Bishop’s Palace

The Bishop’s Palace

The Bishop’s Palace & Gardens have been home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for over 800 years and this stunning medieval palace is open for all to enjoy.

Surrounded by a breath-taking moat (with resident swans!), visitors can cross a flagstone drawbridge, walk under the portcullis and experience a true hidden gem in the heart of the City of Wells. As described by an American visitor 130 years ago, this is a ‘palace of enchantment’.

There are 14 acres of outstanding, RHS Partner gardens to explore, including the beautiful well pools from which the city takes its name, family events, guided tours, a gift shop and a café with the best views in Wells!

The Bishop’s Palace dates from the early-thirteenth century when Bishop Jocelin Trotman, the first Bishop to hold the title Bishop of Bath and Wells, received a crown licence to build a residence and deer park on land to the south of the Cathedral of St Andrew. Although home to the Bishop and other families, visitors can walk in the footsteps of past bishops through a number of rooms within the Palace.

Begun around 800 years ago, successive bishops have left their mark on the Palace. Visitors today can step into the original Palace built for Bishop Jocelin and walk around the beautifully vaulted Undercroft and then up the staircase to what would have been the rooms where he entertained, worked, dined and slept. A walk along the Long Gallery gives an intriguing insight into past bishops via their portraits. And other rooms contain exhibitions ranging from art to history and to artefacts all linking into the spiritual role of this site.

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