Wells Cathedral: Raking view of west facade and side Chapter House



The west front, completed ca. 1250, has about 300 remaining medieval statues; many of the figures, and their niches, were originally painted and gilded. The Chapter House was completed 1306.

The present cathedral, dedicated to St. Andrew, was built in two major periods: ca. 1185-1240 and ca. 1275-1350. It contains fine sculpture, monuments and stained glass. It is the seat of the Bishop of Bath and Wells, who lives at the adjacent Bishop’s Palace. A unique feature in the crossing are the double pointed inverted arches, known as owl-eyed strainer arches, to stop the central tower from collapsing. The architect of the arches is unknown and the date is debated, ca. 1338-1350. Overall the cathedral’s first phase was pointed Late Romanesque, transitioning into Early English–the beginnings of Gothic. The Perpendicular west towers were added ca. 1370 (south, by William Wynford) and ca. 1410.


Attribute NameValues
  • G. Massiot & cie

  • Cathedrals

  • Architecture

Date Created
  • 1910-01-01

Date Digitized
  • 2007-01-01

Cultural Context
  • Gothic (Medieval)

  • Early English

Place of Creation
  • Wells

  • +51.210348-2.643462

  • Wells, England, United Kingdom

Departments and Units
Member of
Temporal Coverage
  • before or circa 1910

Record Visibility and Access Public
Content License


Collections Featuring this Image
Architectural Lantern Slides of United Kingdom


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