Free Weekly Walks (Saturdays and Wednesdays)

Wells Cathedral’s FREE weekly stained glass and embroidery walks take place from April to October and showcase the Cathedral’s unique stained glass and beautiful embroideries.

Stained Glass (11.15am):

Our Window Walks are free, take place on most Wednesdays and Saturdays between April-October  at 11.15 am and last approx 20 minutes.  Binoculars are useful though not essential.

We offer a different theme each month and, this season, our Stained Glass Guides have chosen subjects that illustrate the changes in design and techniques used in window glass through the centuries. No booking is required.

April ‘Flight of an Angel‘ : The angel in the Lady Chapel almost certainly came from the Chapter House where it was one of several calling the dead from their coffins at the Last Judgement as depicted in the sexfoils in the Chapter House.  Shown here are a Bishop and a Pope emerging from their coffins while in the other windows more people can be seen rising from the dead holding their arms in acclamation.April 2016 WW Angel
 May ‘Regular and Irregular’ :This talk will examine the detail contained in the glass of the 1320s in the traceries at the top of the windows and in the canopies at the heads of the main window lights.Exploring the regular and the irregular within the medieval stained glass of the Lady Chapel.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
 June  ‘Help on High’ : The Quire clerestory contains groups of confessors and doctors, whose role was to both encourage good learning amongst the clergy and to act as intercessors for those offering prayers in the Quire below. The life stories of Saints like Ambrose would have been well-known during the Middle Ages. In our June Window Walk we have the opportunity to study the portrayal of some of these important figures in the history of the Church.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
 July  ‘Glowing Golds’ : The technique of silver staining, developed in the early 1300s, added a range of yellows and golds to white glass.  We will look at a number of examples to see how this really brought medieval windows to life. (No tour on Saturday 9th July).KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
 August  ‘The Man in Red’ : John the Baptist kneels, awaiting his fate from the sword of the executioner. He is dressed in dramatic red, painted in enamels, a change of technique at the beginning of the 1500s.
 Sept  ‘A Saintly Man’. Bishop Ken’s commemorative window celebrates the life of one the most revered of the Bishops of Wells.  A highly principled man who: demonstrated intense loyalty to the monarch; supported the poor; provided succour for prisoners; offered spiritual guidance to all.Ken-alone-2004_0121_135725AA-web
 Oct ‘The River of Water of Life’ : “sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the city’s street.  On either side of the river stood a tree of life, which yields twelve crops of fruit, one for each month of the year; the leaves of the tree serve for the healing of the nations”.This quotation from the Book of Revelation describes this month’s window –  full of vibrant blues, reds, golds and white. It was made by James Powell and Sons and installed and dedicated in 1905 and can be seen in the South Transept. (No Window Walk on Wednesday 19 October)KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA


Embroideries (11.45am):

Our ‘Exploring the Embroideries’ Walks are free, take place on most Wednesdays and Saturdays between April-October  at 11.45 am and last approx 20 minutes.

We offer a different theme each month. No booking is required.

April ‘Turbulent Times’ : The colourful Cardinals and Bishops leading up to the Reformation in Wells.Wells Cathedral Embroideries Wolsey April 2016
 May  ‘Kings and Bishops’ : We will look closely at embroideries which commemorate the Saxon King Ina, who gave land and money to Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne, to build a Saxon church here in Wells in 705 AD, and when Wells became a new diocese in 909 AD, our first Bishop was Athelm and the Saxon church became the Cathedral Church of St Andrew.Ina May 2016
 June ‘Royal Celebrations': Since the late 12th century the Bishop of this diocese has supported the Monarch at his/her Coronation.  Come and learn more, and see embroideries worked to commemorate royal jubilees.Jubilee seat cushion June 2016
 July  ‘Who Runs the Cathedral?’ Come and meet the members of the Chapter in their embroideries. (No tour on Saturday 9th July).Treasurer July 2016
 August  ‘A World of Difference’
 Sept  ‘The Millennium Frontals’ A closer look at some of our beautiful altar frontals.Trinity frontal September 2016