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Forthcoming Visit to Wells – 25th and 26th April 2018

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Our first visit of the year will be a two-day outing to the medieval City of Wells – the smallest city in England.  On Wednesday 25th April, in order to give you a rather special first sight of the city, I am going to start the tour in the gardens at Milton Lodge, which is the home of Mrs. Tudway Quilter and her son, Simon.   The panoramic views of Wells and the cathedral, the Mendip Hills and the Vale of Avalon are quite spectacular from these wonderful gardens which were conceived by Simon’s great grandfather around 1900.  The family have long been involved in Wells especially in the Cathedral School.  After our visit to Milton Lodge, we will spend the rest of the afternoon on a walking tour of the city, taking in the famous Vicars’ Close, the market place and the Cathedral School before attending choral evensong in the Cathedral.  After the service, the Dean, The Very Reverend Dr. John Davies has invited us to have a drink with him in the Deanery.

On Thursday 26th April, we will fill the morning with a guided tour of the moated Bishop’s Palace.  This has been the home and office to The Bishop of Bath and Wells for over 800 years.  After visiting the Palace buildings, we will continue with a guided walk around the beautiful grounds and gardens and see the historic wells from which the city takes its name.  After lunch we will visit the famous 13th century Cathedral, with its Scissor Arches, extraordinary 24 hour medieval clock, one of the most exquisite Chapter House and bishop Bubwith’s Library.

I would urge anyone coming on the visit to sign up for both days so that they gain the full Wells experience but I am aware that a few of you might find that difficult, and I will therefore try to accommodate those wanting to do only one day.

The cost of the two-day visit will be £150 per head to include all entry tickets, guides and lunch on both days.

Forthcoming visit to Malmesbury Abbey, Sherston and Shipton Moyne, on Thursday 14th June 2018

Thursday 14 June 2018

Malmesbury is thought by some to have been the first capital of England and was known as “the city of the Britons” long before the Romans came.  A Benedictine monastery was founded here in the 7th century and since then the life of the Abbey has been entwined with the community that surrounds it.  We will begin our day with a guided tour of the Abbey followed by a visit to the beautiful Abbey House Gardens.

Late morning we will leave Malmesbury by coach and travel a few miles to the ancient village of Sherston.  A talk in the Church of the Holy Cross about the village and its connections to King Canute will be followed by a visit to The Old Vicarage.  Our members, Nigel and Lavinia Corbally Stourton moved to the vicarage around three years ago and have begun laying out a charming garden.  They have kindly invited us to eat our picnic lunch in the garden, or house if the weather is unkind to us.

Our last stop of the day will be Shipton Moyne where our members, Richard and Lucy Boggis-Rolfe are allowing us to visit them in their old rectory which is now known as The Glebe House.  There has been a rectory on this site since records began in 1597 but the Glebe House dates back to 1814 when a loan from Queen Anne’s Bounty helped rebuild it.  The Church of St. John the Baptist lies beyond the cedar tree at the end of the garden.  We will see both Glebe House and its church before ending the day with a cup of tea.