© Mr John H. Sparkes
BOUNDARY WALLS TO NUMBERS 1-13, VICARS' CLOSE (east side)
WELLS, MENDIP, SOMERSET
Mr John H. Sparkes
01 August 2007
12 November 1953
Date of last amendment:
31 May 2000
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ST5445 VICARS' CLOSE
662-1/7/333 (East side)
12/11/53 Boundary walls to Nos 1-13
(Formerly Listed as:
Nos.1-13 AND 14-27 (Consecutive))
Walls enclosing gardens of row of houses. Mid C15, with some
C19 modifications, restored 1976-83. Local roughly squared
stone rubble with Doulting ashlar dressings.
Front boundary walls on average 4m from front of house, with
returns along side boundaries and with openings opposite
doorways to houses, average 1m high, with roll and pitched
At the south end there is a quarter- circle curve into the
Vicars Hall (qv); variations are:
No.4 has lower walls surmounted by railings having arrowhead
tops with urn finials to standards, and matching gate.
No.5 has what may be an original gateway, where the wall is
swept up in the centre to a 4-centred arched gateway having
mock-crenellated top, framing a timber gate with wrought-iron
hinges: on the rear, over the arch, a carved raised text in
Gothic letters, quoting from Psalm.
No.7 has gateways at the extreme ends with ashlar piers having
moulded pyramidal caps, and No.12 has similar piers to the
To No.13 the front wall is about 1.8m high, with two stone
arches as No.5, the left framing stone steps alongside the
Vicars Chapel (qv) and the right is the house gateway, with
These walls break up the original quadrangular form of Vicars'
Close, having been erected in response to demands from the
Vicars for gardens. They enclose the approx 140m long street,
which narrows and rises slightly towards the N, and is
completely paved with setts.
Probably each house had a raised gateway when the walls were
(Colchester LS: Wells Cathedral: A History: Shepton Mallet:
1982-: 212-225; Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North
Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 319).