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.
This 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.
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?
Just the name of this market town makes you want to check it out. Looking back on our trip I’m already hoping to return and spend some more leisurely time here and there. The Cotswolds is one of the places I’d like to explore with time to just wander about. There was one thing I was determined to see during our very short time in Stow.
We needed to find The Parish Church of St. Edward.
The Parish Church of St. Edward was built between the 11th and the 15th century. The tower was the last part of the church to be completed in 1447. It is 88′ high and houses the heaviest peal of eight bells in Gloucestershire; it is also very prominent for miles around. The painting of the Crucifixion in the south aisle was painted by Gaspar de Craeyer (1582 – 1669), a contemporary of Rubens and Van Dyck. Many features of this outstanding Cotswold Church may be attributed to the town’s prosperity as a centre of the Wool Trade.
But all this cool history isn’t what motivated me to walk around this church…
I was looking for a special door I wanted to see. This is a cool door but it wasn’t the one I was looking for.
This is the door I was determined to see in person. Those are real trees that flank this door to the church. Pretty cool, yes?
We had to have the “we were here” photo taken! Another slightly different view. Can you tell I was excited about this door?
If I visit Stow again I think I would take tea at Lucy’s …
From the Cotswolds we headed Southwest to stay a night in the Cathedral City of Wells. Hope you aren’t getting tired of our England journeys. I’ve got lots more to share and we haven’t even gotten to Cornwall yet…
We have a fun weekend planned with lots of girlie things we hope to enjoy. October is half over. What are your plans for this weekend? Today (Wednesday) I’m just watching the leaves fall and I ordered a pizza to be delivered for dinner. There were a lot of leaves to watch after all…