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Wells Cathedral

Type:Cathedral/Minster

Cathedral Green, Wells, Somerset, BA5 2UE
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Tel01749 674483

Tel01749 672773

Wells Cathedral

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About

Set in the medieval heart of England’s smallest city and an easy journey from across Somerset by car or public transport Wells Cathedral was built between 1175 and 1490 and has been described as “the most poetic of the English Cathedrals”.

 

Wells is the earliest English Cathedral to be built in the Gothic style. The current building is a significant heritage landmark in the South West of England, has an international reputation and is top rated on TripAdvisor for things to do in Wells and in Somerset.

 

Wells Cathedral welcomes thousands of visitors each year who join in with regular daily services and events or who come simply to enjoy the calm and hospitality of this wonderful and holy place.

 

Entry:

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).  Donations are very welcome on entry; English Cathedrals receive no regular funding from the Government or the Church of England towards maintenance and development work and, here at Wells we have to raise £4.5k each day.

 

Highlights:

Wells Cathedral has unique features that separate it from other English Cathedrals including its iconic West Front and the beautiful ‘scissor arches’ supporting the central tower, as well as one of the largest collections of historic stained glass in the country. The Cathedral also boasts the famous Wells Clock (which is considered to be the second oldest clock mechanism in Great Britain), the fascinating octagonal Chapter House and one of only four chained libraries in the UK.

 

Tours:

Free daily tours of the Cathedral are available all year except Sundays.  Or discover hidden spaces and chambers, explore the south transept roof space and marvel at the nave from a very different perspective via the Cathedral's popular and longer ‘High Parts Tours’ which can be pre-booked via the website at www.wellscathedral.org.uk/visit/tours. The Cathedral also runs 20 minute weekly window, stone carvings and embroidery 'walks' (Saturday and Wednesday mornings, April-October). Guided tours for group visits can also be pre-booked via the Visits team at visits@wellscathedral.uk.net.

 

Families

When term breaks up the Cathedral offers creative workshops for children accompanied by their parents or guardians. We also provide free family trail leaflets which are available free of charge on arrival and which help children to learn about the main highlights and history of the Cathedral. See our website for details of all activities for families and children

 

Vicars’ Close:

Adjoining the Cathedral is Vicars’ Close, believed to be the only complete medieval street left in England. Vicars’ Close was designed to provide accommodation for the Vicars Choral, who sing the daily services, and this is still the case today. This centuries-old tradition is unique and a much valued part of the continuing life of Wells Cathedral.

 

Make a Day of It

A warm welcome awaits you at our Cathedral shop which stocks a wide range of unique mementoes and gifts. Our café is also open daily for coffee, delicious home-made lunches and afternoon teas.

 

www.wellscathedral.org.uk

Facilities

Accessibility

  • Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Ramp/Level Access - Our Chapter House and our Library are inaccessible due to medieval steps which can’t be altered.
  • Toilets for Disabled Visitors

Attraction Facilities

  • Shop

Catering

  • On-Site café/restaurant

Establishment Features

  • Open All Year
  • Toilets

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Educational Visits Accepted
  • Guided Tours Available for Groups

Venue Facilities

  • Groups Accepted

Directions

Road Directions

Wells is easily reached by both car and public transport and is the perfect location from which to explore the beautiful county of Somerset. There are several car parks near the Cathedral. We advise those intending to stay in Wells for a good part of the day to use the Long Stay car parks, including the long stay car parking facilities at Waitrose on Whiting Way (on the upper floor of this car park). Parking for those with disabilities is available on Cathedral Green.

Public Transport Directions

The nearest train station to Wells is Castle Cary from which there are direct services to London Paddington and the West Country. Regular bus services to and from Wells operate from Bath (No. 173), Bristol (No. 376) and, more locally, Shepton Mallet (Nos 161/162).

Opening Times

April to September (1 Apr 2019 - 30 Sept 2019)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday07:00 - 19:00*

* The East End of the Cathedral starts to close from 4pm onwards in readiness for Evensong, the remainder of the East End closes at 4.30pm and the Chapter House closes at 4.55pm.

Occasionally the Cathedral, or parts of it, may also need to close or only offer restricted access for a service, special event, or general maintenance. Please check our Cathedral Closures page on our website for more details.

Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change

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