Sunday, 8 May 2016

In and Around Wells Cathedral 'Part 2'

The city of Wells, Somerset, is named after St. Andrew's Well, a sacred spring that bubbles up from the ground near the Bishop's Palace The Palace is encircled by substantial ramparts and a moat built around 1340 when defences of this kind were a symbol of status rather than protection. The palace has been home to Bishops of the Diocese of Bath and Wells for over 800 years. Part of the residence is still used by the current Bishop. 
 Entrance is through the fortified gatehouse via a drawbridge

Joscelin Trotman, the bishop responsible for the extraordinary West Front of the Cathedral, had this central part of the Palace built in 1206 using the skilled Cathedral stone masons. It is possible to visit the Palace and see some of it's treasures together with various exhibitions held throughout the year
Retracing our steps
back through the Penniless Porch gives access to the Cathedral Green, a large lawned area, and the entrance doors to the Cathedral.
On entering your attention is immediately drawn to the massive 'scissor arch' installed in 1338 to support the structural problems caused by increasing the size of the tower. It reveals the ingenious skill of the medieval stone masons whose creativity saved the building
The elegant ceiling to the nave with its understated decoration
This graceful flight of steps leads to the Chapter House and Vicar's Close, the medieval street shown in the previous post
Last two images courtesy "Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0"
The Chapter House with it's elegant central column and vaulted ceiling
The tower seen from the inner quadrangle
surrounded by elegant, peaceful, Cloisters with their fine Perpendicular tracery

The West Front lit up at night

38 comments:

  1. Once again wonderful photos - all very interesting.

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  2. Oh my goodness, Well cathedral is a beautiful place. First we see a splendid moat - I find it hard to believe that there are still moats in existence! The architecture is gorgeous, from the clever and stunning scissor arch to the elegant ceilings, and then the beautiful West Front at night, with all the statues bathed in golden light. It must be a treat to visit Rosemary and thank you for sharing.

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    1. There are still quite a few properties with moats here Patricia, but the one in Wells is particularly fine. It is a lovely place to visit as theere is so much there of architectural interest - glad you enjoyed seeing the photos

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  3. Really stunning. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. How splendid, all of it. That scissor arch made me gasp.

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    1. The scissor arch was a wonderful creation to support the cathedrals structure. It actually has quite contemporary appearance even though it is almost 700 years old.

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  5. That scissor arch is really amazing! An engineering marvel.

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    1. It has done a magnificent job over all of the centuries

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  6. Those photos are spectacular! What a beautiful building. Thank you for sharing it.

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    1. Thank you Catherine - I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing it

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  7. I have so enjoyed your posts on Wells. The Cathedral truly is a beautiful building. The Palace is remarkable, too. It is good to see that it hasn't become a ruin and that part of it at least is still used by the bishops.

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    1. It is all in magnificent order, and the moat is very impressive as it is on such a large scale.

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  8. Amazing pictures Rosemary! So magnificent and impressive and I love how old and new live in a constant symbiosis in our every day life. A reminder of our history to understand here and now and our future. Thank you so very much for a beautiful and inspiring post sweet Rosemary.

    Take care.♥

    Charlie
    xx

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    1. Dear Charlie - I wonder how many of our buildings today will last for a 1000 years like these, and what would the medieval stonemasons think if they could return today and see their buildings still standing proudly?
      Thank you for your kind comment and visit, and it is always a delight to hear from you Charlie♡

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  9. Hello Rosemary, You were right--Wells Cathedral need at least two postings. The engineering acumen that went into the reinforcement of the building is amazing, even more so in this age when smaller and lighter buildings routinely collapse.

    My favorite photo here is of that grand staircase, which looks more like a movie set than anything that could have been build for real use.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - Wells is a wonderful little town also filled with quaint old inns and an ancient market too.

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  10. Rosemary, what a glorious place. I can imagine sitting there in wonderment at such beauty.

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    1. We could really have done with more than two days in Wells as there is so much architecture to see and enjoy.

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  11. Dearest Rosemary,
    What a cultural riches you have in that area! LOVE the architecture and what those walls could tell us about life stories.
    The worn off stone steps on the stairs... ages of footsteps that caused this.
    Thanks for sharing this.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - I was struck too by the worn stone steps and also thought about all the humans who had passed that way for over 1000 years.
      I am really pleased that you enjoyed seeing the architecture of Wells

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  12. Wonderful photos Rosemary. The chapterhouse with the magnificent vaulted ceiling and the elegant central pillar, that flight of ancient steps, the cloisters catch my imagination (thinking of those who have gone before present day visitors and, indeed, designed and built this wonderful cathedral and palace).

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    1. Wells is a wonderfully evocative little city to visit.

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  13. Dear Rosemary - In the previous post, I was awed by the magnificence and beauty of Wells Cathedral. This is another my favorite Medieval architecture for its form, color composition, materials, and awe inspiring essence. At a glance, it looked simple but your close-up photos made the intricate carvings clear. This cathedral is one of the places I really would like to visit in person.

    In this post, the walled and moated Bishop’s Palace reminded me of Japanese castles which were built on the plain to show off the power of the lord different from the castles on the mountain top for fortification. Scissor Arch is so impressive.

    Yoko

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    1. Thank you very much Yoko for your comprehensive and interesting comments on both of these posts. I am delighted that you enjoyed seeing them and enjoyed all of the intricate architectural details. It is wonderful that these buildings have survived in such great order for so long. The Scissor Arch was a unique solution to a difficult problem for the medieval stonemasons which for over 700 years has stood the test of time.

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  14. I like the understated decoration. Buildings of that majesty do not need adornment, the stonework speaks for itself. Those beautiful worn steps, magnificent.

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    1. Yes, I agree with you Jessica - the ceiling decoration is lovely - so delicate, finely detailed, and yet captures your attention immediately on entering.

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  15. What a wonderful place and building. I love all these stones, round form and water - and I love your photos. They are so beautiful. The church is amazing inside and the steps are just incredibly spectacular… I cannot say any more because my english runs out.. :D

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    1. Dear Orvokki - thank you - your English is perfect, and your comment is so generous and kind. I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing the buildings in this small city.

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  16. As usual the photos are are stunning. I especially like the staircase....you can see the wear that has evolved after so many years of use.

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    1. Thank you Janey - so pleased that you have now arrived home safe and sound from your trip. Hope you really enjoyed France.

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  17. Superb images!
    So nice to see, and I love the architecture and even the stairs are fantastic.

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    1. Thank you - so pleased that you enjoyed seeing this lovely architecture

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  18. I enjoyed your posts on Wells. We stopped there for a short break to visit the market on the way home last Autumn. Thank you for showing us what we should have been looking at. We shall have allow more time to visit here next time. Sarah x

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    1. Last time I visited I also missed so much of what was on offer - Wells really needs a two day stay.

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  19. Great series!
    Congrats, Rosemary!

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment

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