Free Weekly Walks (Saturdays and Wednesdays)
Wells Cathedral’s FREE 20 minute weekly stained glass, stone carvings and embroidery walks take place most Wednesdays and Saturdays from April to October.
We offer a different theme each month. No booking is required; please join a Guide by the Donation Desk in the Entry Cloister to begin the tour of your choice.
Stone Carvings (10.40am)
One of the more remarkable medieval features of Wells Cathedral, are the stone carvings. They are to be found everywhere, but particularly in the Nave and Transepts, on whose walls and pillars mythical creatures abound, recognisable creatures do strange things, Green Men glare down, and stories in stone are told. Let our trained guides show them to you, and tell you all about them.
|April – MEDIEVAL MONUMENTS|
|May – STORIES IN STONE|
|June – LIFE IN THE COUNTRY|
|July – THE WEST FRONT – A SERMON IN STONE|
|August – ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL|
|Sept – MYTHICAL CREATURES|
|Oct – GREEN MEN|
Stained Glass (11.10am)
Wells Cathedral has an important collection of both medieval and later stained glass, arguably some of the very best in England. It dates from the late 1200s to the 1930s and includes a large Jesse Window in the Quire and several large windows from the 1800s and 1900s.
One of the Cathedral’s specialist Guides will give a Window Walk on one or two related windows, pointing out details in the glass and giving the background story of the figures depicted. Binoculars are useful though not essential.
|April – THE RIVER OF WATER OF LIFE
“Sparkling like crystal” – based on the book of Revelation, it depicts a Heaven crowded with angels and saints brilliantly arranged and painted.
|May – THE JESSE WINDOW IN THE QUIRE
One of the finest surviving examples of stained glass painting from the 1300s, using pot metal glass of a highly lustrous quality.
|June – THE GREAT WEST WINDOW
A story of loyalty to the Crown, storm damage and, finally, a beautiful setting for The Transfiguration of Christ.
|July – ST MATTHEW AND ST MARK
A highly decorative Edwardian window showing two saints with their attributes.
|August – THE EAST WINDOW IN THE LADY CHAPEL
Largely remade in the 1800s, featuring the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child and some Old Testament figures.
|Sept – THE LIFE OF CHRIST
Stories of Christ’s life portrayed in three windows and made by James Powell & Sons in the 1800s.
|Oct – ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST
Miracles of beauty from renaissance Rouen in St Katherine’s Chapel.
The beautiful embroideries in the Quire include 32 banners relating to Bishops from the 14th to the 20th centuries. Working chronologically, we will explore the lives of a different group of Bishops each month.
|April – BUILDER BISHIOPS 1309 – 1465
(Drokensford, Harewell, Bubwith, Bekynton)
|May – ABSENTEE BISHOPS 1466 – 1523
(Stillington, Fox, King, Costello, Wolsey)
|June – REFORMATION BISHOPS 1541 – 1581
(Knight, Barlow, Bourne, Berkeley)
|July – SCHOLARLY BISHOPS 1593 – 1632
(Still, Montague, Lake, Laud, Curle)
|August – BISHOPS FROM CHARLES II TO QUEEN ANNE 1670 – 1703
(Creighton, Mews, Ken, Kidder)
|Sept – GEORGIAN BISHOPS 1704 – 1845
(Hooper, Wynne, Willes, Beadon, Law)
|Oct – BISHOPS FROM VICTORIA TO GEORGE VI 1845 – 1937
(Bagot, Eden, Hervey, Kennion, Wynne-Willson)
For more in-depth tours why not consider one of the special interest tours we run on specific dates throughout the year? Or talk to our Visits team about booking guided tour for your group. Click here for more information or call 01749 671663.