Scroll down to see what there is to see and do! Click on the links for more information. Opening times are here
At the Town Hall you will be able to visit the Mayor’ Parlour and see local history displays, including ‘Prisons of Wells’ (medieval to modern), railways and fairs
St Cuthbert’s Church will have displays, tours & talks about the medieval reredos conservation project (to find out more about this project click here) as well as children’s activities, tea & coffee. On the Saturday there will be visits to the Ringing Chamber.
The Wells and Mendip Museum is offering Curator’s Tours at 11am Thurs-Sat. The museum website tells you more about the collections
The Almshouses will be open on the Saturday 11am – 4pm. To find out more about the almshouses visit their website
The Bishops Barn will be open 12am to 2pm on Friday. Following consultation with the people of Wells, the Wells Recreation Ground Trust is currently in discussion with Heritage Lottery Fund and other funding bodies about preserving this vital community space for generations to come – visit @thebishopsbarn page on Facebook
The Old Deanery will be open on Saturday 10am – 4pm – and the Old Deanery Garden will be open at the same times. To find out more about this historic garden visit the website
Wells United Church will be having an Exhibition of Arts and Crafts with refreshments from 10am – 4pm on Saturday
Wells Walking Tours is offering a free Heritage Tour of South Wells at 10.30am on Friday, starting at entrance to Tor Hill Woods (by National Trust sign) and finishing at Priory Health Centre. Lasts 1.5 hours max. This needs to be booked on 01749 672438 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mendip Hospital Cemetery and Chapel will be open Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm. The cemetery is accessed through a gate on Hooper Avenue (BA5 3NA).
Opened in 1874 as the burial ground of the Somerset and Bath Pauper Lunatic Asylum (later known as the Wells Mental hospital, and from 1948, the Mendip Hospital), this cemetery is the final resting place of just under 3000 patients and staff from this historic institution, the last interment taking place in 1963.
The cemetery grounds are now maintained by volunteers as a beautiful and peaceful living memorial to all those buried here, the majority of whom lie in now unmarked graves. Fortunately we have the burial records so know their names, age, place of origin, and can point to the approximate area of the cemetery where each burial took place.
Many patients came from Somerset’s seventeen district workhouses, and admission records and case notes have survived; these, combined with searches of census returns and parish records, are enabling our volunteers to build a picture of their lives and condition. However humble their origin, they all have a valuable story to tell.
For Heritage Open Days we are offering special tours of the cemetery – discover more about this unique place and the people buried here. What was life really like in the Victorian Asylum? You may be surprised to find out!
There is an annotated display of historic photographs, maps and plans of the Mendip Hospital, in the cemetery chapel.
- Saturday 9 September: 1000-1600, Tours 1100 & 1500
- Sunday 10 September: 1000-1600, Tours 1100 & 1500