The Bishop’s Palace 800th Year Celebrations

1st January - 31st December


The Bishop’s Palace in Wells is looking forward to a very significant birthday in 2020 as it celebrates 800 years since the beginning of the building’s construction.

In 1206 Bishop Jocelyn moved the home of the Bishop of Bath and Glastonbury to Wells and in 1207 was granted land by King John to the South of the Cathedral for a deer park and new palace.

As Jocelyn was occupied by matters of state, went into exile until 1213, and was then embroiled in the first Baron’s Revolt until 1217, the construction of his new Palace is likely to have begun in 1220.

To celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Palace, The Palace Trust is planning a year-long programme of celebratory community events to take place throughout 2020.

Plans so far include:

  • A pageant to celebrate the eight centuries of history during early May
  • A celebratory evensong at Wells Cathedral
  • A Medieval Fair taking place in and around the Palace site during August Bank Holiday weekend
  • A programme of talks from prominent historians and archaeologists
  • A six-month exhibition to tell the stories and intrigues of life at the Palace through events from the nine centuries of its history
  • Community events, themed family activities and workshops based on these stories to celebrate the history of the Palace

The Palace 800 events will take place alongside the normal calendar of Palace Flagship events, such as the Garden Festival and Christmas at the Palace.

Further details will appear on the Palace website in early 2020.

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