Wells, UK (May 12)

Wells is often said to be the smallest city in England but it is actually second smallest to London (the actual city — the Mayor of the London and the mayor of the City of London are two different people). City status was conferred in medieval times because of Wells Cathedral (youse got a cathedral then youse a city in England – weird).

Considering we had just visited Canterbury, it was surprising how impressive this cathedral was. It is an Anglican cathedral dedicated to St. Andrew and holds as mother church to the Diocese of Bath and Wells. It was built as a Roman Catholic cathedral beginning in about 1175 to replace an earlier church on the site from around 705. It’s Gothic from its foundation and is considered to be the first truly Gothic cathedral in the world, lacking the Romanesque work that survives in many cathedrals.

The scissor arches were an unusual solution, in 1338, to added stress when the tower was heightened and a spire added.

This is one of several beautiful altar cloths displayed behind glass.

These three pictures are of a medieval clock (one of the oldest in the world). On the quarter hour the knights joust and the bell is rung. These figures are REALLY high up – you can barely see the knights on the shelf above the clock.

This is the Vicars Close which was built over 650 years ago to house the Vicars Choral and continues to be inhabited by their successors today. The oldest intact medieval street in Europe still used for its original purpose. BTW, a close is just a dead end street – as in closed at one end (we had to ask).

One thought on “Wells, UK (May 12)

  1. Been in a lot of cathedrals, and this is the first scissor arch I’ve ever seen. Quite beautiful!

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