Wells Cathedral appeared in 909 AD but was removed to Bath Bath in 1090 during a grueling power struggle. In the 13th century, when philosophy was exchanged between two places, the balance was restored.
There may have been an impressive building here from the Saxon and Norman eras. But the Cathedral we see today began in 1176. The first great building lasted until about 1240. Built-in addition to the stunning Western Front.
The next major addition was the Chapter House, built from 1286-1306. In the 14th century, the eastern corner of the church was almost completely restored, and the central tower was completed. As soon as the large central tower was completed it became clear that its weight was too large to climb.
The innovative solution to this architectural challenge was a group of arches on either side of the crosswalk. These magnificent arches are perforated with wide round holes, creating a diagonal cross that resembles the salt cross of St. Andrew’s dedicated to the church.
If you reach the Wells Cathedral from the market via the Pennsylvania Lounge, do not immediately turn right toward the Cathedral entrance. Instead, head out into the middle of the wide green grass that leads out the west doors and lookup.
You will be amazed by the glorious example of medieval architecture in England. The west front portion of Wells Cathedral was built in the 13th century. It is this extraordinary work attributed to Thomas Norris that is truly a work of art on a very large scale.
The whole front from the ground level to the top of the hill seems to be overflowing with statues. It’s fun for space when you look out of the fancy tents. Its effect is just a jaw drop, and the three western doors are almost completely submerged. They resemble three rabbit pits set up on a hillside.
Norris’ original design called for towers to be erected on all sides of the screen, but these were never built, probably due to a lack of funding or the designer’s death. In their place are two rectangular, fortified towers built in the 14th and 15th centuries.
While these slightly overhead towers seem to be out of place, at least they bring your eyes back to the unusual screen carvings that are irreversible. The carving is made of five strips. The lower layers show statues of saints and images of Wells, angels, and Bible stories.
There are three other bands in the temple. The influence of the nine angels from the Nine Acts to the Twelve Apostles and finally to the representation of Christ on the Day of Judgment is simply astonishing. Even more so when you consider that the statues were originally painted in color, which is quite understandable.
- Skyscraper Arches
As you enter the Cathedral, look at the tabernacle. Then you can see the ‘signature’ view of Wells. Those are the unusual scissor arches that help to cross. Crisp cross supports are aptly called filter arches, but they are popularly known as scissor arches for the simple reason that they open up like a pair of beautifully curved scissors.
The arches are so impressive that they are largely covered with the symmetrical symmetry of the ship arcades and the beautifully decorated pillars engraved with the finest hard-leaf sheets in England.
- Industrial Clock
One of the most popular and intriguing attractions of Wells Cathedral is this clock, perched on a high wall on the west wall of the Northern Transcend. The 14th-century astronomical clock is considered to be the second oldest mechanical clock in Europe. Every four hours, a small character named Jack Blandifers strikes the clock with a hammer. Then strikes with two heels. When the bell rings, a pair of funny knights appear above the clock face.
The face of the clock is astronomical, marked by the phases of the moon and the time elapsed since the last full moon and a full call for 24 hours. It shows that the earth is in the center, and the sun and moon revolve around it. The mechanism was built between 1386 and 1392, and although the clock face was original, it was replaced during the Victorian period and continued to function in the Museum of Science in London.
The same mechanism that drives an astronomical clock also operates a clock on the outer wall. The external clock is a relatively new one made 70 years after the internal clock. The outer watch has a quarter-jack pair in the shape of armor knights.
- Southern Translation Carvings
One of the highlights of Wells is the wealth of stunning carvings that adorn the column capitals. These are probably the best and most accessible in the South Transcend. One shows a man with a severe toothache, and another shows the workers working in the vineyard. Another depicts lizard-eating berries. The most famous of the carvings is a sequence called The Wage of the Dead, which adorns a large cluster pillar like a cartoon strip. The sequence shows the culprits breaking into an orchard to steal the fruit, being caught by the farmer, and being mercilessly beaten.
- Chapter House
The magnificent Chapter House, founded around 1286, is one of the highest architectural highlights of 13th century Britain. Chapters Many people come to Wells to see the house and to climb the wide stone stairs. The house in the chapter is amazing. 32 ribs sprout from the hole in the middle. But the stairs to reach it are equally striking. It is as indirect and perishable as flowing water. As you enter, you are immediately struck by the large height of the vault supported by a single cluster in the middle pit. On a sunny day, the chapters light up the house, creating clear color patterns on the floor and stone seats outside the room. The floor is kept perfectly clear, creating a large, resonant space that enhances the feel of the space. When you look closely at the carved heads that adorn the chambers, you will feel that each one is unique. Some of them are scary as well as ridiculous. Some of them clearly represent important people. Those are church officials or sponsors. Some of them are hilarious, and they are full of humorous expressions.