Wells by Mouse
Wells (Web site), in Somerset, is 127 miles southwest of London, 74 miles west of Winchester, 21 miles south of Bristol and 7 miles north of Glastonbury. There is a beautiful cathedral (web site) in Wells, which is why we wanted to visit. The town itself also is very attractive.
There are several features of the cathedral that are worth mentioning. The west front looks from a distance looks like it has an integrated, all-of-a-piece geometric design. This degree of integration is unusual for a cathedral that took over 200 years to complete. However, upon closer inspection the integrated look is due to the neat vertical rows of a host of statues--400 of them. And there used to be more before Oliver Cromwell's forces tore down some of the lower ones, those they could reach. You can see in our photos many empty niches where the statues used to be. Inside toward the rear of the nave is a very unusual and graceful scissors arch. Actually there are two of these at right angles to each other. They look like they were part of the original design, but they really were added as a reinforcement when the walls started to buckle. Then there is the unusual clock which is estimated to have been in its place in 1392, with its original medieval face representing a pre-Copernican universe with the earth at its center. The clock puts on a show of jousting knights on horseback every hour. The cathedral has an octagonal chapter house with a center column ending in a palm vault that is in turn surrounded by other palm vaults eminating from the walls. Around the center pillar there is a stone bench where the high-ranking church members sat, spoke and answered questions posed by monks seated around the room's periphery, quite a long distance from the center. One wonders how well some of the older monks may have heard what those in the center had to say. Outside the cathedral, across a side street, is the Vicar's Close, a 14th century housing development in which the cathedral choristers lived. They don't make em like that anymore! Our photos show all of these features.
On the day of our visit there was an open-air market on the lawn in front of the west front, and that prevented Ron from getting a photo of the whole structure. But there are many photos of it on the internet.
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