Palace Announces Results of Swan Naming Competition

22 May 2019


The Bishop’s Palace in Wells today announced the result of a highly popular swan-naming competition to find names for their new pair of swans.

The new swans arrived at the Palace on Thursday 9th May, having been re-homed by the charity Swan Rescue South Wales. They were blessed by The Right Reverend Ruth Worsley, Bishop of Taunton, before being released into the Moat.

The Palace had invited the public to send in their suggestions for swan names via social media, email and in person and nearly 500 entries were received in total.
The names chosen are Gabriel and Grace.

Gabriel was suggested by several people and has echoes of the angel Gabriel which fits in nicely with the comparison often made by Palace visitors between angel wings and swans wings, also depicted in the beautiful stained-glass sculptures in the Palace Gardens by artist Edgar Phillips.
The name Grace, which was an extremely popular suggestion, could remind people of the title style used for royalty, some bishops and archbishops; or of the state of Christian grace, or indeed, just the graceful movements of these lovely swans.
The new pair began their training last week on how to ring the famous Gatehouse bell for food, and it was with great delight that last Thursday saw Grace, the female swan, first ring the bell! Gabriel has been slightly more wary and currently seems content to let his lady wife ring for food!
The centuries-old tradition of bell-ringing swans on the Moat was begun by the daughter of Lord Auckland, who was Bishop at the Palace in the 1800’s.
Palace Announces Results of Swan Naming Competition
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