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Wells Bishop's Palace

Visited April 2010

Location Wells, Somerset
Entrance Fee Yes 
Railway Station        No
Parking Town car parks
Facilities Toilets, Shop, Cafe






Not exactly a castle as such, but a fortified palace, with a moat and towers, so close enough to be included on this website. Wells is a beautiful town, and it is the ecclesiastical buildings which the tourists come to see . Next to the Bishop’s Palace is the Cathedral, it is well worth combining a visit there with the Palace to get a sense of the importance of both buildings. Dating from the thirteenth century, the Bishop’s Palace itself is an impressive site, it has a moat all the way round and the entrance is across a drawbridge through a gate house.


The swans in the moat are very clever, they have been taught to ring a bell outside the gatehouse in exchange for food. It is worth watching out for!





The gardens are tranquil and inspiring, and the source of the original wells which gave the city its name are there . The children spent quite a lot of time peering into the lake and watching the water cascade down the waterfall. This has been the home of the Bishop of Bath & Wells since 1206, the site of the Great Hall (a scheduled ancient monument) is now a ruin, and makes an impressive back-drop to the gardens.


The ramparts can be walked along, you can see as far as Glastonbury Tor on a good day. There is a restaurant in the undercroft, and the more informal terrace is the place for a snack. The toilets are very clean and modern. Various events for children are scheduled during the school holidays, the staff at the Palace are very child-friendly. Under 5’s get free admission.





More info:  Wells Bishop's Palace

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