Wells is a cathedral city in the Mendip district of Somerset. It has had city status since 1205, because of the presence of Wells Cathedral. The name Wells comes from three wells dedicated to Saint Andrew, one in the market place and two within the grounds of the Bishop's Palace and cathedral. Wells is a popular tourist destination, due to its historical sites, its proximity to Bath, Stonehenge and Glastonbury and its closeness to the Somerset coast.
Wells and Mendip Museum
St Cuthberts Parish Church
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Wells Cathedral is a Church of England place of worship dedicated to St Andrew the Apostle, and is the seat of the Bishop of Bath and Wells. It is moderately sized among the medieval cathedrals of England, falling between those of massive proportion, such as Lincoln and York, and the much smaller cathedrals of Oxford and Carlisle. Wells has been variously described as "unquestionably one of the most beautiful" and as "the most poetic" of English cathedrals.
Bishops Palace and accompanying Bishops House is adjacent to Wells Cathedral and has been the home of the Bishops of the Diocese of Bath and Wells for 800 years.One of the two surviving Glastonbury chairs is on display in the palace. It was made in Britain from a description brought back from Rome in 1504 by Abbot Richard Beere to Glastonbury Abbey, and was produced for or by John Arthur Thorne, a monk who was the treasurer at the abbey.
Ebbor Gorge lies on the southwest-facing slope of the Mendip Hills and consists of a steep-sided ravine cut into 350-million-year-old Carboniferous Limestone of the Dinantian. Various caves within the gorge were inhabited by neolithic people from which flint tools are held in the Wells and Mendip Museum. A 40-hectare (99-acre) area of the gorge is owned by the National Trust, and managed by Natural England as a National Nature Reserve.
St Cuthbert's Parish Churchis an Anglican parish church dating from the 13th century. It is the largest parish church building in Somerset and often mistaken for the cathedral.
It has a fine Somerset stone tower and a superb carved roof. It is a Grade I listed building.
Wells and Mendip Museum is a small museum next to Wells Cathedral. The museum is housed in former Chancellors' House, with 15th-century origins. The stone building has gabled roofs of Welsh slate. A small entrance hall provides access to a staircase hall leading to a salon in gothic revival style with a marble fireplace. The front of the building was remodelled around 1828 and the rear includes a 20th-century extension.