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