Last Photographed: Saturday 6th December 2008
Surrounding Wells Cathedral is one of the world's largest collections of medieval clerical buildings. The church precinct undoubtedly represents the finest medieval complex to be found in Britain.
The most famous feature of the cathedral precinct is the spectacular Vicar's Close. Built in 1363AD to house members of the clergy, this is the oldest example of a complete medieval street in the world (although the ornate chimneys are a later Tudor addition). Today, it's still owned by the cathedral and is still used to house clergy. At its near end, the close is joined to the cathedral building by a medieval chain-bridge that climbs over the street towards the chapter house.
Heading west from Vicar's Close along the edge of the cathedral green, the street features a number of period buildings, including the Old Deanery - built in the 12th Century, it now houses modern conference facilities. At the end of the street, access to Sadler Street is via the original medieval western gatehouse. This survives complete and is now part of a hotel.