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John Monier Bickersteth (1921–2018), Bishop of Wells (1975–1987)

© Humphrey Ocean. All rights reserved, DACS 2023. Photo credit: The Bishop's Palace & Gardens

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After wartime soldiering, Bickersteth trained for the priesthood in Oxford and Wells, and became a Curate in Bristol. After two incumbencies, he was consecrated in 1970 as Bishop of Warrington, becoming the fourth Bickersteth in Episcopal orders. Shortly after coming to Wells in 1975, he was appointed Clerk of the Closet to HM Queen. He planted the arboretum to mark HM's Silver Jubilee; and was made KCVO on relinquishing the clerkship in 1989. Although mostly out touring parishes he loved, or in London or abroad on Church or State matters, he revelled in the Palace and grounds, he and Rosemary his wife improving and using them extensively for diocesan and civic occasions. In retirement he did an Open University degree, wrote his autobiography, and immersed himself in wildlife and conservation issues.

The Bishop's Palace & Gardens



John Monier Bickersteth (1921–2018), Bishop of Wells (1975–1987)




acrylic on canvas


H 182 x W 75 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired, 1984

Work type



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Normally on display at

The Bishop's Palace & Gardens

Wells, Somerset BA5 2PD England

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