Free Weekly Walks (Saturdays and Wednesdays)

Wells Cathedral’s FREE weekly stained glass and embroidery walks take place most Wednesdays and Saturdays from April to October and showcase the Cathedral’s unique stained glass and beautiful embroideries.  Please join our Guide by the Donation Desk in our Entry Cloister to begin the tour of your choice.

Please note there will not be a Weekly Embroideries Walk on Saturday 7 October, or any Weekly Walks on Saturday 11 & Wednesday 14 October due to other events taking place. Please check on arrival.

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 of about 20 minutes on one or two related windows, pointing out details in the glass and giving a the background story of the figures depicted.

April April-2017a-St-John-Katherine-IMG_web ‘St John the Evangelist‘ : Two images, one from the 1330s in the Jesse Window in the Quire showing John the Beloved Disciple at the foot of the cross and the other in a window in St Katherine’s chapel from the 1500s. We will look at the changes in the techniques used in each period and the differences in style of each.
 May John S Trans IMG_2383‘St John the Baptist’:A Renaissance portrayal of St John the Baptist high up in the clerestory of the north transept showing him awaiting execution and an Edwardian image of the saint baptising Jesus in the river Jordan. These two images show the different styles used 400 years apart.
Medieval and early 20th century portraits of England’s patron saint showing the different styles and techniques of the 1300s and 1900s.
 July  St Dunstan S Transept IMG_2892‘St Dunstan’: Medieval and early 20th century portraits of St Dunstan.  He was a local man who became Abbot of Glastonbury and Archbishop of Canterbury.  We will look at the different techniques used in the glass making and design and compare the changes.
 August  KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA‘St Mark’: Medieval and Edwardian portraits of St Mark who was a gospel writer and evangelist though not one of the twelve apostles. Evangelists are often depicted using symbols, in his case the winged lion.  We will look at the differences and discuss the different techniques used.
 Sept  St Michael IMG_0626‘Archangels’: Medieval and Victorian depictions of these haloed Angels. Two of the best known Archangels, Michael and Gabriel, from the medieval and Victorian periods are featured this month. One is a small image in the North Quire aisle and the other a larger one at the back of the nave.
 Oct St Calixtus IMG_3541 cropped‘St Calixtus & St Gregory’: A look at two early medieval Popes depicted in contrasting styles. St Gregory is in a medieval setting and dates from the 1340s while St Calixtus’ window was made in the 1920s in a different  style typical of that time.

Embroideries (11.40am):

We offer a different theme each month. No booking is required.

April Wolsey-April-2017-539x660‘An Unholy Trinity?  Three Bishops of the Reformation Years’:
Learn more about the mixed legacies of Thomas Wolsey, William Barlow and Gilbert Bourne.
 May  The Virgin Mary, May 2017The Virgin Mary’:
We have two beautiful embroideries of the Virgin Mary, at the Annunciation and with the baby Jesus.
 June  2017 Tours Embroidery Image Angels‘A Quire of Angels’:
Appropriately in a place dedicated to the worship of God, we have many beautiful angels.
 July St Andrew July 2017 Two Martyr Saints’:
Learn more about St Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and St Andrew, to whom the Cathedral is dedicated.
 August  Harewell August 2017‘Towers and Arches’:
Bishops Drokensford, Harewell, Bubwith and Bekynton made significant additions to the Cathedral and City.
 Sept  Bird September 2017‘A Brief Bestiary’:
Some creatures great and small in the Quire embroideries.
 Oct  St Indract October 2017‘And did those feet in ancient times?’ :

Discover Glastonbury history and legends depicted in the Quire embroideries.