Anthony Salvin took charge of the extensive restoration of the choir. He also had a manor house built at Wookey, near Wells.  Since the 11th century the church has had a chapter of secular clergy, like the cathedrals of Chichester, Hereford, Lincoln and York.  In 1909–1910 an organ was built by Harrison & Harrison of Durham, with the best parts of the old organ retained. The brass lectern in the Lady Chapel dates from 1661 and has a moulded stand and foliate crest. The font in the cathedral's south transept is from this church and is the oldest part of the present building. A well-known figure is the corbel of the dragon-slaying monk in the chapter house stair. , The panels in the chapel of St Katherine are attributed to Arnold of Nijmegen and date from about 1520. Dating from 1180, the Cathedral Church of St Andrew, Wells, is a wonderful example of an English Gothic cathedral: clean, light and airy. Wells Cathedral: inspiring pilgrims and visitors for nearly 850 years Explore . , There has been a choir of boy choristers at Wells since 909. The late 20th century saw an extensive restoration programme, particularly of the west front.  It has been called "unquestionably one of the most beautiful" and "most poetic" of English cathedrals. The particular character of this Early English interior is dependent on the proportions of the simple lancet arches. , Twenty-seven of the carvings depict animals: rabbits, dogs, a puppy biting a cat, a ewe feeding a lamb, monkeys, lions, bats, and the Early Christian motif of two doves drinking from a ewer. At its centre the vault is supported by a remarkable structure of angled piers.  The walls are lined with deep niches framed by narrow shafts with capitals and annulets like those of the portal. , The greater part of the stone carving of Wells Cathedral comprises foliate capitals in the stiff-leaf style. The column is surrounded by shafts of Purbeck Marble, rising to a single continuous rippling foliate capital of stylised oak leaves and acorns, quite different in character from the Early English stiff-leaf foliage. Pure Early English Gothic of the late 12th and early 13th centuries, Wells features deeply sculpted moldings and has retained much of the original glass. On the green is the 12th-century Old Deanery, largely rebuilt in the late 15th century by Dean Gunthorpe and remodelled by Dean Bathurst in the late 17th century. Its repertoire ranges from the choral music of the Renaissance to recently commissioned works. , The first bishop of Wells was Athelm (909), who crowned King Æthelstan. Pure Early English Gothic of the late 12th and early 13th centuries, Wells features deeply sculpted moldings and has retained much of the original glass. W. A. www.wellscathedral.org.uk See my other Evensong film which I filmed as part of the congregation and …  The tracery of the windows is in the style known as Reticulated Gothic, having a pattern of a single repeated shape, in this case a trefoil, giving a "reticulate" or net-like appearance. Books of particular interest include Pliny's Natural History printed in 1472, an Atlas of the World by Abraham Ortelius, printed in 1606, and a set of the works by Aristotle that once belonged to Erasmus. , The misericords date from 1330 to 1340. The entrance is a steeply arched portal framed by rich mouldings of eight shafts with stiff-leaf capitals each encircled by an annular moulding at middle height. In the 14th century the tower was given a timber and lead spire which burnt down in 1439. As was usual, the quire and east end was built first (though later extended), and the nave was completed by 1229, by Bishop Jocelyn, with simple, rather noble, pointed arches and a relatively cool, austere quality. The long central aisle is oriented east-west, with the entrance at the east.  Jocelin died at Wells on 19 November 1242 and was buried in the choir of the cathedral; the memorial brass on his tomb is one of the earliest brasses in England. To avoid potential data charges from your carrier, we recommend making sure your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network before downloading. Lock was also the builder of the north porch, to his own design. Historian John Harvey sees it as Europe's first truly Gothic structure, breaking the last constraints of Romanesque.  The restoration of the façade revealed much paint adhering to the statues and their niches, indicating that it had once been brightly coloured.. , Wells Cathedral has a square east end to the choir, as is usual, and like several other cathedrals including Salisbury and Lichfield, has a lower Lady Chapel projecting at the eastern end, begun by Thomas Witney in about 1310, possibly before the chapter house was completed. Those on the left are figurative, containing images representing the martyrdom of St Edmund the Martyr.  