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Encyclopedia > Wells Cathedral
The west front, completed c. 1260, features about 300 mediaeval statues; many of the figures, and their niches, were originally painted and gilded
The west front, completed c. 1260, features about 300 mediaeval statues; many of the figures, and their niches, were originally painted and gilded
The roof of Wells Cathedral
The roof of Wells Cathedral

Coordinates: 51°12′35″N, 2°38′36″W Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1024x768, 529 KB) Front ouest de la cathédrale de Wells, Somerset, Angleterre. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1024x768, 529 KB) Front ouest de la cathédrale de Wells, Somerset, Angleterre. ... Florentine Renaissance painter Filippo Lippi placed his Madonna of the 1440s within a simulated shell-headed niche The niche in classical architecture is an exedra or an apse that has been reduced in size, retaining the half-dome heading usual for an apse. ... Gilding is the art of spreading gold, either by mechanical or by chemical means, over the surface of a body for the purpose of ornament. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2040x1719, 876 KB) The roof (ceiling?) of the nave of Wells Cathedral, Wells, Somerset, England. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2040x1719, 876 KB) The roof (ceiling?) of the nave of Wells Cathedral, Wells, Somerset, England. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


Wells Cathedral is a cathedral in Wells, Somerset, England, the seat of the Bishop of Bath and Wells. It is technically only the second smallest cathedral city in England, since the City of London has a smaller resident population. The wells that the Romans knew, re-dedicated to Saint Andrew, still spring abundantly in the Bishop's garden and fill the moat of the Bishop's Palace, where the famous bell-ringing Mute Swans pull on chains attached below a window to a small bell, for a reward of food. A cathedral is a religious building for worship, specifically of a denomination with an episcopal hierarchy, such as the Roman Catholic, Anglican and some Lutheran churches, which serves as a bishops seat, and thus as the central church of a diocese. ... For other uses, see Wells (disambiguation). ... Somerset is a county in the south-west of England. ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London (de facto) Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2006 est. ... The Bishop of Bath and Wells is the Ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Bath and Wells in the Province of Canterbury. ... The city of Chicago, as seen from the sky The main square of the Catalan city of Sabadell during a popular celebration. ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London (de facto) Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2006 est. ... The City of London is a geographically-small city within Greater London, England. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The moated manor house of Baddesley Clinton in Warwickshire, England Moats (also known as a Fosse) were deep and wide water-filled trenches, excavated to provide a barrier against attack upon castle ramparts or other fortifications. ... Binomial name Cygnus olor (Gmelin, 1789) The Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) is a common Eurasian member of the duck, goose and swan family Anatidae. ...

Contents

Early years

Though it is mostly Gothic in style, there are foundations of even earlier parts of the church that date to the 10th century. The first church was established on the site in 705 by King Ine of Wessex, at the urging of Saint Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne, in whose diocese it lay. It was dedicated to Saint Andrew: only some excavated foundations of this first church remain; these can be seen in the cloisters. The baptismal font in the south transept is the oldest surviving part of the cathedral - it dates to c.700 AD. Königsberg Cathedral Gothic architecture is a style of architecture, particularly associated with cathedrals and other churches, which flourished in Europe during the high and late medieval period. ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 10th century was that century which lasted from 901 to 1000. ... Alternate meaning: Area code 705 Events End of the short-lived Zhou Dynasty in China Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik succeeded by al-Walid I ibn Abd al-Malik. ... Ine (died 728) was the King of Wessex from 688 to 726, noted particularly for his code of laws. ... Saint Aldhelm (c. ... Saint Andrew (Greek: Ανδρέας, Andreas, manly, brave), called in the Orthodox tradition Protocletos, or the First-called, is a Christian Apostle and the younger brother of Saint Peter. ...


Two centuries later, the seat of the diocese was shifted to Wells: the first Bishop of Wells was Athelm (circa 909), who crowned King Athelstan. Athelm and his nephew St Dunstan both became Archbishops of Canterbury. Athelm (d. ... Athelstan (c. ... Dunstan (909–May 19, 988) was an Archbishop of Canterbury (961–988) who was later canonized as a saint. ... The Archbishop of Canterbury is the spiritual leader and senior clergyman of the Church of England, recognized by convention as the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. ...


Present structure

Plan, showing the four massive piers of the crossing (centre), the octagonal chapter house (top) and the extended east end (right)
Plan, showing the four massive piers of the crossing (centre), the octagonal chapter house (top) and the extended east end (right)

The present structure was begun under the direction of Bishop Reginald de Bohun, who died in 1191. Wells Cathedral dates primarily from the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries; the nave and transept are masterpieces of the Early English style of architecture. It was largely complete at the time of its dedication in 1239. Image File history File links WellsCathPlanDehio. ... Image File history File links WellsCathPlanDehio. ... Links to full descriptions of the elements of a Gothic floorplan are also found at the entry Cathedral diagram. ... Cathedral ground plan. ... Salisbury Cathedral, built c. ...


