© Mr John H. Sparkes
THE BISHOP'S CHAPEL AND THE BISHOP'S PALACE, BISHOP'S PALACE
WELLS, MENDIP, SOMERSET
Mr John H. Sparkes
01 August 2007
12 November 1953
Date of last amendment:
31 May 2000
The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.
ST5445 BISHOP'S PALACE
662-1/7/5 The Bishop's Chapel, The Bishop's
(Formerly Listed as:
The Bishop's Palace
Private chapel in Bishop's Palace. 1275-92 built for Bishop
Burnell. Local stone rubble roughly coursed, Doulting stone
dressings, shallow pitched roof behind parapet.
EXTERIOR: single storey, 3 bays, set at right angles to, and
on the south west corner of, the Bishop's Palace (qv). Plinth,
offsets under main windows, parapet string and crenellated
parapet, corner turrets, those on north side square, but the
south-west corner octagonal on plan. Wide west elevation has
semicircular arched doorway with trefoil inner arch, with
Purbeck stone colonettes over a pair of C19 plank doors with
decorative iron straps. Above is a segmental pointed-arched
window with arched label and 5 cusped lights, in the gable a
sexfoil vent. Stair light in corner turrets, arched doorway in
south-west corner. Arched openings in parapet.
East elevation has a large pointed segmental-headed window
with six lights in groups of 3 with interlaced tracery, and a
central octofoil, all under a moulded drip with stops. Each
side has 3 windows with geometric Decorated tracery.
INTERIOR: a single undivided space with lierne vault, having
naturalistic foliage to bosses, on triple shafts to C19 carved
corbel heads, and with paired shafts to window reveals. Stone
floor. The rere-arch to the W door is cusped. Reredos in 5
bays with blank 2-light openings with quatrefoils, below the
main sill. Sedilia and piscina, restored by Buckler, 1834,
with Purbeck shafts and cusped arches. Windows with mainly C19
grisaille, but some medieval glass fragments to tracery
lights. Fittings are C20: the W returns to the stalls have a
coved cresting carried on slender paired colonnettes.
This chapel is an important element in the development of the
Decorated Style in the late C13.
(Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol:
London: 1958-: 314; Colchester LS: Wells Cathedral: A History:
Shepton Mallet: 1982-: 227-244; Bony J: The English Decorated
Style: London: 1979-: PASSIM).