Wells Cathedral
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Location Wells, England, United Kingdom   map
Date 1180 to 1425   timeline
Building Type large church, cathedral
 Construction System bearing masonry
Climate temperate
Style English Gothic
Notes Playful, powerful crossing piers inside encompass pointed arches. Attached courtyard.


Photo, historical





Elevation Drawing

Plan Drawing

Section Drawing

Site Plan Drawing


Plan Drawing


Discussion Wells Cathedral Commentary

"Begun between 1183 and 1192, the construction of Wells Cathedral was completed in 1260 with the nave, the north porch and the west front. It has strongly marked English characteristics, such as the stress on horizontal lines. From this point of view, the west front is typical: it unfolds impressively in width, punctuated by six buttresses which are obscured in the luxurious sculpture."

— John Julius Norwich. The World Atlas of Architecture. p220.

"Among the principal works of the Decorated Style is the new choir of Wells Cathedral. Although the three-part elevation of the original Early English choir is retained, so much is new that any connection with the past is almost imperceptible. The effect of energetic fibrous bundles is realized at Wells with more articulate forms. The vault, which springs from a series of Purbeck marble shafts, forms a netlike pattern, accentuated by intricate boxes of blind Curvilinear tracery.

— Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture: from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. p253.

Sources on Wells Cathedral

Werner Blaser and Monica Stucky. Drawings of Great Buildings. Boston: Birkhauser Verlag, 1983. ISBN 3-7643-1522-9. LC 83-15831. NA2706.U6D72 1983. longitudinal section drawing of two bays showing nave and aisles in elevation, p89. transverse section drawing showing nave and aisles, p89. plan drawing, p89. — Available at Amazon.com

Frank Hoar. An Introduction to English Architecture. London: Evans Brothers Limited, 1963. NA961.H6. axonometric section drawing, p35.

Michael Raeburn. Architecture of the Western World. Rizzoli International Publications, 1980. cutaway drawing of cathedral, p110-111.

Dennis Sharp, ed. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Whitney Library of Design, an imprint of Watson-Guptil Publications, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. interior photo, p191.

Paul Zucker. Town and Square: From the Agora to the Village Green. New York: Columbia University Press, 1959. LC 59-11183. NA9070.Z8. site plan drawing, plate 20.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at Amazon.com

Amazon.com  Find books about Wells Cathedral


Web Resources
Links on Wells Cathedral

City of WellsLocation map, events info, etc.

Wells CathedralInformative page with history and images.

Wells CathedralThe cathedral's own official site.

Visit to WellsPersonal page with several pics.

Wells Cathedral at ArchiplanetFind, add, and edit info at the all-buildings collaboration

We appreciate your  suggestions  for links about Wells Cathedral.

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