Wells Cathedral is located in the mediaeval city of Wells in Somerset. Built between 1175 and 1490, our Cathedral has been described as “the most poetic of the English Cathedrals”. We are pleased to welcome visitors every day of the year and it is really only by coming in person that you can properly experience this wonderful and holy place.
Situated within an easy drive from major cities such as Bristol, Bath and Cardiff, Wells Cathedral has some unique features that separate it from other English cathedrals. The most notable are the beautiful inverted arches, more commonly called ‘scissor arches’, supporting the central tower. This structure was added in 1338 by Cathedral mason, William Joy, after the weight of a new spire on the top of the tower threatened to collapse the whole thing.
Wells Cathedral also has one of the largest collections of historic stained glass in the country. The Jesse Window, for instance, is one of the most splendid examples of 14th century stained glass in Europe, narrowly escaping destruction during the English Civil War.
Please do check our Opening Times to avoid disappointment, noting particularly that some areas of the Cathedral are closed during services.
Our Visit Highlights page is also a great place to start to help plan your visit.
Guide books, leaflets and information boards are available within the Cathedral to help interpret the historical, architectural and spiritual significance of the building.
You can also download and print out a copy of our Visitor Leaflet here:
You are very welcome to attend our regular daily services, which are open to all and free of charge, take a guided tour, visit with a group or simply come and wander in your own time around this special building.
Scheduled Daily Tours of the Cathedral are available all year round except on Sundays. From April to October these normally take place at 10.00am; 11.00am; 1.00pm; 2.00pm and 3.00pm unless there is a special service or event taking place in the Cathedral. From November to March tours take place at 11.00am; 12.00pm and 2.00pm. Please ask for details at the Information Desk and our volunteers will direct you to the starting point. These are led by excellent volunteer guides and last approximately 1 hour.
We also provide a number of guided tours for group visits as well as special interest tours (such as stained glass, embroidery, library etc) which need to be pre-booked and which are perfect both for groups or anyone simply keen to learn more about this fascinating place.
Please visit our Tours of the Cathedral page for more information on all the tours in our programme.
While admission to the Cathedral is free, donations are very welcome. We receive no direct state aid and need over £4,000 per day for the maintenance, upkeep and running costs of this magnificent working Cathedral. To help us with this a suggested guideline might be as follows:
Senior citizens: £4.00
Students and children: £3.00
If you are a UK taxpayer we would be extremely grateful if you would make your donation in one of our yellow gift aid envelopes. This scheme enables the Cathedral to claim a tax refund of an extra 25p for every £1 you give.
All of the ground floor of the Cathedral is accessible to those with walking difficulties or in wheelchairs and there are adapted toilets. A wheelchair is available for loan and if you would like to make use of this please speak to a volunteer on the Information Desk or a Cathedral Virger. We warmly welcome assistance dogs for both visually and hearing impaired visitors. For those with hearing impairment the Cathedral also operates a loop system for services and events.
Photography is encouraged subject to the purchase of a permit from the Information Desk, shop or coin-operated machine on entry to the Cathedral, and the specified conditions being observed. Permits cost £4.00 for both cameras and recording devices. Flash photography is not permitted in the Quire at anytime to prevent damage to the delicate needlework. Neither photography nor recording is permitted during services.