MEDIEVAL ART AND ARCHITECTURE
Adapted from Shepherd, Plate 97
Yellow- bishopric of which Wells was the seat
Screen Sized Version
CLICK HERE FOR A PRELIMINARY BIBLIOGRAPHY
PRELIMINARY NOTES (Sampson, Chapter One, pp 12-73)
Tradition says King Ina founded a college of secular priests at Wells around
705, and built a church os some sort for them.
Was a cathedral during the Anglo-Saxon period, but the seat of the bishopric
was moved to Bath in 1090.
Rebuilding begun Bishop Robert of Lewes (1136-1166) who
built a Norman structure on the site. Present church begun by Reginald
de Bohun, Bishop of Bath between 1174-91 on a site north east of the Saxon
Cathedral Major Phases of construction (1) Choir- 1175-84 (2) Transepts
1184-1205 (3) Eastern Nave 1205-10
There is a great deal of scholarly controversy over when the Western nave
and front were built- the dates range from 1220 to 1260.
Damaged by earthquake in 1248
Central tower raised in 1315, roofed by 1321, but began to settle and the
masonry began to split soon after. Inverted arched erected to reinforce
Chapter house finished in 1319, Lady Chapel in 1326
Famous for the sculpture on the screen facade of the West Front. There
has been a great deal of controversy by scholars on its iconography and
Dimensions : Length: Total interior-383 feet, Nave-161 feet, Choir-103
feet, Main Transept-135 feet. Breadth of Nave - 38 feet , Nave including
aisles -82 feet. Height: Nave- 67 feet, Choir- 67 feet, towers, 160 feet.
Breadth of West front - 47 feet. Area 29,070 square feet (dimension
from Dearmer, p 157)
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Last updated by JV 02/01