Wells, Cathedral West Front c.1950

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Caption for Wells, Cathedral West Front C1950: The statues are badly worn by the strong westerly winds (which give the name of 'kill canon corner' to the north-west corner); they were also damaged by the 17th-century iconoclasts, who tried to set fire to the cathedral and destroy the images. The faces on the statues, probably the portraits of local inhabitants, were meticulously painted, despite the fact that the artists and sculptors knew they were not visible from below. One of the knights has bright blue eyes inside his helmet - a shock for the unsuspecting restorer on the scaffolding, peering in! David Wynne sculpted the new statue of Christ in Glory with two seraphim at the top of the west front in 1985 - only the knees of the original remained. It was unveiled in 1986 by the Prince of Wales, patron of the cathedral restoration fund. This view shows the entrance to the cloisters, now housing the gift shop and cloister restaurant. The letter box beneath the lamp post has gone. The sign on the far right of the picture directs visitors to Wells Museum on the left.

An extract from Wells Photographic Memories.

Memories of Wells


During the Second World War there was an Italian prisoner of war camp at Penleigh, on the outskirts of Wells in Somerset. The Italian POWS were put out to work on local farms, and one of them was Gaetano Celestra, who had been a sculptor and mason before the war. When a stray enemy bomb fell at (...Read full memory)

I'm surprised there are so few memories of Wells. In the late '60's to '70's I lived in nearby Shepton Mallet as a schoolboy & later worked on a farm there. At weekends my elder brother, Colin, would arrive on the coach from Bournemouth, where he worked for the MoD. This was usually on a Friday night, & he (...Read full memory)

I think the date at 1974 is correct but I would have been 6 then!! We owned all of what is Beechbarrow now and as a young man I had the run of the place! I hope the beech walk is still there, I built my first tree house in there! It was on the other side from the barn that Ron Chard had. Ron Chard was the farmer that (...Read full memory)

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More about this scene


Caption for Wells, Cathedral West Front C1950: The statues are badly worn by the strong westerly winds (which give the name of 'kill canon corner' to the north-west corner); they were also damaged by the 17th-century iconoclasts, who tried to set fire to the cathedral and destroy the images. The faces on the statues, probably the portraits of local inhabitants, were meticulously painted, despite the fact that the artists and sculptors knew they were not visible from below. One of the knights has bright blue eyes inside his helmet - a shock for the unsuspecting restorer on the scaffolding, peering in! David Wynne sculpted the new statue of Christ in Glory with two seraphim at the top of the west front in 1985 - only the knees of the original remained. It was unveiled in 1986 by the Prince of Wales, patron of the cathedral restoration fund. This view shows the entrance to the cloisters, now housing the gift shop and cloister restaurant. The letter box beneath the lamp post has gone. The sign on the far right of the picture directs visitors to Wells Museum on the left.

An extract from Wells Photographic Memories.

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