Discovering Vicars’ Close

Discovering Vicars’ Close

Tuesday 30 May–Saturday 10 June 2023

12 Vicars’ Close | 10.00 a.m.–4.00 p.m. (closed Sundays)



Visit our temporary exhibition to learn more about this amazing place and help inform our plans for the future

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Programme of Events

Unless stated, all events are free of charge. Donations towards the Vicars’ Close project are welcomed.

Temporary Exhibition

Tuesday 30 May–Saturday 10 June, 10.00 a.m.–4.00 p.m. (Closed Sundays)

Visit our temporary exhibition at 12 Vicars’ Close to learn more about this amazing place and help inform our plans for the future.

Half-term Family Activities

Tuesday 30 May–Thursday 1 June, various times

Three days of different activities with a Vicars’ Close theme:
Tuesday 30 May  ‘Create a Coat of Arms’ workshops
Wednesday 31 May – ‘Discover Bats’ workshops
Thursday 1 June – ‘Chorister Experience’ workshops
Thursday 1 June – ‘Family Singalong’ workshops

Various times throughout each day – see Eventbrite for more details
There will be a small charge of £2 per child / £1 if eligible for free school meals

Treasury Block & Vicars’ Close Tours [SOLD OUT]

Wednesday 31 May, 10.30 a.m.; Thursday 1 June, 2.00 p.m.; Monday 5 June, 2.00 p.m.; Friday 9 June, 10.30 a.m.

Led by specialist volunteer guides explore usually unseen spaces including the Vicars’ Hall, Chapel and Treasury block

Bat Walk on Vicars’ Close

Wednesday 7 June, 8.45 p.m.
Join our project ecologist to explore Vicars’ Close at dusk and learn more about the different species and habits of our local bats

Vicars in the Archives

Thursday 8 June, 10.00 a.m., 12.00 noon, 2.00 p.m. and  3.00 p.m.
With Veronica Howe, Cathedral Archivist, Discover some rarely seen material from our collections including the original Royal Charter and a letter from the Court of Queen Elizabeth.

Gardens in the Medieval and Early Tudor Era

Wednesday 7 June, 10.30 a.m.
A talk by historic gardens expert, Sarah Hare. Sarah will give a broad outline of how gardens developed in the period and specifically how gardens in Vicars’ Close might have been used.

Vicars’ Close Revealed [SOLD OUT]

Friday 2 June, 10.30 a.m.
A presentation given by our Conservation consultant Catherine Woolfitt. Come and find out more about the new discoveries made about the development of the Close over time.


In 2022, Wells Cathedral was given a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to develop plans which will conserve the unique architectural heritage of the site and open a number of the historic properties to the public for the first time.

The Discovering Vicars’ Close programme includes opportunities to learn more about the history of the Close and the project, and to share ideas for interpretation and future activities.

Guided tours will allow access to some of the most special but previously unseen spaces in the Close. Events include a talk on medieval garden design and a dusk bat walk with our project ecologist. During half term there will be three days of children’s workshops, each with a different theme relating to the Close.

The Cathedral archivist will also host visits to the archives where attendees will be able to see the original Charter signed by Edward III. The archives also hold a letter from the court of Elizabeth I asking to return one of the Vicars Choral who has been on loan; apparently, his voice had broken and he had started to eat too much!

Crystal Johnson, Project Manager, said

“There will be something for everyone including children’s workshops, guided tours, displays, talks and walks. Vicars’ Close is a truly amazing place with an incredible history. This is an opportunity to not only see behind the scenes and find out about our project plans but also to share ideas and thoughts about what you would like for the Close in the future”.

These events are part of the detailed development of the project. A second stage application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund will be submitted later this year for £3.3million. If successful, this will enable the conservation of all buildings in the Close and the development of new visitor spaces to share and celebrate the heritage of this unique place.

Ahead of and during the events in May and June, local residents and visitors are being invited to complete a short survey at (available online at to help inform the plans for a new visitor experience at Vicars’ Close.

Knowing that time is precious, anyone completing the survey is being offered the opportunity to win 2 x Gold tier tickets to this year’s Carols by Candlelight concerts in the Cathedral.

Worth £100, these tickets sell out fast, but the lucky winner will be able to choose tickets for either 19, 20 or 21 December 2023. More information on the draw is given at the end of the survey.

If you would like more information about the project and to visit the Close and it’s hidden spaces, then please contact Crystal Johnson:

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