Sunday, 27th November, 2016

Satoshi was disappointed about not having a bath in Bath yesterday so he decided he would return for one today. I stayed in Wells. I had planned to go to the morning service at the Cathedral but for some reason there was no phone service so Siri couldn't help with directions. Eventually I found the cathedral carpark but it was full. I didn't know how to get to another place that Satoshi had found so I ended up in a supermarket carpark! By this time, it was too late to walk to the cathedral so I went to the nearby St.Cuthbert's Church (see photos on 25th November) instead. I received a very warm welcome and was made to feel at home. There was a choir of 8 but they were not very good! At the end of the service, there was the usual coffee. I was invited to sit with a couple, Mary and George. George had been a lecturer in microbiology and the couple had visited Australia and were planning on doing so again next year.

When I got back to the carpark, the phone had a signal so Siri took me to the other (free) carpark. From there it was an easy walk to the Bishop's Palace. I had lunch at the café.



The milk jug was a bit of a cow to use. The milk came out of its mouth!



Looking up into a tower



The tower up which we looked in the previous photo.



This park was originally used by the Bishop to keep deer.



The wells keep the ponds and moat well-filled.




This is one end of the dragon in the children's playground.



This is the other end of the dragon.


cathedral and pool

This is a famous view of the cathedral. On a completely still day, you can get a perfect reflection of the cathedral in a photo. It wasn't perfect today.



Mr and Mrs Duck



A few weeks ago, this tree would have looked absolutely stunning against the cathedral.



A view of the palace (there are more photos of the exterior on November 25th)


well house

The Well House. In 1451, Bishop Beckington built the well house to provide water for the townsfolk. There was a gravity fed system to the market place. The excess water went down a drain in High Street and washed away the blood and offal from the butcheries located there. Can you see the dog on top?



The dog is Bishop Beckington's Talbot Hound, a breed of dog which is now extinct.



St.Andrew's Well



Another view of the Palace. Although some of it is open to the public, the Bishop of Bath and Wells still lives there.

gate house

The gatehouse of the palace.


The main entry of the palace




Bishop Ken used to share his meal with poor people at this table.


The private chapel of the bishop of Bath and Wells.



The ceiling of the chapel






The above five photos depict the Icons of Reconciliation. They depict The Creation, The Fall, The Gospel of Peace, The Cost of Reconciliation, and The Vision of God's New Order.



The wooden stairway replaced a stone spiral staircase in the 17th century.



What's the password?


long gallery

The Long Gallery



Cardinal Wolsey (who built Hampton Court Palace)



Bishop Ken who is commemorated by a stained glass window in Bath Abbey



William Laud ended up being beheaded (being a Bishop was somewhat dangerous!!)


On leaving the Bishop's Palace, I decided to visit the Wells and Mendip Museum. I soon discovered that it is not open on Sundays. So, on to the Vicars' Close.


clock detail

This clock is on the exterior of the Cathedral.



The Vicars' Close was built in the 14th century to house the Vicars Choral (ie the men of the choir). It is still used for that purpose today. You can see a very interesting six-minute documentary about the close here. You can see the chapel at the end of the close.



I was fortunate enough to arrive just before Evening Prayer and was invited into the chapel. (It's not usually open to the public.)


close Chapel



St.Peter and St.Andrew



A rose in one of the gardens.


At 5:00pm in the Cathedral was a special service, The Advent Procession: The Dawning Light. This was a service of readings, the poetry of Malcolm Guite, traditional congregational Advent carols, and music for Advent. It was good that I got there half an hour before it started because the whole cathedral was soon full. The boys, girls and the Vicars Choral sang Tavener’s Hymn to the Mother of God, Arvo Pärt’s Seven Magnificat Antiphons, and the world premiere of Gabriel Jackson’s O Virgo Virginum. Each member of the choir and congregation had a candle and there was no electric light at all. It was a very memorable occasion.

Satoshi was waiting outside the Cathedral as the service ended and we went for dinner at the Ask Italian Restaurant before returning to Wookey Hole Hotel for the last time. We managed to see only some of Glastonbury, Bath and Wells even though we had five days in the area. We will just have to go back again next time!

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