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.
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?