St Andrew's Cathedral was begun at the end of the 12th century and was consecrated in 1239 after the first phase of building. It is reached from the market place via Penniless Porch (about 1450), a gateway where the poor used to beg for alms from churchgoers. Work continued on the cathedral between 1290 and 1340 with the addition of the central tower to the transept and the Lady Chapel in the chancel.
Wells Cathedral Map
Official site: www.wellscathedral.org.uk
Address: West Cloister, The Close, Wells BA5 2UE, England
Opening hours: Apr 1 to Sep 30: 7am-7pm
Oct 1 to Mar 31: 7am-6pm
Oct 1 to Mar 31: 7am-6pm
Entrance fee in GBP: Adult £5.50, Senior £4.00, Child £2.50
Useful tips: Admission costs are suggested donations. Quiet Hour 12 noon to 1pm from April to October. Photography is permitted.
Disability Access: Partial facilities for persons with disabilities.
Guides: Guided tour included with admission.
Facilities: Gift shop, Restaurant or food service
Wells Cathedral Highlights
The interior of Wells Cathedral triple-aisled basilica is simple. A unique feature in the crossing are the double pointed inverted arches. This unorthodox solution was found in 1338 to stop the central tower from collapsing. The capitals in the southwest arm of the transept are particularly charming, with depictions such as a bald-headed man, a man with toothache, a thorn-extractor, and a moral tale: fruit thieves being caught and punished. In the gallery there are numerous statues of bishops (about 1230) and their tombs (14th century). The chancel shows evidence of late Gothic influence. The unusual carvings, including depictions of animals playing musical instruments, on the misericords of the choir stalls are impressive. The large stained glass Golden Window at the end of the chancel depicts the Tree of Jesse, Jesus' line of descent. A famous astronomical clock, constructed in 1392, can be seen in the northwest transept. When it strikes on the hour mounted knights ride into action. Below this is "Christ's Resurrection" by Jacob Epstein (1880-1959).
Cathedral Chapter House & Cloister
A few steps beyond the chancel a staircase (13th/15th century), decorated with figures of monks bearing columns, leads from the cathedral to the chapterhouse (1360), an octagonal room of consummate perfection whose palm-like vaulting is borne on a single central pier. The surrounding bench was designed for meetings of the members of the cathedral's chapter.The 15th century cloister is in the Perpendicular style.
More Wells Cathedral Pictures