The Bishop responsible for the construction was Jocelyn of Wells, a brother of Bishop Hugh II of Lincoln, and one of the Bishops at the signing of Magna Carta. Jocelyn's building campaigns also included the Bishop's Palace, a choristers' school, a grammar school, hospital for travellers and a chapel. He also built a manor at Wookey, near Wells. The master mason designer associated with Jocelyn was Elias of Dereham (died 1246). Jocelyn lived to see the church dedicated, but despite much lobbying of Rome, died before cathedral status was granted in 1245. Masons continued with the enrichment of the West front until about 1260. Jocelin of Wells, also known as Jocelinus Thoteman, (d. ... Magna Carta Magna Carta (Latin for Great Charter, literally Great Paper), also called Magna Carta Libertatum (Great Charter of Freedoms), is an English charter originally issued in 1215. ... Statistics Population: 1376[1] Ordnance Survey OS grid reference: ST515455 Administration District: Mendip Shire county: Somerset Region: South West England Constituent country: England Sovereign state: United Kingdom Other Ceremonial county: Somerset Historic county: Somerset Services Police force: Avon and Somerset Fire and rescue: Somerset Ambulance: South Western Post office and...


By the time the building was finished, including the Chapter House(1306), it already seemed too small for the developing liturgy, in particular the increasingly grand processions. So, a new spate of expansive building was initiated. Bishop John Drokensford started the proceedings with the heightening of the central tower and the beginnings of a dramatic eight-sided Lady Chapel at the far east end, finished by 1326. Thomas of Whitney was the master mason. A chapter house is a building or room attached to a cathedral or collegiate church in which meetings are held. ...


Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury followed, continuing with the eastward extension of the quire and the retro- quire beyond with its forest of pillars. He also built Vicars' Hall and Close, to give the men of the choir a secure place to live, away from the town with all its temptations. He enjoyed an uneasy relationship with the citizens of Wells, partly because of his imposition of taxes, and felt the need to surround his palace with crenellated walls and a moat and drawbridge.


The appointment of William Wynford as master mason in 1365 marked another period of activity. He was one of the foremost architects of his time and apart from Wells was engaged in work for the king at Windsor and at New College Oxford and Winchester Cathedral. Under Bishop John Harewell, who raised money for the project, he built the south-west tower of the West Front and designed the north west, which was built to match in the early 1400s. Inside the building he filled in the early English lancet windows with delicate tracery. Windsor may refer to many places and other things. ... College name New College of St Mary Collegium Novum Oxoniensis/Collegium Sanctae Mariae Wintoniae Named after Mary, mother of Jesus Established 1379 Sister College Kings College Warden Prof. ... Winchester Cathedral as seen from the Cathedral Close View along the nave of Winchester Cathedral to the west door A plan published in 1911 View of Winchester Cathedral Winchester Cathedral at Winchester in Hampshire is one of the largest cathedrals in England, said to be the second longest, and with...

The inverted arch in Wells Cathedral, in 2006
The inverted arch in Wells Cathedral, in 2006
Wells Cathedral taken c.1890
Wells Cathedral taken c.1890
The clock
The clock

In the fourteenth century the central piers of the crossing (see plan) were found to be sinking under the weight of the crossing tower, so the famous "scissor arches" (inverted strainer arches that are such a striking feature) were inserted to brace and stabilize the piers as a unit. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2756x2052, 1275 KB) The inverted arch in Wells Cathedral, Wells, Somerset, England. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2756x2052, 1275 KB) The inverted arch in Wells Cathedral, Wells, Somerset, England. ... Image File history File links Wells_Cathedral_by_James_Valentine_c. ... Image File history File links Wells_Cathedral_by_James_Valentine_c. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (799x672, 108 KB) photographed by me in August 2004 using HP Photosmart camera File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (799x672, 108 KB) photographed by me in August 2004 using HP Photosmart camera File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... For the type of foundation, see Deep foundation. ... Cathedral floor plan (crossing is shaded) A crossing, in ecclesiastical architecture, refers to the junction of the four arms of a cruciform (cross-shaped) church. ...


The famous Wells clock was probably in place by 1392. The clock is unique because it still has its original medieval face, depicting a pre-Copernican universe with the earth at its centre. When the clock strikes every quarter, jousting knights move around above the clock and the Quarter Jack bangs the quarter hours with his heels. An outside clock opposite Vicars' Hall, placed there just over seventy years after, is connected with the inside mechanism. The dial of the clock in Wells Cathedral The Wells Cathedral clock is an astronomical clock in the north transept of Wells Cathedral, England. ... In astronomy, heliocentrism is the theory that the Sun is at the center of the Universe and/or the Solar System. ...


