What to See in England
By Gordon Home

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Wells and Its Cathedral

=How to get there.=–Train from Paddington. Great Western Railway. =Nearest Station.=–Wells. =Distance from London.=–120-3/4 miles. =Average Time.=–Varies between 3-3/4 to 5-3/4 hours.

=Fares.=–Via Chippenham and Westbury.

1st 2nd 3rd Single 20s. 0d. 12s. 6d. 10s. 0-1/2d. Return 35s. 2d. 22s. 0d. 20s. 0d.

Via Yatton–

Single 24s. 8d. 15s. 6d. 12s. 4d. Return 41s. 0d. 27s. 0d. 24s. 8d.

=Accommodation Obtainable.=–"Swan Hotel,” “Mitre Hotel," “Star Hotel,” etc. =Alternative Route.=–Train from Waterloo. L. and S.W. Railway.

Wells is essentially an ecclesiastical town. It has no history of its own, no great family has ever lived there, and it has no manufactures,–it has simply grown up round the cathedral. For these reasons the quiet little Somersetshire town has preserved much of its antiquity and fascination. The presence of the natural wells, which still are to be found in the gardens of the Bishop’s Palace, probably induced King Ina in 704 to found a college of secular canons. Here a monastery grew, and subsequently became a bishop’s see. John de Villula transferred his seat to Bath in (_circa_) 1092, and in 1139 the title was altered to Bishop of Bath and Wells. Wells is one of the smallest of the English cathedrals, and is in many ways the most beautiful. The clear space in front emphasises the glorious way in which the three massive towers harmonise with the ruins of the Bishop’s Palace, the remains of the Vicar’s Close, and the chapter-house. The present building was commenced in 1121, but Bishop Joceline of Wells (1206-1242) rebuilt it from the middle of the choir to the west end. The Early English work shows considerable differences to that in Salisbury and Ely Cathedrals, being carried out by a local school of masons, who show considerable originality in design. The glory of Wells is centred in its west front. The deep buttresses on the towers cast shadows which only serve to show up the marvellous sculptured figures of saints and kings, which may represent a Te Deum in stone. The inside of the cathedral is remarkable for the inverted arches which were put in the chancel to support the towers. Bishop Beckington built the three arches to the close.

A charge of 6d. is made for admission to the choir of the cathedral.

[Illustration: F. Frith & Co. WELLS CATHEDRAL.

Commenced in 1121, but chiefly rebuilt between 1206 and 1242. It is one of the smallest cathedrals in England.]


Preface  •  Ham House and Petersham  •  Walton-On-Thames (scold’s Bridle)  •  Harrow  •  Holwood House, Keston  •  Chigwell, Essex  •  Waltham Abbey and Cross  •  Downe  •  Epsom: Its Races and Its Salts  •  Epping Forest  •  Hampton Court  •  Rye House, Broxbourne  •  Hatfield House, Herts  •  Runnymead, the Signing of Magna Charta  •  The Oldest Brass in England  •  St. Albans  •  Stoke Poges Church, Bucks  •  Windsor  •  Jordans and William Penn  •  Knole House and Sevenoaks  •  Greenstead Church  •  Chalfont St. Giles  •  Westerham  •  Guildford, Surrey  •  Gad’s Hill  •  Ightham Mote, Kent  •  Penshurst  •  St. Michael’s Mount and Marazion  •  Rochester Cathedral  •  Tunbridge Wells  •  The Quintain Post At Offham and Malling Abbey  •  Eversley  •  Farnham, Surrey  •  Hindhead, Surrey  •  Shottermill  •  Penn’s Chapel At Thakeham, Sussex  •  Chawton the Home of Jane Austen  •  Selborne  •  Elstow  •  Lewes, Sussex  •  Bodiam Castle, Sussex  •  Colchester, Essex  •  Layer Marney  •  Battle Abbey  •  Cambridge  •  Arundel Castle  •  Olney, Bucks  •  Wantage and the Country of Alfred the Great  •  Canterbury and Its Cathedral  •  Reculvers  •  Oxford  •  Midhurst  •  Pevensey Castle  •  Savernake Forest  •  Ely Cathedral  •  St. Ives, Huntingdonshire  •  Winchelsea and Rye  •  Blenheim Palace  •  Peterborough Cathedral and Crowland  •  Peterborough  •  Southampton  •  Helmingham Hall  •  Stonehenge, Wiltshire  •  Netley Abbey  •  Salisbury and Its Cathedral  •  Sandwich, Kent  •  New Forest, Hampshire  •  Osborne House  •  Carisbrooke Castle  •  Lutterworth  •  Compton Wynyates  •  Kenilworth Castle  •  Belvoir Castle  •  Bath  •  Boston and the Pilgrim Fathers  •  Warwick  •  Gloucester and Its Cathedral  •  Norfolk Broads  •  Norwich Cathedral  •  Lichfield  •  Sherborne and Its Abbey Church  •  Newark  •  Wells and Its Cathedral  •  Stratford-On-Avon  •  Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk  •  Lulworth Cove, Dorsetshire  •  Corfe Castle  •  Lincoln and Its Cathedral  •  Somerset, the Birthplace of Tennyson  •  Glastonbury Abbey  •  Walsingham, Norfolk  •  Cheddar Caves, Cheddar, Somerset  •  Newstead Abbey  •  The Wessex of Thomas Hardy’s Romances  •  Tintern Abbey  •  Chesterfield, Derbyshire  •  Dukeries  •  Haddon Hall, Derbyshire  •  The Isle of Athelney, and Sedgemoor  •  Raglan Castle  •  Dovedale  •  Wellington and the Wrekin, Shropshire  •  Wroxeter and the Roman City of Uriconium, Salop  •  Buildwas Abbey, Shropshire  •  Ludlow and Its Castle  •  Shrewsbury  •  Buxton and the Peak District  •  Tewkesbury  •  Exeter and Its Cathedral  •  Market Drayton, Salop  •  Chester  •  Exmoor  •  Knutsford  •  Torr Steps On the Barle, Somerset  •  Cleeve Abbey, Somerset  •  Hawarden  •  York Minster  •  Coxwold, Yorkshire  •  Llangollen and Valle Crucis Abbey  •  Knaresborough, Dripping Well  •  Fountains Abbey  •  Ripon Cathedral  •  Dartmoor  •  Haworth  •  Rievaulx Abbey  •  Brixham, Devon  •  Conway Castle  •  The Doone Valley, Exmoor  •  Llandovery, South Wales  •  Dartmouth, Devon  •  Richmond, Yorkshire  •  Tintagel  •  Whitby  •  Carnarvon Castle  •  Plymouth  •  Durham and Its Cathedral  •  Raby Castle, Durham  •  Snowdon  •  Harlech Castle  •  Grasmere and Rydal Mount  •  The Lake District  •  St. Davids Cathedral  •  Furness Abbey, Lancashire  •  Monkwearmouth, Near Jarrow  •  The Isle of Man  •  Brantwood  •  Fowey  •  Hexham and Hadrian’s Wall  •  The Lake District  •  Keswick  •  Alnwick Castle  •  Lanercost Priory, Cumberland  •  Lanercost Priory and Stepping-Stones.]  •  St. Ives, Cornwall  •  Bamborough Castle, Northumberland

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What to see in England;: A guide to places of historic interest, natural beauty or literary association,
By Gordon Home
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