The east end retains much ancient stained glass. Nave, Lincoln Cathedral.  Alec Clifton-Taylor describes it as "outstanding even in Somerset, a county famed for the splendour of its church towers". Two windows in the south choir aisle are from 1310–20. He donated the nave's great west window at a cost of £140. A cat playing with a mouse may represent the Devil snaring a human soul. In medieval times the clergy assembled in the church eight times daily for the canonical hours. ... Wells Cathedral. Five are clearly narrative, such as the Fox and the Geese, and the story of Alexander the Great being raised to Heaven by griffins. Like Canterbury, Lincoln and Salisbury cathedrals, it has the distinctly English arrangement of two transepts, with the body of the church divided into distinct parts: nave, choir, and retro-choir, beyond which extends the Lady Chapel. Salisbury Cathedral. , The cathedral is thought to have been conceived and commenced in about 1175 by Reginald Fitz Jocelin, who died in 1191.  Strainer arches, sometimes described as scissor arches, were inserted by master mason William Joy to brace and stabilise the piers as a unit. The Cathedral is once again open to all visit... Wells Cathedral: Helping you to feel safe. At the west end is the nave with the altar and prayer benches. , The west front is 100 feet (30 m) high and 147 feet (45 m) wide, and built of Inferior Oolite of the Middle Jurassic period, which came from the Doulting Stone Quarry, about 8 miles (13 km) to the east.  Concurrent with this work, in 1329–45 Joy made alterations and extensions to the choir, joining it to the Lady Chapel with the retrochoir, the latter in the Flowing Decorated style. The Golden Window at the east end of the choir depicting the. Athelm and his nephew Dunstan both became Archbishops of Canterbury. The sole unifying elements are the roundels on each side of the pictorial subject, which all show elaborately carved foliage, in most cases formal and stylised in the later Decorated manner, but with several examples of naturalistic foliage, including roses and bindweed. These include a man with toothache and a series of four scenes depicting the "Wages of Sin" in a narrative of fruit stealers who creep into an orchard and are then beaten by the farmer. 19 reviews of Wells Cathedral "Wells is England's smallest city, with a population of around 10,000, but at its heart contains one of the best preserved collections of mediaeval ecclesiastical buildings in Europe.  In the transepts and towards the crossing in the nave the capitals have many small figurative carvings among the leaves. Pre-booked services ; Public services The boys and girls sing alternately with the Vicars Choral and are educated at Wells Cathedral School. Salisbury Cathedral Nave. One of several misericords showing contorted figures, The altar and modern furnishings in the nave, The outer dial and quarter-jacks on the north transept, From the Market Place, Penniless Porch (left) leads to Cathedral Green, and, The cathedral seen beyond the wall and moat of the Bishop's Palace.  A horizontal course runs around the west front dividing the architectural storeys at this point. The western facade was completed in the mid-13th century. The delay may have been a result of inaction by Pandulf Verraccio, a Roman ecclesiastical politician, papal legate to England and Bishop of Norwich, who was asked by the Pope to investigate the situation but did not respond. For photos of this route, see Glastonbury Water Way. , The cathedral also has a chamber organ, built by the Scottish organ-builders Lammermuir, which is normally kept in the choir but which can be moved around for services and concerts. To the south of the nave is a large cloister, unusual in that the northern range, that adjacent the cathedral, was never built. Vaulted Ceiling, Wells Cathedral. According to their website, ‘Occasionally the cathedral, or parts of it, may also need to close or only offer restricted access for a service, special event, filming or general maintenance.’ The neighborhood. , Construction of the cathedral began in about 1175, to the design of an unknown architect.  The oldest surviving glass dates from the late 13th century and is in two windows on the west side of the chapter-house staircase. He donated a set of hangings for the choir of the cathedral. [a] In 909 the seat of the diocese was moved from Sherborne to Wells. The Scissor arches and the rood cross in the Nave, Wells Cathedral, Wells, Somerset, England, United Kingdom, Europe England In the chapter house, the carvings of the 51 stalls include numerous small heads of great variety, many of them smiling or laughing. As a synthesis of form, architectural decoration and figurative sculpture it is considered to be unsurpassed in Britain. The Scissor Arch inside Wells Cathedral in Somerset; Wells Cathedral Scissor arches 'Scissor arch / arches’ were constructed 1338-48 to support tower / spire by master mason William Joy in Wells Cathedral, UK. The whole of the soaring interior of Wells Cathedral could not be contained within the frame. Following the Norman Conquest, John de Villula moved the seat of the bishop from Wells to Bath in 1090. This early 14th-century eastern window was heavily restored in the 19th century. , In 2010 the official clock-winder retired and was replaced by an electric mechanism..  