The tradition of Swans on the Moat at The Bishop’s Palace goes back to 1870’s when one of Bishop Hervey’s daughters first taught the swans to ring a bell at the Gatehouse for food. You can see the bell just beneath the window on the left of the Gatehouse, with a rope hanging down for the swans to pull - the rope is only in place when someone is available to feed the swans, as otherwise they might ring and be disappointed.

New generations of swans learn to ring the bell from their parents.

The swans will usually be fed around 3pm most days (staff availability and weather depending), but given that our swans don’t wear watches, please don’t be disappointed if they are busy elsewhere!