The Parish Church
of St Cuthbert Wells
St Cuthbert Street
Somerset BA5 2UE
 
 

Most visitors to Wells only visit Wells Cathedral but St Cuthbert’s is well worth a look. Beside the church is a small mound believed to be a pre-Christian burial ground.

The Church is dedicated to St Cuthbert a most important Saint in Saxon times and it is believed that the first church to be built on the site was wooden. It was built in King Alfred’s time at the end of the 9th century.
 
Norman Church built around 1135 
The Normans replaced the Saxon church with another one c. 1135 and this in turn was replaced by another church in the 13th century. This 13th century church forms the nucleus of the present building. Some parts of this original church remain - notably the piers and arches of the nave arcade and a few windows.
 
In the 15th century a sweeping restoration and remodeling took place. It was then that the church assumed the dimensions and appearance that it has today. In 1561, the central tower was removed or maybe it collapsed. There is no central tower today. However the west tower is magnificent with pinnacles and battlements.
 
The 16th century timber roof of the Nave has the most beautifully carved and painted angels, rosettes and shields. Restored in 1963 it is now as fresh as the day it was put up 600 years ago.
 
Pulpit dates from 1636
The pulpit is also worth inspecting carefully. Dating from 1636 it is delicately carved with figures depicting stories from the Old Testament.
 
Unfortunately, much of the glorious medieval carving and paintings in St Catherine’s Chapel and the Lady Chapel were mutilated during the Reformation and now only remnants of two 15th century reredos remain. They were rediscovered during restoration work in 1848. During this work a magnificent stone reredos was installed behind the High Altar.
 
Church Treasury has an interesting past! 
In the north aisle directly opposite the main church entrance is the doorway to the Treasury. This room has had a chequered history. Originally it was used to house the Church treasure including the silver and gold Communion chalice and plate.
 
During the Dissolution of the Monasteries started by Henry VIII and enthusiastically carried on by his son Edward VI, the Church’s valuables were plundered and the Treasury became an armory where the city’s arms and barrels of gunpowder were stored. In the 17th century it was turned into a place of detention for prisoners taken following the Battle of Sedgmoor during the Civil War.
 
In the 19th century and for some time afterwards the City Fire Engine was housed in the Treasury necessitating its removal during Divine Service on occasions!
 
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Agoda here:    External Link
 
For Opening Hours, Contact & Further Information
Telephone   +44 (0)1749 676 906
Website   Parish Church of St Cuthbert website    External Link

Getting There

​Refer to the Wells page in this website.

The Church has a a street map at Web:  St Cuthbert's/ Contact us    External Link 

Google Maps - The Parish Church of St Cuthbert