The current bishop of Bath and Wells is Peter Hancock, who was installed in a service in the Cathedral on 7 June 2014. The centrepiece of the city is the Cathedral itself.  The earlier books in the Chained Library number 2,800 volumes and give an indication of the variety of interests of the members of the cathedral chapter from the Reformation until 1800. The vault of the choir has a unique form perhaps patterned on wooden roofs. Shop for wells cathedral art from the world's greatest living artists. Other large figures, including that of Christ, occupy the gable.  It is octagonal, with its ribbed vault supported on a central column. Its governing body, the chapter, is made up of five clerical canons (the dean, the precentor, the canon chancellor, the canon treasurer, and the archdeacon of Wells) and four lay members: the administrator (chief executive), Keeper of the Fabric, Overseer of the Estate and the chairman of the cathedral shop and catering boards. Peter Stanley Lyons was Master of Choristers at Wells Cathedral, and Director of Music at Wells Cathedral School in 1954–1960. As the greater part of the services was recited while standing, many monastic or collegiate churches fitted stalls whose seats tipped up to provide a ledge for the monk or cleric to lean against.  According to the architectural historian Alec Clifton-Taylor, it is "one of the great sights of England". The Vicars Choral generally perform with the choristers, except on Wednesdays, when they sing alone, allowing them to present a different repertoire, in particular plainsong. Explanations for their construction at these two secular cathedrals range from the processional to the aesthetic. The Scissor arches and the rood cross in the Nave, Wells Cathedral, Wells, Somerset, England, United Kingdom, Europe Great Britain, England, Somerset, Wells, Wells Cathedral, Nave in Cathedral Arch / arched arch windows inside nave / looking up to the vault of the nave of Wells Cathedral (vaulted ceiling). He was one of seven bishops imprisoned for refusing to sign King James II's "Declaration of Indulgence", which would have enabled Catholics to resume positions of political power, but popular support led to their acquittal. A single figure stands in one of two later niches high on the northern tower. Currently there are 18 boy choristers and a similar number of girl choristers, aged from eight to fourteen. The style, with its simple lancet arches without tracery and convoluted mouldings, is known as Early English Gothic. , To the south of the cathedral is the moated Bishop's Palace, begun about 1210 by Jocelin of Wells but dating mostly from the 1230s. In 1197 Reginald's successor, Savaric FitzGeldewin, with the approval of Pope Celestine III, officially moved his seat to Glastonbury Abbey.  It was designed in the new style with pointed arches, later known as Gothic, which was introduced at about the same time at Canterbury Cathedral. Wells Cathedral dates mainly from the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries; the nave and transept are masterpieces of Early English architecture.  Although it is clear from its size that from the outset, the church was planned to be the cathedral of the diocese, the seat of the bishop moved between Wells and the abbeys of Glastonbury and Bath, before settling at Wells. Stiff-leaf foliage is highly abstract. Wells Cathedral is open daily and we invite all visitors to join any services and events (which include a regular series of free lunchtime concerts and organ recitals).  With around 160 voices, the society gives three concerts a year under the direction of Matthew Owens, Organist and Master of the Choristers at the Cathedral. The 13th-century west front by Thomas Norreys. The focus of the collection is predominantly theology, but there are volumes on science, medicine, exploration, and languages. , The east window of the choir is a broad, seven-light window dating from 1340–1345. Many of the figures are life-sized or larger.  