The Vicars Close

Vicars’ Close next to Wells Cathedral is a stunning medieval cobbled street. It is said to be the oldest continually occupied street in Europe. It was built in 1360s as an extension of the cathedral by Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury. He built the Vicar’s Hall and Close to give the men of the quire secure accommodation away from the temptations of the town. The Close and Cathedral are linked by a bridge.

It still houses members of the choir today and has remained unchanged in nearly 700 years.

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Wells Tuesday 145This door intrigued me so I tried it and it opened. It was the entrance to a small chapel. Later I found this description on line.

The quadrangle was finally completed with the building of the Chapel at the north end in the early fifteenth century. The Chapel was dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Katherine, and it is first mentioned in a charter of 1479, but shields on the Chapel door carry the arms of Bishops Bubwith and Stafford, suggesting that the chapel was begun in the episcopate of the former and finished under the latter, giving it a date of c.1424-30. A room over the Chapel served as the Vicars’ Library.

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We were constantly amazed at the history and at how old things are in England compared to the United States. We were happy to find the Vicars Close and walk along the cobbles of the oldest  continually occupied street in Europe!

My back is all better with a day of rest and thank you for asking! Today is Halloween and I’m already wondering if I have enough treats to go around. I have a package of goodies with 60 individual treats. We’ll keep count and let you know how many little trick or treaters we get at our door. Katie is with us this Halloween so she’ll be the treat giver and she’ll be dressed as a faerie. I’ll take a photo…

Do you get Trick or Treaters at your door?

About Ellenhttps://happywonderer.com/I am a wife, mother, baba (grandmother) and a loyal friend. Jesus is my King and my hope is in my future with Him.

5 thoughts on “The Vicars Close

  1. No. We discourage it actually. I waffle back and forth between not wishing to honor the day and not wishing to be the meanie on the street. I have noticed a decline in those out and about as most attend private functions. That said, I will have two.

    Oh yes, Europeans must laugh at what we call old. I wonder they have the same respect for “old” that we tend to have given our youth and immaturity. =D

  2. First of all – fabulous pictures, Ellen! How lucky you were to take that walk through history – The mention of Shrewsbury and the date 1140 takes me back to my favourite detective series “Brother Cadfael”.
    Secondly – very few ordinary folks like taking their children tick or treating to the scary places and we as Christians can be the friendly, fun place on the block with the brightest welcome and the best treats. Our light can shine even on the darkest of nights.

  3. Wonderful visit, Ellen. It looks like you didn’t have a huge crowd with you since you managed some fantastic shots. There’s something remarkable about being a space that’s been occupied by people for hundreds of years. We live in an age with such rapid change, yet you walked on cobblestones nearly 700 years old.

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