Whilst I travelled through Somerset the other day I had the most pleasant experience of visiting Wells, a beautiful city that can boast a busy and proud history. This place is totally at the other end of a perception of a city. A population at last count of just over 10,000 gives an idea, and it lays claim to being the smallest city in England, unless you believe that the City of London should be named so.
In fact Wells has held city status since all the way back to 1205 upon the build of its wonderful cathedral. A central point for many tourists here, you cannot help but look up and marvel at the architecture. The grand front with all the carved stone figures and arches alone brings an air of awe but to walk around it and within brings its own magic.
The astronomical clock
Built into the cathedral is the famous astronomical clock that was added around 1390 and to this day the mechanism is still working! On looking at it from within the cathedral you get an ancient wonderously designed clock face with a 12 hour markings plus a geocentric version of the universe with sun and moon circling the static Earth.
The mechanism from within also helps to run the clock face shown on the outside of the cathedral wall. Quite remarkable.
Located close to the cathedral is the street of Vicar’s Close. Said to be the oldest purely residential street in Europe that remains intact and still lived in. It dates from the 14th century and to see them in such a way to this day is a great thing to behold.
Why Called Wells?
Then we come to the name of this place, Wells, why so? It is named after the fact it has 3 wells dedicated to St Andrew. The main one had the Bishop of Bath and Wells palace built over and around it. This palace in itself is an impressive building. The water rises from the well and flows into the moat that surrounds it. The non residential parts of the palace can be viewed along with the impressive gardens. The mute swans along the moat are out of the ordinary too! They have been trained to ring a bell near the drawbridge to signal they are hungry and need to be fed 🙂
For a break and a bite to eat I took in the culinary delights of a gorgeous public house The King’s Head, located right in the middle of the quaint high street. My great guide for the day @imstevewilson is the landlord, and the pride in his food, the pub and his customers is plain to see. Absolutely top notch dinner, with a grand mixture of medieval and modern that makes you feel very comfortable indeed.
I will most definitely be back for longer next time, so much to see, explore and learn from a small but stunning place.