Tudors and civil war

When Henry VII came to the throne the cathedral and its surrounding buildings were complete, and looking substantially as they do today. Following the dissolution of the chantries in 1547 and the consequent lack of income, medieval brasses were sold off, and a pulpit was placed in the nave for the first time. The painted stonework was covered with white limewash. Henry VII may refer to: Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor (c. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


After the disruptive period of Mary Tudor's reign, Elizabeth I was determined to restore harmony to her church. In Wells, she gave both the Chapter and the Vicars' Choral a new charter in 1591 and a period of stability ensued. This however came to an end with the onset of the civil war and the execution of Charles I. Queen Mary I of England (18 February 1516 – 17 November 1558), also known as Mary Tudor, was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 6 July 1553 (de facto) or 19 July 1553 (de jure) until her death. ... hi opooouyuyyyyvfjcxv Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was Queen of England, Queen of France (in name only), and Queen of Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. ... Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. ...


During the fighting a considerable amount of damage was done, to stonework, furniture and windows. The dean at this time was Dr. Walter Ralegh, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth's favourite Sir Walter. So much chaos reigned that any attempt at administration was impossible. Dr. Ralegh was imprisoned after the fall of Bridgwater to the Parliamentarians in 1645, brought back to Wells and confined in the deanery. The next year, following a dispute with his "gaoler" , the dean was stabbed and died. He is buried in an unmarked grave before his stall in the quire.


The Commonwealth period under Oliver Cromwell was a time of indifference towards the fabric of the Cathedral. No dean was appointed after Dr Ralegh, the bishop was in retirement and some clergy were reduced to performing menial tasks or begging on the streets. Thieves made off with lead and moveables. Oliver Cromwell (April 25, 1599–September 3, 1658) was an English military and political leader best known for making England a republic and leading the Commonwealth of England. ...


1660-1800

The Chapter House steps - dating to 1306
The Chapter House steps - dating to 1306

On the restoration of Charles II, Robert Creyghtone, who had been his chaplain in exile, was appointed first dean and later bishop in Wells. His magnificent brass lectern, given in thanksgiving, can still be seen in the cathedral. He donated the great west window of the nave at a cost of £140. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (480x640, 111 KB) Chapter House stairs at Wells Cathedral - Picture by R Neil Marshman (c) 23 November 2006 - taken on Motorola Rzr phone. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (480x640, 111 KB) Chapter House stairs at Wells Cathedral - Picture by R Neil Marshman (c) 23 November 2006 - taken on Motorola Rzr phone. ... Charles II (29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685) was the King of England, King of Scots, and King of Ireland from 30 January 1649 (de jure) or 29 May 1660 (de facto) until his death. ...


Dean Ralph Bathurst was appointed in 1670 when Creyghtone became bishop. Dr. Bathurst was a man of eminence, president of Trinity College Oxford, chaplain to the king, fellow of the Royal Society and one of the foremost scientists of his day. He was a long serving dean and saw four bishops come and go. Restoration of the fabric of the cathedral took place during his tenure. The premises of the Royal Society in London (first four properties only). ...


The saintly bishop Thomas Ken was appointed in 1685, the year of Monmouth's rebellion when puritan soldiers again wrought havoc in the cathedral and turned part of it into a stable. The work of restoration had to start all over again. Thomas Ken (1637 - March 19, 1711), the most eminent of the English non-juring bishops, and one of the fathers of modern English hymnology, was born at Little Berkhampstead, Herts. ...


Ken was imprisoned in the Tower of London for refusing with six others to accept the repeal of the Act of Uniformity. He later refused to take the oath of allegiance to William and Mary because James II had not formally abdicated. He was forced to retire to Frome. Her Majestys Royal Palace and Fortress The Tower of London, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic monument in central London on the north bank of the River Thames. ... William III Mary II The phrase William and Mary usually refers to the joint sovereignty over the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland of King William III and his wife Queen Mary II. Their joint reign began in February, 1689, when they were called to the throne by... James II of England/VII of Scotland (14 October 1633 – 16 September 1701) became King of Scots, King of England, and King of Ireland on 6 February 1685, and Duke of Normandy on 31 December 1660. ...


Bishop Kidder who succeeded him was killed during the great storm of 1703 when two chimneystacks in the palace fell on the bishop and his wife, asleep in bed. This same storm wrecked the Eddystone lighthouse and blew in part of the great west window in Wells. The Eddystone Lighthouse is situated some 9 miles (15km) South West of Rame Head Cornwall, England on the treacherous Eddystone Rocks 50°10. ...


