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The Bishop's Palace and Gardens

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Address: Wells, England
Phone Number:
+44 1749 988111

Home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for 800 years this stunning medieval...

Home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for 800 years this stunning medieval palace is open for all to enjoy. Surrounded by a breathtaking moat you can cross a flagstone drawbridge, under the portcullis and experience a true hidden gem in the heart of the City of Wells. The Bishop’s Palace dates from the early-thirteenth century when Bishop Jocelin Trotman, the first Bishop to hold the title Bishop of Bath and Wells, received a crown licence to build a residence and deer park on land to the south of the Cathedral of St Andrew. Today visitors can enjoy the medieval palace building, including a vaulted Undercroft and the Long Gallery in which all the portraits of past bishops hang. There are also 14 acres of gardens to explore, including the beautiful well pools from which the city takes its name, family events and guided walks. The Bishop's private Chapel is open to all and sits next to the ruined Great Hall which formerly housed great banquets and celebrations. The world famous mute swans who live alongside the moat and ring a bell when they want food attract a lot of attention; a tradition started by the daughter of Bishop Hervey in the 1870's. Many of the buildings are scheduled ancient monuments and sit alongside recent major developments that include a new café, shop, learning centre, accessible pathways and interpretation. These improvements also include a thriving new Community Garden and a contemporary Garden of Reflection.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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    Very good
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Bishop's Palace (Moat)

The moat around the Bishop's Palace is a great place for a quiet wander, there are benches, you can peer into the moat which is full of tiny fish. You can feed ducks and it has... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
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867 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 825: English reviews
Level Contributor
207 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The moat around the Bishop's Palace is a great place for a quiet wander, there are benches, you can peer into the moat which is full of tiny fish. You can feed ducks and it has resident swans, who have a bell that they can ring if they are hungry, I did not see this happen. There are benches, access... More 

Thank Strictly-5-Star
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This interesting historical site is definitely must see with it interesting story and the museum. The park and the irrigation system is also worth seeing. Must go there in a good weather to profit at maximum

1 Thank Gul B
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
237 reviews
77 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

I hadn't been to The Palace on earlier visits to Wells, so went thinking it was somewhere I 'ought' to visit. But I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. Just seeing the large rooms presumably used for groups or banquets was interesting, and lovely guides took time to talk to us, explaining that one of the Bishops had sold... More 

1 Thank B F
Maidenhead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
243 reviews
119 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Stick to the free square and grounds or pay for the full experience of the palace and wells which gave the city its name. Engaging working model of the wells and water circulation system with hand pumps, when it's working.

Thank David W
Tavistock, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
70 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

When you cross the very picturesque drawbridge across the moat it is obvious you are walking into history. There is a nice café and small shop available without paying, but take the time and pay the small admission fee for a great visit. A guided tor is available which we had and which lasted just over an hour. I think... More 

1 Thank willisgj55
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This place is a little oasis in the heart of Wells, utterly charming and a lovely way to pass a couple of hours. With lots of different areas to explore it is more than your standard historical venue. Particular highlights included the rather special Dragons Lair children's area, I had to drag mine away (age 11, 8 and 6) when... More 

1 Thank hazelg33
Bishops_Palace, Manager at The Bishop's Palace and Gardens, responded to this review

Thank you very much for this great review. We're really happy to hear that you enjoyed your visit and it's brilliant to know that you eventually had to drag the kids away from The Dragon's Lair. The Gardens do change hugely throughout the year, so you're right that it's worth coming in the Summer too! More 

Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We had a lovely visit to the Bisops Palace, it was a sunny day so perfect for exploring the gardens, the chapel and palace were lovely. A wedding was planned for the afternoon which rendered the Palace closed to the public so please check before you plan your visit.

1 Thank DenLK64
Burnham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Very enthusiastic staff to greet you and answer all your questions. Worth the small entrance fee to walk round and see the 2 floors in the palace and their contents.

Thank Sillybillybad
Weymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
343 reviews
185 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

From the market square in Wells walk under the archway and head towards another Gatehouse/arch which crosses the Bishops Palaces moat. Once under this you will find a shop and cafe where you can by tickets for the Bishops Palace rooms. I decided to walk around the outside of the walled palace and moat. Just keeping turning left and you... More 

1 Thank nickk355
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
374 reviews
160 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

You can wander around a little of the moat and over into the centre courtyard but if you want to explore the main areas there’s an entrance fee of £7.99 per adult with Gift Aid. Worth it though as to wander around will probably occupy you for an hour or more. The main ruins and gardens are well worth a... More 

1 Thank Henry T

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