Wells, The Ancient Gatehouse 1963

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Caption for Wells, The Ancient Gatehouse C1960: In 1451, Bishop Bekynton commissioned his 'New Works', which included the Dean's Eye, or Browne's Gate, built in 1453, which connected the cathedral precinct with the city. The Dean's Eye forms part of Nos 20 and 22 Sadler Street, once called the Mitre Inn, now known as the Ancient Gatehouse hotel and tea room and the Rugantino restaurant (a narrow, winding stone staircase inside the hotel leads to the room above the gateway, which is furnished with an antique carved four-poster bed). In the late 1690s there were about five inns in Sadler Street. The Mitre Inn had occupied three other sites here before vanishing by the late 19th century with the arrival of the temperance movement. Wells always had a large number of inns, and by 1900 there were still fifty inns in the city.

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, The Ancient Gatehouse C1960: In 1451, Bishop Bekynton commissioned his 'New Works', which included the Dean's Eye, or Browne's Gate, built in 1453, which connected the cathedral precinct with the city. The Dean's Eye forms part of Nos 20 and 22 Sadler Street, once called the Mitre Inn, now known as the Ancient Gatehouse hotel and tea room and the Rugantino restaurant (a narrow, winding stone staircase inside the hotel leads to the room above the gateway, which is furnished with an antique carved four-poster bed). In the late 1690s there were about five inns in Sadler Street. The Mitre Inn had occupied three other sites here before vanishing by the late 19th century with the arrival of the temperance movement. Wells always had a large number of inns, and by 1900 there were still fifty inns in the city.

An extract from Wells Photographic Memories.

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