Bishops Palace Wells
...a religious home for more than 800 years
A splendid medieval palace that has been home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for centuries and 14 acres of delightful gardens in the splendid city of Wells and adjacent to the stunning Wells Cathedral.
An English Heritage grade I listed building still used partly as a residence but mainly for public functions. Started in the early part of the 13th century by Bishop Jocelin Trotman, the first Bishop to hold the title fo bishop of Bath and Wells, it was restored, divided and an upper floor added in the 19th century.
The palace has a chapel used as a private chapel for the Bishops which was built between 1275 and 1292 and is a fine example of Early English style and has roof bosses of natural foliage and is dedicated to the Holy Trinity and St Mark. It was restored in the 19th century by Bishop George Henry Law.
The original Great Hall is now in ruins after the lead from the roof was sold in the 1550’s.
The main palace is open to the public including the chapel and the long gallery. There is a restaurant down in the medieval undercroft.
There are 14 acres of beautiful gardens including St Andrews spring from which the city takes its name, with a well house built around 1451 in the outer garden and a number of tranquil pools fed by the spring. The ruins of the Great Hall stand as a curtain to the South Lawn which was landscaped in the 19th century by Bishop George Henry Law. Visitor are free to wander the lawns and passed the flower beds, trees and shrubs.
There is an arboretum to the east planted in 1977 to commemorate the Queens Silver Jubilee which is now maturing and cast a green canopy over the wild flowers.
Exhibitions take place regularly in the purpose built Exhibition Gallery throughout the open season.
The Palace is open daily between 10:30am and 6:00 pm April to October although it is occasionally closed for private functions. Please check the palace website for details before your visit and for entry prices.
The Bishops Palace,
Tel: 01749 988111
Other attractions in the area:
East Somerset Railway
Cheddar Caves and Gorge
Abbots Fish House
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015