The Cathedral Library was built in the mid-fifteenth century over the East Cloister.
Featured Library Book of the Month – August
PARK, Mungo Travel in the interior districts of Africa (1799)
Mungo Park (1771-1806) was a Scottish explorer. He was selected by the African Association in 1794 to lead their expedition to Africa to search for the source of the River Niger. During this expedition he was imprisoned by a Moorish chief for four months but then became the first European to see the Niger River.
He was later ill for seven months and given up for dead, but he made it back home via America. The book with his account of adventures on the expedition was published in 1799.
Park made a second expedition to Africa but died aged 35 when he drowned in a river escaping hostile natives.
Proud to Celebrate Staff Talent
How many Cathedrals can boast two staff authors with new book releases? Both Cathedral Librarian, Kevin Spears, and Archivist Anne Crawford, have recently produced volumes, now on sale in the Cathedral shop.
An Illustrated History of the Books in the Chained Library of Wells Cathedral’, is available for £19.99.
In an accessible format, with many beautiful visual examples, it gives background notes on the history of the book, ranging from production of manuscripts and early printing, to literacy, copyright and censorship, bookbinding and more. The Chained Library of Wells Cathedral has manuscript and printed books produced between the years 1000-1800. Together with the modern Reading Room, it is a working library still occupying the same space created for it above the East Cloister in the mid-1400s.
‘The Vicars of Wells: A History of the College of Vicars Choral’ (2016), is available for £15.
The vicars choral of Wells have been singing in the Cathedral for more than nine centuries, generation after generation of dedicated musicians. In 1348 Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury founded the College of Vicars Choral at Wells by charter. They were the first group of vicars to be thus formally incorporated in the country. The college as an institution lasted until 1931. The college hall and the individual houses for each vicar, forming Vicars’ Close built by Bishop Ralph, have survived remarkably unchanged.
Both volumes come highly recommended.