The capitals themselves are remarkable for the vitality of the stylised foliage, in a style known as "stiff-leaf". , From about 1192 to 1230, Adam Lock, the earliest architect at Wells for whom a name is known, continued the transept and nave in the same manner as his predecessor. , The clock has its original medieval face. Circular route from St Cuthbert’s Church – Croscombe – Wells Cathedral – 1 day, 7 miles – burgundy line on Google Map below.  He likens the arrangement and iconography to the Te Deum.. , An account of the damage to the cathedral during the Monmouth Rebellion is included in Arthur Conan Doyle's historical novel "Micah Clarke". , The undercroft and chapter house were built by unknown architects between 1275 and 1310, the undercroft in the Early English and the chapter house in the Geometric style of Decorated Gothic architecture. , In section, the cathedral has the usual arrangement of a large church: a central nave with an aisle on each side, separated by two arcades.  In the north transept chapel is a 17th-century oak screen with columns, formerly used in cow stalls, with artisan Ionic capitals and cornice, set forward over the chest tomb of John Godelee. , The cathedral served to inspire Ken Follett's novel The Pillars of the Earth and with a modified central tower, featured as the fictional Kingsbridge Cathedral at the end of the 2010 television adaptation of that novel. England Photograph: thyme/Getty Images 1. , The Vicars Choral currently number twelve men, of whom three are choral scholars. Date: 9 July 2014: Source: Own work: Author: Diliff: Permission (Reusing this file) Summary: In using this image or any subsequent derivatives of it, you are required to release the image under the same license. , At the lowest level of the façade is a plain base, contrasting with and stabilising the ornate arcades that rise above it. (And it's close enough to Bath to make an easy day out by car.)  Between the gables of the niches are quatrefoils that contain a series of narratives from the Bible, with the Old Testament stories to the south, above the prophets and patriarchs, and those from the New Testament to the north. There are no vertical lines linking the three stages, as the shafts supporting the vault rise above the triforium.  The figures and many of the architectural details were painted in bright colours, and the colouring scheme has been deduced from flakes of paint still adhering to some surfaces. The walls of the chapter house have fifty-one niches for seating. Wells Cathedral, The Nave. , The exterior of Wells Cathedral presents a relatively tidy and harmonious appearance since the greater part of the building was executed in a single style, Early English Gothic. The elevation is in three stages, arcade, triforium gallery and clerestory.  In 1848 came a complete rearrangement of the choir furniture, and 61 of the misericords were reused in the restructured stalls. , Each year about 150,000 people attend services and another 300,000 visit as tourists. Frederick H. Evans (British, 1853 - 1943) 14.9 × 10.5 cm (5 7/8 × 4 1/8 in.) The Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew, commonly known as Wells Cathedral, is an Anglican cathedral in Wells, Somerset. , Above the basement rise two storeys, ornamented with quatrefoils and niches originally holding about four hundred statues, with three hundred surviving until the mid-20th century. The canons complained that they had borne the cost of the rebuilding and ordered the prebendary clerics to pay for their own stalls. A smaller organ, probably for the Lady Chapel, was installed in 1415. Some emerge from their graves with joy and hope, and others with despair. No longer the dean's residence, it is used as diocesan offices. Wells Cathedral Nave. , West fronts in general take three distinct forms: those that follow the elevation of the nave and aisles, those that have paired towers at the end of each aisle, framing the nave, and those that screen the form of the building. , To the north of the cathedral and connected to it by the Chain Gate is Vicars' Close, a street planned in the 14th century and claimed to be the oldest purely residential street in Europe, with all but one of its original buildings intact. There are daily services of Matins, Holy Communion and Choral Evensong, as well as major celebrations of Christian festivals such as Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and saints' days. On acquiring cathedral status, in common with other such cathedrals, it had four chief clergy, the dean, precentor, chancellor and sacristan, who were responsible for the spiritual and material care of the cathedral. It was repaired in 1813, and the central light was largely replaced to a design by Archibald Keightley Nicholson between 1925 and 1931. He defined the theme as "a calendar for unlearned men" illustrating the doctrines and history of the Christian faith, its introduction to Britain and its protection by princes and bishops.  