  The oldest surviving glass dates from the late 13th century and is in two windows on the west side of the chapter-house staircase. The dean, Walter Raleigh, a nephew of the explorer Walter Raleigh, was placed under house arrest after the fall of Bridgwater to the Parliamentarians in 1645, first in the rectory at Chedzoy and then in the deanery at Wells. The moat and north west tower of the Bishop’s Palace walls with Wells Cathedral in the background. , Elizabeth I gave the chapter and the Vicars Choral a new charter in 1591, creating a new governing body, consisting of a dean and eight residentiary canons with control over the church estates and authority over its affairs, but no longer entitled to elect the dean (that entitlement thenceforward belonged ultimately to the Crown). The other, tucked away in the extreme corner of the market square, leads to the cathedral. Awarded a Quality Food and Drink Accolade by VisitEngland in 2017.  Although it is clear from its size that from the outset, the church was planned to be the cathedral of the diocese, the seat of the bishop moved between Wells and the abbeys of Glastonbury and Bath, before settling at Wells. A hundred yards along you pass under an arch and to your left is Vicar's Close, built in the 14th century for vicars serving the cathedral. Adam Locke was master mason from about 1192 until 1230. They are found ornamenting the piers of the nave, choir and transepts. The 19th century saw the restoration of the building and its fittings. He was assisted by Bartholomew Quarter, who is documented from 1343. Wells Cathedral, Wells: See 46 unbiased reviews of Wells Cathedral, rated 4.5 of 5 on Tripadvisor and ranked #19 of 67 restaurants in Wells. There are daily services of Matins, Holy Communion and Choral Evensong, as well as major celebrations of Christian festivals such as Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and saints' days. , The greater part of the stone carving of Wells Cathedral comprises foliate capitals in the stiff-leaf style. Wells, , The cathedral served to inspire Ken Follett's novel The Pillars of the Earth and with a modified central tower, featured as the fictional Kingsbridge Cathedral at the end of the 2010 television adaptation of that novel.  Externally it is simple and rectangular with plain side walls. The particular character of this Early English interior is dependent on the proportions of the simple lancet arches. In contrast to the bold projections and undercutting of the earlier work, it has a rippling form and is clearly identifiable as grapevine. Family Fun . Burcott Holiday Cottages This sequence shows miscreants breaking into an orchard to steal fruit, being caught by the farmer, and beaten mercilessly. Almshouses Poor Housing. Wells Cathedral: inspiring pilgrims and visitors for nearly 850 years Explore .  In the next zone are the taller figures of the twelve apostles, some, such as John, Andrew and Bartholomew, clearly identifiable by the attributes that they carry. The internal elevation of the nave is in three levels: arcade, triforium gallery and clerestory. It was substantially reconstructed in the early 14th century during the remodelling of the east end, necessitating the internal bracing of the piers a decade or so later. Fountain Water Flow. Music at Wells. Wells Campgrounds; Business Hotels Wells; Romantic Hotels in Wells; Family Hotels Wells; Wells Green Hotels; By Hotel Class. The first great phase of building lasted until about 1240, during which the nave, north porch, choir, and transepts were built, in addition to the astonishing west front. The 1620 organ was destroyed by parliamentary soldiers in 1643. The Vicars Choral generally perform with the choristers, except on Wednesdays, when they sing alone, allowing them to present a different repertoire, in particular plainsong. and some are engagingly humorous, with comical expressions. , The west front is 100 feet (30 m) high and 147 feet (45 m) wide, and built of Inferior Oolite of the Middle Jurassic period, which came from the Doulting Stone Quarry, about 8 miles (13 km) to the east.  The east window was restored to a semblance of its original appearance by Thomas Willement in 1845.  Jocelin died at Wells on 19 November 1242 and was buried in the choir of the cathedral; the memorial brass on his tomb is one of the earliest brasses in England. Connect with us on Facebook. Later in the 12th century, local 'Chilcote Stone', a local variation of the Lower Jurassic Downside Stone, was used as a replacement when the Doulting quarries were under … Currently there are 18 boy choristers and a similar number of girl choristers, aged from eight to fourteen.  Its Early English front with 300 sculpted figures, is seen as a "supreme triumph of the combined plastic arts in England". In the 14th century the tower was given a timber and lead spire which burnt down in 1439. View along the cloister showing the lierne vault. Some quite obviously represent important people; church officials or patrons perhaps.  Immediately beneath the upper course are a series of small niches containing dynamic sculptures of the dead coming forth from their tombs on the Day of Judgement. 5 miles (Historic Church), Glastonbury Tor - On entering the cathedral, look down the nave and you will see the 'signature' view of Wells; the extraordinary scissor arches that support the crossing. The entire front, from ground level to the highest pinnacle, seems to overflow with statues, peering out from ornate niches, almost jostling for space.  The chapter's earlier collection was destroyed during the Reformation, so that the present library consists chiefly of early printed books, rather than medieval manuscripts.  Work was halted between 1209 and 1213 when King John was excommunicated and Jocelin was in exile, but the main parts of the church were complete by the time of the dedication by Jocelin in 1239. The throne was restored by Anthony Salvin around 1850. It is the second oldest surviving clock in England after the Salisbury Cathedral clock.  The earlier books in the Chained Library number 2,800 volumes and give an indication of the variety of interests of the members of the cathedral chapter from the Reformation until 1800.
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