Wells (1), Somerset Location Map
 
  The Market Square, Wells, Somerset, England   Wells, Somerset.

Wells is a small market town but because it has a cathedral it also has the status of a city and, in consequence, is the smallest city in England.

This is the market Square where there is a market held every Wednesday and Saturday. The large towers at the back on the left are part of the cathedral and the gateway on the right is the entrance to the Bishop's Palace.

We stayed in the White Hart Hotel for the duration of our visit in August 2008.

 

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  Vicars Close, Wells, Somerset, England   Wells, Somerset.

Vicars Close built in 1360, shown here, is the oldest continually inhabited medieval street in Europe.

The houses on each side originally had a living room on the ground floor and bedroom above but almost all have since been combined into larger dwellings. No 22, however, has been restored to its original form.

The close is entered through a massive arched gateway incorporating the vicars' dining room and kitchen and at the far end of the close is the former chapel.

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  The cathedral, Wells, Somerset, England   Wells, Somerset

The West Front of St. Andrew's Cathedral, started around 1230, displays one of the largest collections of medieval sculpture in the world. It is 147 feet wide and originally housed 340 figures of which about 150 were life-size or larger. Not all of the figures remain and of those that do some are so badly weathered that they cannot be identified.

The current cathedral was actually begun in 1180 and although the building of the West front started about 50 years later it took nearly 200 years to complete.

 

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  The Bishop's Palace, Wells, Somerset, England   Wells, Somerset

The Bishop's Palace was started in 1206 and the square tower on the right is the Bishop's Chapel which was added at the end of the 13th century.

Wells acquired its name from the springs, or wells, in the grounds of the Bishop's Palace from which water flows at around 40 gallons per second into the moat which surrounds the palace.

There is a restaurant in the Undercroft and there are 14 acres of really attractive grounds.

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  Cheddar Gorge, Cheddar, Somerset, England   Cheddar Gorge, Somerset.

Cheddar, which is only 8 miles from Wells, is where you will see this impressive limestone gorge - Britain's biggest. Torrents of meltwater at the end of the ice age created this gorge and it is not, as is sometimes said, a collapsed cavern.

The village of Cheddar can be seen just beyond the end of the gorge together with the Cheddar Reservoir which is fed by water piped from an underground river in Gough's Cave.

 

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