We had an impromptu visit to the beautiful city of Wells Sunday 19 August. After a damp morning the sun finally broke through and we headed over the Mendip Hills for leisurely stroll. Parking is an issue in Wells but we found a small back road above Wells Catherdral School buidlings and wandered down the small lanes toward the Cathedral and Close. The Bishops Palace is surrounded by a small moat fed by the wells of Wells - you can actually see the water bubbling up throught the mud in some of the larger pools. The imposing gatehouse and thick walls make is seem more like a castle than a Palace but in times gone by it proably was a place of sanctuary along with the Cathedral.
The Palace itself is a complete mix of styles from 11th century stonework, Jacobean Staircases, to Victorian wallpapers and moden aluminuium and steel artwork. You never know what to expect around the next corner, be it a stone carved monk or a steel wire bullrush hidden in a flower border. The "treasures" are remarkable including a ship's bell that was used as font with the childrens names engraved on the inside rim to the wooden cross made by an unknown carpenter in Africa. There is so much to see it was a pleasure to be able to just wander around and take in the atmosphere of this place. I even had a go at the dressing up box!
I can honestly say that there can't be that many more tranquil places in the West Country to spend a few hours - we didnt even get as far as the Catherdral - another day perhaps.
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