This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.


List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1382876



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Somerset

District: Mendip

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Wells

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: I

Date first listed: 12-Nov-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 31-May-2000

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 483262

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.



ST5445 BISHOP'S PALACE 662-1/7/7 Gatehouse and boundary wall with 12/11/53 bridge over moat (Formerly Listed as: BISHOP'S PALACE (including Gatehouse and Walls...))


Wall with corner towers and gatehouse, surrounded by moat. c1341 (date of license to Crenellate) by Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury. Local stone rubble with ashlar copings and other dressings, average 5m high. PLAN: irregular, with 6 bastion towers, that to the NW, sometimes referred to as the prison, has a small but lofty room, with apsidal W end, and looks more like a small chapel; it has stone tablets with the decalogue set high on the walls. The gatehouse lies on the N side. The wall is boldly crenellated with some arrowslits. Part of the N side is incorporated in that part of the Bishop's Palace (qv) presently known as Bishop's House. The gatehouse in random rubble with Doulting stone dressings with lead flat roof behind crenellated parapets. EXTERIOR: 3 storeys, the gateway bay flanked by two rectangular towers with corners chamfered on north side. Towers have mostly arrowslits to ground and first floors, but east face of east tower has a 2-light mullioned window with square label (under which is the Swans' Bell), the N face has a circular cinquefoil window, and to the NE corner an angled oriel window at first floor level of 1+2+2+1 lights, with moulded base and reeded frieze to a lead flat roof. The centre gateway has a 4-centre arch in a rectangular recess with carved spandrels, part of the portcullis and the chains of the drawbridge (now connected to a modern fixed bridge) remain, arch has a pair of possibly C14 gates with an inserted wicket of c1600. Above this a single lancet with cusped window set deep inside. Inside the gateway is a quadripartite ribbed vault with short spring shafts, and carved head boss and corbels. In E wall of this space a small oriel window, presumably for the gatekeeper. Side doors in the projection of the towers south of the minor gate arch. INTERIOR: not inspected. The enclosing wall with its moat helps to provide what Pevsner (op cit) calls an "...exquisite beauty of setting...". (Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 314; Colchester LS: Wells Cathedral: A History: Shepton Mallet: 1982-: 227-244).

Listing NGR: ST5516045662

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Colchester, LS , Wells Cathedral: A History, (1982), 227-244
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol, (1958), 314

National Grid Reference: ST 55190 45631


© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1382876 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 20-Oct-2017 at 08:17:03.

End of official listing