The nave is 67 feet (20 m) in height, very low compared to the Gothic cathedrals of France. The Cathedral The first abbey church on the site dates to 705 AD. When he refused to surrender it, Barrett ran him through with a sword and he died six weeks later, on 10 October 1646. The image of the "Pelican in her Piety" (believed to feed her young on her own blood) is a recognised symbol for Christ's love for the Church.  Misericords typically have a carved figurative bracket beneath the ledge framed by two floral motifs known, in heraldic manner, as "supporters". The bishop responsible for the construction was Jocelyn de Wells, one of the bishops at the signing of Magna Carta. Astronomical Clock (yellow bit in middle is showing phase of the moon) The Chapter House is a place to lie down and be awestruck by the beauty of the circular ceiling vaulting, perhaps whisper to your companion across this ancient speaking room. He oversaw the building of Vicars' Close and the Vicars' Hall, to give the men who were employed to sing in the choir a secure place to live and dine, away from the town and its temptations. This horizontal emphasis is counteracted by six strongly projecting buttresses defining the cross-sectional divisions of nave, aisles and towers, and are highly decorated, each having canopied niches containing the largest statues on the façade. The cathedral lies to the east side of Wells city centre, adjoining the Bishop's Palace to the south, the graveyard and gardens to the east, and a large grassy area to the west, below the most remarkable part of the exterior, the west front. The Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew, commonly known as Wells Cathedral, is an Anglicancathedralin Wells, Somerset. On entering the cathedral, look down the nave and you will see the 'signature' view of Wells; the extraordinary scissor arches that support the crossing. , In December 2010 Wells Cathedral Choir was rated by Gramophone magazine as "the highest ranking choir with children in the world". These routes were devised by Chris Sheldrake, and Guy Hayward, co-author of ‘ Britain’s Pilgrim Places ‘. Building began about 1175 at the east end with the choir. wells cathedral, wells, england, 12th-15th c. scissor arches, 1338. the nave culminates in the great, bracing scissor arches of the crossing, added when an attempted heightening of the central tower threatened the stability of the church. There are three heads: a bishop in a mitre, an angel, and a woman wearing a veil over hair arranged in coils over each ear. , Employed staff include the organist and master of choristers, head virger, archivist, librarian and the staff of the shop, café and restaurant. It is one of the earliest lierne vaults in England. If your kid gets baptized in Wells Cathedral, it's done using the same font as has been used for 1,300 years. The Lady Chapel seems to have begun as a free-standing structure in the form of an elongated octagon, but the plan changed and it was linked to the eastern end by extension of the choir and construction of a second transept or retrochoir east of the choir, probably by William Joy. According to Cockerell, the side of the façade that is to the south of the central door is the more sacred and the scheme is divided accordingly. England High Gothic 1220-1258 Spire: 1320-1330.  Unlike these churches, Wells has clustered piers rather than columns and has a gallery of identical pointed arches rather than the typically Romanesque form of paired openings. It is a two-storeyed structure with the main chamber raised on an undercroft.  A new statue of Jesus was carved for the central niche, but the two side niches now contain cherubim. Wooden galleries installed in the 16th century were removed and the stalls were given stone canopies and placed further back within the line of the arcade. The windows have tracery of a regular net-like pattern and contain ancient stained glass. , The west front rises in three distinct stages, each clearly defined by a horizontal course.  The subjects, chosen either by the woodcarver, or perhaps by the one paying for the stall, have no overriding theme.  In the 14th century, the central piers of the crossing were found to be sinking under the weight of the crossing tower which had been damaged by an earthquake in the previous century. , The cathedral provided scenes for the 2019–2020 television series The Spanish Princess. Wells Cathedral, Across the West End of Nave. Somerset. The Chapel of St Martin is a memorial to every Somerset man who fell in World War I. The methods selected were those devised by Eve and Robert Baker a damaged figure of the stalls. Has complex mouldings with sprouting foliage in the form of knights in armour new stalls were ordered when the refurbished! 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