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© Mr John H. Sparkes

IoE Number: 483261
Location: BISHOP BURNELL'S GREAT HALL, BISHOP'S PALACE
  WELLS, MENDIP, SOMERSET
Photographer: Mr John H. Sparkes
Date Photographed: 01 August 2007
Date listed: 12 November 1953
Date of last amendment: 31 May 2000
Grade I

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.

WELLS ST5445 BISHOP'S PALACE 662-1/7/6 Bishop Burnell's Great Hall 12/11/53 (Formerly Listed as: BISHOP'S PALACE (including... ruins of Great Hall...)) GV I Ruins of former mediaeval bishop's hall house. c1280, part demolished c1830. Local rubble with Doulting stone dressings, no roof. Remains of large 5-bay aisled hall, approx 35m long and 18m wide internally, with screens passage and N porch; solar and undercroft to right (W). What now remains is the N wall, W wall, remnants of the arcade column bases, and a detached turret to the SE corner of the E wall. The N wall has 4 lofty 2-light geometrical Decorated windows, with sexfoil head over cusped lights, and cusped transom; to the right the inner doorway to the former N porch, and at either end are remains of octagonal stair turrets. At the W end, with 2 octagonal turrets, later single-storey C19 service buildings have been added, with a narrow central courtyard; there was already some low-level extension here in 1730 and before. On the S side is a length of low wall extending towards the E, including a pointed doorway with mouldings. Originally this was a most impressive large hall residence. It is believed to have been built after the commencement of the Chapel (qv), and appears in Buck's view of 1730 apparently still complete, with a deep 2-storey N porch, 3 of the windows (that to the E seems blocked by a solid wall), and 4 roof gables or dormers; the S and E walls were finally demolished in the early C19 by Bishop Law "... to make a more picturesque ruin...", and, in Pevsner's words, with the remainder of the Palace complex, "...is the product of the gentle romanticism of the C18 and early C19." (Colchester LS: Wells Cathedral: A History: Shepton Mallet: 1982-: 232; Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 315).

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