Vicars’ Close

Vicars’ Close was built over 650 years ago to house the Vicars Choral and it has since been continuously inhabited by their successors.  Vicars’ Close is unique; physically connected to Wells Cathedral and the most complete example of a medieval Close in the UK.  It embodies an internationally renowned musical heritage.

A survey in 2013 showed the pressing need for conservation to every building in the Close and that the current condition of the buildings is not appropriate for heritage of its significance.

Vicars' Close House Flowering doorway on Vicars' Close  Vicars close arch

Wells Cathedral has a strategic plan which focusses on conserving heritage, opening up spaces to all and connecting with the communities it serves. It is now imperative to conserve Vicars’ Close.

In tackling the conservation challenge, the Vicars’ Close Heritage Programme will embrace exciting opportunities to further the Cathedral’s mission by:

– using innovative ways of engaging audience

– intelligently opening up the Close, providing access and insights to previously hidden spaces

– offering heritage apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities

– celebrating and interpreting musical heritage

– creating local partnerships with the Bishop’s Palace and other key organisations to offer visitors to Wells an inspiring, coherent, informative and enjoyable visit to the medieval quarter of the city

It is anticipated that this programme may take up to a decade to complete and cost in the region of £9million.  For further information about the programme please click here.