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The Bishop's Palace & Gardens

The Bishop's Palace & Gardens

Open to the public

Historic house or home in Somerset

35 artworks

More about

The Bishop’s Palace in Wells dates from the early thirteenth century when Bishop Jocelin Trotman, the first Bishop to hold the title of 'Bishop of Bath and Wells', received a crown licence to build a residence and deer park on land to the south of the Cathedral of St Andrew. Visitors entering through the central porch step back almost 800 years into Bishop Jocelin’s vaulted Entrance Hall. The Palace has been the home of the Bishops of Bath and Wells for 800 years. There are 14 acres of gardens including the springs from which the city takes its name. Visitors can also see the Bishop's private Chapel, and state rooms, ruined Great Hall and the Gatehouse with portcullis and drawbridge beside which the famous mute swans ring a bell for food. The Bishop's Palace boasts a collection of portraits of the Bishops of Bath and Wells acquired by gift or purchase by Bishop Law in around 1827. Law started the Collection to replace the much earlier portraits which were removed or lost as the result of looting by Parliamentarian troops during the Civil War. They are displayed in their original historic hanging in the state rooms. The portraits allow visitors to follow the development of the depiction of the Bishops over the centuries. This can be seen in the poses, in the clothing, the choice of background, and their accessories.

Wells, Somerset BA5 2PD England

01749 988111

Before making a visit, check opening hours with the venue