Victorian era and restoration

There followed a period of gentle decline and decay with many bishops being more absent than present and several deans appointed from the laity. Consequently a major restoration programme was needed by the middle of the 1800s. Under Dean Goodenough the monuments were removed to the cloisters and 'the great scrape' was instituted in the 1840s when the whitewash was vigorously removed together with most of the remaining medieval paint.


Anthony Salvin, an architect of repute, was in charge of the extensive restoration of the Quire. The wooden galleries were removed and new stalls with stone canopies were placed further back within the line of the arches. The stone screen was pushed outwards in the centre to support a magnificent new organ. Categories: Stub | 1799 births | 1881 deaths ...


Such was the success of the restoration that in the 1900s it was possible to keep a rolling programme of improvement to the fabric going and this strategy has continued.


John Clarke was installed as Dean in September 2004.


Organ and organists

Organ

  • Details of the main organ from the National Pipe Organ Register

Organists

  • 1416 Walter Bagele (or Vageler)
  • 1428 John Marshal
  • 1479 Richard Hygons
  • 1552 Nicholas Prynne
  • 1558 Robert Awman
  • 1559 William Lyde
  • 1563 Thomas Tanner
  • 1568 Matthew Nailer
  • 1588 John Clerk
  • 1600 Thomas Hunt
  • 1608 James Weare
  • 1613 Edmund Tucker
  • 1614 Richard Brown
  • 1619 John Oker (or Okeover)
  • 1663 John Brown
  • 1674 Mr Hall
  • 1674 John Jackson
  • 1688 Robert Hodge
  • 1690 John George
  • 1713 William Broderip
  • 1726 Joseph Millard
  • 1727 William Evans
  • 1741 Jacob Nickells
  • 1741 John Broderip
  • 1771 Peter Parfitt
  • 1775 Robert Parry
  • 1781 Dodd Perkins
  • 1820 William Perkins
  • 1859 Charles Williams Lavington
  • 1895 Percy Garter Buck
  • 1899 Rev Canon Thomas Henry Davis
  • 1933 Conrad Eden
  • 1936 Denys Pouncey
  • 1971 Anthony Crossland
  • 1996 Malcolm Archer
  • 2004 Rupert Gough (acting)
  • 2005 Matthew Owens

See also

William Turner (c. ... William Robinson Clark was born in Daviot, Aberdeenshire in 1829. ... In religious terminology, a dean is a title accorded to persons holding cartain positions of authority within a religious heirarchy. ... Statistics Population: 58,241 Ordnance Survey OS grid reference: ST228250 Administration District: Taunton Deane Shire county: Somerset Region: South West England Constituent country: England Sovereign state: United Kingdom Other Ceremonial county: Somerset Historic county: Somerset Services Police force: Avon and Somerset Constabulary Fire and rescue: Somerset Ambulance: South Western Post... This page is a list of Church of England Dioceses, along with their geographic location and the foundation dates of those founded in the modern era, i. ... A list of the cathedrals, former cathedrals and intended cathedrals in the United Kingdom and its dependencies. ... The Diocese of Bath and Wells is an administrative division of the Church of England Province of Canterbury in England. ...

Gallery

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Wells Cathedral
  • Official Website
  • Wells Cathedral Photo Album - 149 images
  • David Nash Ford, ed., 1924. The History & Architecture of Wells Cathedral in Somerset
  • Carolyn Marino Malone: Façade as Spectacle: Ritual and Ideology at Wells Cathedral, 2004
  • The Mute Swans of Wells
  • A history of the choristers and choir school of Wells Cathedral
List of Anglican Cathedrals in the United Kingdom and Ireland
Anglican Communion

  Results from FactBites:
 
Wells Cathedral - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (370 words)
Wells Cathedral is a cathedral in Wells, Somerset, the smallest cathedral city in England.
The wells that the Romans knew, rededicated to Saint Andrew, still spring abundantly in the Bishop's garden and fill the moat of the Bishop's Palace, where dwell the famous bell-ringing Mute Swans, trained in the 19th century to pull on chains attached below a window to a small bell, for a reward in food.
Wells is largely of late 12th and early 13th century date.
Church of England - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1455 words)
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and acts as the mother and senior branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion as well as a founding member of the Porvoo Communion.
As well as paying central diocesan expenses such as the running of diocesan offices, these diocesan funds also provide clergy pay and housing expenses (which total around £260 million per year across all dioceses), meaning that clergy living conditions no longer depend on parish-specific fundraising.
In recent years, cathedrals and other famous churches have met some of their maintenance costs with grants from organizations such as English Heritage ; but the Church Commissioners and local fundraisers must foot the bill entirely in the case of most small parish churches.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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