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Chain Gate, Cathedral Green, BA5 2UE
Built between 1175 and 1490 Wells Cathedral in Somerset has been described as “the most poetic of the English Cathedrals”.
Built between 1175 and 1490 Wells Cathedral has been described as “the most poetic of the English Cathedrals”. Set in the medieval heart of England’s smallest city, and an easy drive from Bristol, Bath and Cardiff, Wells is the earliest English Cathedral to be built in the Gothic style. The current building is a significant landmark in the South West of England, has an international reputation and is TripAdvisor ranked number one for things to do in Wells and in Somerset.
Wells Cathedral has unique features that separate it from other English cathedrals including its iconic West Front and the beautiful ‘scissor arches’ supporting the central tower, as well as one of the largest collections of historic stained glass in the country. The Cathedral also boasts the famous Wells Clock (which is considered to be the second oldest clock mechanism in Great Britain), the fascinating octagonal Chapter House and one of only four chained libraries in the UK.
Wells Cathedral welcomes thousands of visitors each year who join in with regular daily services and events or who come simply to enjoy the calm and hospitality of this wonderful and holy place. Stay, if you can, for Evensong with the Cathedral’s world renowned choir (term times); a peaceful and moving end to your day.
Free daily tours of the Cathedral are available all year except Sundays. Or discover hidden spaces and chambers, explore the south transept roof space and marvel at the nave from a very different perspective via the Cathedral's popular and longer High Parts tours which can be pre-booked via the website at www.wellscathedral.org.uk/visit/tours. The Cathedral also runs 20 minute weekly window, stone carvings and embroidery 'walks' (Saturday and Wednesday mornings, April-October). Guided tours for group visits can also be pre-booked via the Visits team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When term breaks up the Cathedral offers creative workshops for children accompanied by their parents or guardians. We also provide free family trail leaflets which are available free of charge on arrival and which help children to learn about the main highlights and history of the Cathedral.
Adjoining the Cathedral is Vicars’ Close, believed to be the only complete medieval street left in England. Vicars’ Close was designed to provide accommodation for the Vicars Choral, who sing the daily services, and this is still the case today. This centuries-old tradition is unique and a much valued part of the continuing life of Wells Cathedral. The medieval windows of the houses and the garden archways seem to have survived more or less intact until the early nineteenth century, and even now a few still exist.
Make a Day of It
A warm welcome awaits you at our two Cathedral shops which stock a wide range of unique mementoes and gifts. Our café is also open daily for coffee, delicious home-made lunches and afternoon teas.
English Cathedrals receive no regular funding from the Government or the Church of England towards maintenance, restoration and development work. Here at Wells that means we have to raise £4,500 per day so while admission to the Cathedral is free donations are very welcome.
April to September
Daily 07:00 - 19:00
October to March
Daily 07:00 - 18:00
Blue Badge Guides admitted free
Dutch printed material
Educational Visits Accepted
Facilities for Hearing Impaired Visitors
Facilities for Visually Impaired Visitors
French printed material
German printed material
Guide dogs permitted
Guided Tours Available for Groups
Guided Tours Available for Individuals
In town/city centre
Italian printed material
Marketed towards families
Marketed towards senior citizens
Marketed towards student/youth
Max group size
Min group size
No Smoking Attraction
Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors
Printed Material in Foreign Languages
Spanish printed material
Sterling Travellers Cheques accepted
Toilets for disabled visitors
Chain GateCathedral GreenWellsBA5 2UEUnited Kingdom
T: 01749 674483
F: 01749 832210
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