Glorious Wells


Yesterday we spent a fabulous day visiting Wells in Somerset.

We couldn’t have asked for better weather. After around two hours traveling we arrived and promptly set about finding somewhere to have a bite to eat and a cuppa. We settled on The Crown at Wells and Antons Bistro and opted to eat in The Penns Bar.

Originally a separate inn, it was from an upper window here that William Penn, a Quaker who later gave his name to Pennsylvania USA (and our bar), preached to a crowd below in 1685.

After lunch we started our exploration in earnest. After browsing some of the market stalls and doing a bit of window shopping we passed through the archway and headed towards the Bishops Palace and Moat.

The weather was so good that many folks had brought picnics and were sitting enjoying the sunshine. Not something we are able to do as often as we would like. Of course nobody was allowed on the bowling green quality lawns immediately in front of the palace itself.

Before traveling down to Wells I had printed of the Wells Moat Walk map which guides you around the moat and makes sure you don’t miss the main sights. Each of the following views are from that walk.

The Tithe Barn, unfortunately, was surrounded by parked cars which was a shame. Its a lovely building and deserves to be seen without the automotive graffiti.

As we strolled along the moat we availed ourselves of a deliciously smooth 99 apiece. This really was just like a summers day. We had to keep reminding ourselves that it was still only the third week of March.

Wherever you are in the city the magnificent cathedral dominates the skyline. But there are plenty of other interesting sights.

Adjacent to the cathedral can be found the Vicars Close which has it’s own unique style and, having no through road, forms a quiet secluded area away from the general hustle and bustle.

The cathedral itself has many interesting feature both outside as well as in. Close to the entrance to the Vicars Close, on the cathedral wall you can see the Wells Clock, said to be the second oldest clock mechanism in Britain.

Inside, the cathedral has many beautiful architectural features. In the main body of the building is the scissor arch. An impressive feature but they serve a very real purpose. In the past a high tower topped by a lead covered wooden spire had been constructed but as the foundations were not stable large cracks began to appear in the tower structure. The scissor arch is an engineering solution to the problem.

Leading up to the Chapter House is a remarkable flight of stairs

The Chapter House, an octagonal structure, is a beautiful room constructed over the undercroft is where the Canons met to conduct cathedral business.

By far the most spectacular feature of the cathedral is the West Front which features some 300 statues.

After touring the cathedral we were ready to return home. On route we stopped, at the White Horse Ampfield,  for dinner.

A fine and tasty end to a great day.

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