Vicar’s Close: A short walk across the Green, along from the Chain Gate and through an arch to the east of Wells Cathedral, you will find Vicars’ Close. Built for the Vicars’ Choral (the men of the choir), c1360, this is Europe’s most oldest, inhabited street in Europe.
It comprises numerous Grade 1 listed buildings, made up of 27 residences (originally 44), built for Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury, a chapel and library at the north end, and a hall at the south end, over an arched gate. It is connected at its southern end to the Cathedral by way of a walkway over Chain Gate.
The Close is about 460 ft (140 m) long, and paved with setts. Its width is tapered by 10 ft (3 m) to make it look longer when viewed from the main entrance nearest the cathedral. When viewed from the other end it looks shorter.
By the nineteenth century the buildings were reported to be in a poor state of repair, and part of the hall was being used as a malthouse.
Copyright 2019 The Crown at Wells and Anton's Bistrot Site developed by Sara Blair