As we made our way into Wells on the coach, I could see the cathedral. The medieval, Gothic architecture extending high above the city demands one's attention from a distance. Once inside the cathedral, the atmosphere was one of quiet reflection and prayer. We spent a few hours inside the cathedral. I especially enjoyed the time of quiet prayer spent with the students as we were scattered throughout the Chapter House of Wells Cathedral. The stairway leading to this room shows centuries of wear from the footpath of those going to and from the chapter house and cloisters. The chapter house contains seating along the walls where individuals would meet to discuss cathedral business and legal proceedings. Before we left, the students sang a cappella and the acoustics of the room made it a particularly sacred moment for us. We then made our way to watch the chiming of the famous Wells Cathedral Clock, which is an astronomical clock. It was built before Copernicus discovered the sun was the center of the universe instead of Earth. So, the clock depicts the moon and sun rotating around the Earth. When the clock struck, as we were focused on it with much anticipation, we beheld the figures of two knights charging toward each other and, in the corner above the clock, a figure of a man (known as Jack Blandifers) hitting bells with a hammer and his heels. We enjoyed this very much. A highlight for the students was playing with Louis the Cat, who has free reign throughout the cathedral.
Also while in Wells, the great Andy Sinclair walked us to the Vicar's Close adjacent to the cathedral. This residential area from the 14th century claims to be the oldest such surviving in Europe. It has a couple dozen residences, a chapel with library, and a meeting hall. The streets are paved with setts (quaried stones). It is a beautiful street with walled-in gardens for front lawns. We saw several individuals tending to their gardens during our stroll through the area.
I have always enjoyed touring and spending times at cathedrals and older churches. Our visit to Wells Cathedral will long be a highlight for me. (Images are cropped in the image gallery. Click on individual images to see the whole view.)