The Bishop's Eye, Wells

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Bishop's Eye
Bishops eye.jpg
The Bishop's Eye, Wells is located in Somerset
The Bishop's Eye, Wells
Location within Somerset
General information
Location Wells, Somerset
Coordinates 51°12′34″N 2°38′41″W / 51.2095°N 2.64467°W / 51.2095; -2.64467
Construction started c. 1450

The Bishop's Eye in Wells, Somerset, England, is an entrance gateway into a walled precinct, the Liberty of St Andrew, which encloses the twelfth century Cathedral, the Bishop's Palace, Vicar's Close and the residences of the clergy who serve the cathedral. It has been designated as a Grade I listed building.[1]

The Bishop's Eye was built around 1450, by Bishop Thomas Beckington (also spelt Beckyngton), and provides the entrance to the Bishop's Palace. It forms one of a pair with the Penniless Porch which formed the gateway into the Cathedral from the market place and is in a similar style.[2][3]

It is a three-storey building of Doulting ashlar stone, with a copper roof.[4] The timber gates were added in the 18th century. On the front of the structure facing into the market place are a statue niche and heraldic shields carved into the stonework.[1]

It is frequently photographed and has appeared in films such as Hot Fuzz. It was drawn in 1785 by Joseph Mallord William Turner and painted in 1920 by Ernest Haslehust.[5][6]


  1. ^ a b "The Bishop's Eye". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  2. ^ Bush, Robin (1994). Somerset: The complete guide. Wimborne, Dorset: Dovecote Press. p. 222. ISBN 1-874336-26-1. 
  3. ^ Historic England. "Penniless Porch (1383024)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  4. ^ "The Bishop's Eye, Wells". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  5. ^ "Wells: The Bishop's Eye Gateway 1795". Tate. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  6. ^ "The "Bishop's Eye", Wells. Somerset. By Ernest Haslehust - 1920". Amazon. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 

External links[edit]

Media related to The Bishop's Eye, Wells at Wikimedia Commons