Housesitting in the UK, Life of adventure

The Smallest City in England – WELLS

Our day out and our first stop did not start in Wells.

In fact, our first stop was not far from there, approximately 11 miles, in a smallish village named Axbridge. This is where we caught up with Debs from DebsWorld and the Mathematician.

Deb & Grant meet up in Axbridge

It was a pleasure to spend time with them both. Catching up with fellow bloggers, is well worth the effort to do, as it makes the connection so much more “real” and future dialogue easier. Fills in a few more pieces of the jigsaw. So, I do hope to catch up with more of my blogging friends as we travel around.

More on Axbridge in another post, let me get back to chatting about our visit to Wells.

On arrival is the usual search for a carpark. Lucky for us we were able to find a carpark without too much bother. This small task is often an obstacle to enjoying a walk around many of the UK’s villages, town, and cities. Visiting many places in England are unfortunately associated with paying an outrageous price for parking. Though Cleo the dog, was not at all concerned about the cost of parking, she was more concerned about how long it was taking us to start off our walk.

Which was only a small walk away from being in the midst of many others who thought a walk around Wells on a lovely summers day would be a treat. Cleo was in heaven with an assortment of new smells and people to shower her with attention.

After a few stops to say hello to folk along the way, we then headed in the direction of the Cathedral, quite hard not to miss it.

The Cathedral

Wells Cathedral

Wow, was the first word uttered by us both, as the full enormity of the building became apparent as we turned the corner.

This Cathedral dates back to 1175 to 1490 with the original on-site during 705. It is moderately sized compared to other medieval Cathedrals around England. Not as large as Lincoln or York which we have visited and more significant than the Oxford and Carlisle ones which we have had the pleasure of viewing.

Wells Cathedral 2

The dominant feature is its massive central tower; is a notable landmark around the Somerset countryside. Wells has been noted on more than one occasion as being without question one of the most beautiful and poetic English Cathedrals.

Wells differs from most other English Medieval Cathedrals, which date from the slightly earlier Norman period. One notable historian, John Harvey considers this to the first genuinely Gothic structure in Europe. With the entirety of the architecture being Gothic and mostly in a single style, the Early English Gothic of the late 12th and early 13th centuries.

One thing that does stand out for me when visiting Cathedrals is the clocks. This particular one was installed in 1390 and is one of the oldest medieval clock faces in the world. Just above it is the models of jousting knights go round in tournament on the quarter-hour.

Inside the Cathedral

On many occasions, once inside a Cathedral whose exterior is incredible the entering is often a letdown. This one was the exception.

For more information: Wells Cathedral

Vicars Close

As we were leaving another sight caught our attention, two identical rows of houses.

These are called the “Vicars Choral.” Housing the people who have sung in the Cathedral since about 1140.

In 1348 they were incorporated as a College of Vicars, and the houses themselves were completed by 1363. The chimneys were raised and crowned in about 1470. The original windows replaced in the Georgian era.

The buildings are Grade I-listed. According to English Heritage, this is an outstanding early planned street, in which the overall form of the buildings remains substantially unchanged.

For more information: Vicars Close – Wikipedia

The Bishops Palace

The spectacular Bishop’s Palace at Wells in Somerset could easily be mistaken for a medieval castle. In fact, it virtually became that. The palace is adjacent to Wells Cathedral and has been the home of the Bishops of the Diocese of Bath and Wells for 800 years.

The Bishopโ€™s Palace dates from the early thirteenth century when Bishop Jocelin Trotman, the first Bishop to hold the title Bishop of Bath and Wells, received a crown licence to build a residence and deer park on land to the south of the Cathedral of St Andrew.

Then in the 14th century a successor, Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury, had an uneasy relationship with the citizens of Wells partly because of his imposition of taxes, and apparently felt at risk. He decided to surround his palace with crenellated walls, a moat filled by local springs, and a drawbridge. Parts of the buildings are still used by the current bishop, although the palace is now mainly used for public functions and as a tourist attraction.

For more information: The Bishops Palace

All in all, it was a day out for three of us that turned out brilliantly and not overly planned. The best kind at the end of an enjoyable day.




38 thoughts on “The Smallest City in England – WELLS”

    1. Hi Lyn, not off hand. Might be best to go through Trusted Housesitters or Aussie housesitters. If we were Australia we would’ve put up our hands!


    1. Thanks Wendy, I never tire of the history we get to experience over here. Mind blowing at times that we are walking on paths that someone else did hundreds of years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a beautiful Cathedral and as you said the interior is stunning! Beautiful photography Suzanne, looks like another lovely place for you to visit and another for my list. Great photo of Debs and The Mathematician too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lovely ๐Ÿ˜Š it is beautiful. Yes, I thought it was a good photo of them both. Thanks for all support in sharing my posts Sam, it’s very much appreciated X๐ŸŒป

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a lovely place. I managed to miss the Bishops’ Palace when I was there. That might be a good reason to go back, once the summer holidays are over.

    Debs looks in fine fettle. Her time in the UK must be doing her good ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. April, it would be a good day out from where you are to Wells. It’s been a brilliant UK summer and we couldn’t have had a better one! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Parking is a bugbear the world over, no? My major gripe in Britain is the number of councils that have gone over to App driven parking. What if you donโ€™t have the correct change or a mobile i.e when I arrive from France. Hey ho. I guess I have to accept Iโ€™m a minority luddite in my own country of birth. But whatever the cost, I would visit Wells any day. Itโ€™s a lovely City and the Cathedral is one of my favourites. Your article do both great justice ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s been grand catching up with my blogging friends. You will have to do a return trip, Susie.


  4. Hi Suz, it was nice to read your post about Wells, glad we mentioned it as a place to visit!! We always stop by for a walk around, itโ€™s just one of those places worth a return visit and the cathedral is pretty impressive. I love the Vicarโ€™s Close and Bishopโ€™s Palace too. Lovely photos of a beaut day out. Great memories xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I absolutely love Wells – it’s stunning and never tire of visiting.

    My partner’s mother was born and raised in Wells before moving to Street and really dislikes Wells – I think she’s mad.

    Parking and fees is one really big problem in the UK, especially around the seaside. I remember when we visited Dorset in Reg. We were slammed with 2 massive parking fines in less than 2 weeks because we didn’t read properly/signs were ambiguous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ciao Nilla, yes we both enjoyed the atmosphere of Wells. Even with the abundance of tourists wandering about. Must be hard sometimes for many of the locals to get on with their daily chores!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh but I do, after numerous stares at people with my arms crossed ๐Ÿ™‚ No, not quite just bucket loads of patience and a quick snap does it most times. I want to remember the place not some random face in front of the Cathedral or whatever it is.

          Liked by 1 person

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