Friday 29 April 2011

From Wales to Wells - now with words!

(Captions to follow. Just dashing out the door . . . ) I noticed the above sign set into a house wall as I walked through the streets to the Cathedral. It is hard to imagine a time when Pepper (and other spices) were rare commodities and not readily available.

This is the entrance (or rather, one of them) into the Cathedral Close from the Market Place.
This gateway into the bishop's Palace is known as the Bishop's Eye.

Worked in stone, this amazing panel was worth recording. Note the dragon's? head above.

Sadly I was on a tight budget, and had to forgo the internal delights of he Bishop's Palace, but plan to go back, as my husband has never been to Wells, and very much wants to visit, so we will explore together.

Bishop Jocelyn was responsible for the building of the Bishop's Palace (and indeed the Cathedral as we see it today) in the 13th Century. He died in 1242 and was buried in the Cathedral. The gatehouse and a corner of the drawbridge are shown in the above photograph.

The Bishop's Palace is surrounded by this wonderful moat, beloved of swans and ducks. Later in the morning the sun came out, but here it was still a little overcast.

I lurked in the gatehouse to take this photograph of the inner courtyard. There are also the ruins of the Great Hall dating to the 12th C, where the last Abbot of Glastonbury (Richard Whiting) was tried and condemned. He died in 1539, having been found guilty of High Treason by Cromwell (he refused to disclose the whereabouts of the "treasure" of Glastonbury Abbey - Henry VIII's fingers were twitching to lay hands on it). About 80 years old, he was dragged to the top of the Tor and hung, drawn and quartered . . . Wells was one of the sites where the tarred quarter of his body was displayed.

Below - a corner of the Cathedral Close, and gateway. Enlarge the photograph and look at the house directly adjoining the gateway on its left. There was a massive solid lump of stone set in the roof. I am still trying to work out why it should be there - a pillar from an earlier building? Remains of a gigantic standing stone? Suggestions on a postcard, please.


  1. Glad you're safely back,love Wells and especially that little museum; hope you've taken some photos of the cathedral!

  2. Looking forward to the captions. I too love Wells as I was christened in the cathedral in 1937; my father had been a chorister there in his boyhood years. Hope you are well, and I can sympathise with the book dilemma. My collection keeps growing!

  3. Beautiful photos of Wells. I used to love visiting Wells when we lived near Bristol.