The Scissor Arches

The Scissor Arches


The scissor arches, which often visitors believe to be later, modern additions were constructed from 1338-48 as an engineering solution to a very real problem.

By 1313 a high tower topped by a lead covered wooden spire had been constructed but as the foundations were not stable large cracks began to appear in the tower structure.

In fear of a total collapse, several attempts at internal strengthening and buttressing were made, until the famous ‘scissor arches’ were put in place by master mason William Joy as a solution.

Listen to our Music

As a consequence of the national lockdown all public worship, tours, concerts, and other events are suspended in Wells Cathedral until Wednesday 2nd December 2020 inclusive. The Café and Shop are closed, but the Cathedral remains open for individual prayer, lighting of candles and quiet reflection. All are welcome.