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Tours > England's West Country > Wells

Wells - Somerset

The tiny city of Wells is 21 miles Southwest of Bath and 123 miles from London (M4 west, then A39 or A37 south from Bristol). Called a medieval gem, Wells has retained so much of its old look, justly proud of its magnificent Early English cathedral with its mid-13th century sculpture in six tiers of statues; without equal in Europe. An ingenious way of supporting the extra weight of the newly-built tower, the dramatic scissor arch was constructed in 1338. The 24-hour astronomical clock, with knights jousting every quarter-hour, dates from 1390.

Nearby Vicar's Close has been continuously occupied by members of the cathedral clergy since the mid-14th century: Number 22 fully retains its original medieval appearance. The moated Bishop's Palace, now in ruins, completes the romantic landscape of the cathedral grounds. Sad to relate, the swans, who used to ring a bell outside the palace to signal it was feeding time, have not passed on the information to their offspring. The swans are still there, but the bell now hangs silent above the moat.

Next Stop: Glastonbury



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