The City of Wells is the smallest city in England.
It is home to the architectural masterpiece that is the Cathedral of St Andrews.
Adjacent to the cathedral is The Bishop's Palace, which has been home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for over 800 years.
The Palace was commissioned by the first Bishop of Bath and Wells — Bishop Jocelin Trotman in c.1210. Bishop Trotman received a crown license to build a residence and a deer park on the south side of the Cathedral. Future Bishops would add to the residence, which included a chapel and a Great Hall.
An engraving of the Bishops Palace, Wells made by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck in 1733, showing the wall and moat
In the 14th century, Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury commissioned the building of the crenellated walls as well as the moat. Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury had an uneasy relationship with the citizens of Wells, due to high taxes, and thus he needed his residence protected.
In 1548, following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Bishop Barrow, sold the property to Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset. The grounds were recovered after the execution of the Duke.
The Palace now belongs to the Church Commissioners and is managed by The Palace Trust. It is open to the public and boasts of 14 fabulous acres of gardens, where you can also find St Andrew's Spring, where Wells takes her name from.
The Bishop's Palace is also a popular location for the movies and television industry. The 2007 comedy, Hot Fuzz was filmed here, as was the sequel to Snow White and The Huntsman.
Most recently, The Bishop's Palace was transformed into a French Prison for the BBC hit series, Poldark.
If you ever find yourself in Wells, then I highly recommend you check out this beautiful little Palace — you won't be disappointed.