Enjoy monthly news delivered straight to your inbox from the Palace. You can also join us on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.
For media enquiries or more information on a particular news item please contact Sarah Moore, Visitor Service Manager on 01749 988111.
Posted 18 April
Could 2013 be your lucky year to get married?
Some people may think there’s something unlucky about the number 13 but here at The Bishop’s Palace, we’re about to change that! Last Saturday 13 April, we launched our Lucky No.13 discount offer on new wedding reception bookings that take place between now and December 2013.
“I keep hearing that couples are reluctant to get married this year because of the superstition surrounding the number 13. So we decided to turn that superstition on its head and make it lucky to get married this year” says Helen Garrett
who looks after weddings at The Bishop’s Palace.
“There are dates still available this year and some including Saturday 13 July and even Friday 13 in September and December. We’ve even got 11/12/13 available – how about that as a great wedding and anniversary date!”
To receive your 13% discount on venue hire all you have to do is book your wedding reception
with The Bishop’s palace to take place before the end of the year. It couldn’t be simpler; to find out more and to book a show round with Helen call 01749 988111 ext 209 or e-mail Helen.Garrett@bishopspalace.org.uk.
Posted 18 April
It’s Medieval May at The Bishop’s Palace!
The weather is brightening up and the summer is peeking round the corner. The new Community Garden is now open to the public and with more garden developments opening later in the summer, it really is all happening over the drawbridge! This May there is definitely a medieval theme to our events and activities and you don’t have to wait for half term for the fun to start.
Monday 6 and Saturday 18 May 11am – 3pm
We will be giving you the chance to make your medieval costume and banner in preparation for our Museums at Night Event on 18 May, A Knight At The Palace. You’ll need the right outfit for an evening of medieval feasting and entertainment!
Sunday 12 May 2pm – 4pm
Have you ever wanted to grow your own cut flowers? We are developing a cutting patch in the newly opened Community Garden, and this is your chance to help plant it up. Drop into the garden between 2pm and 4pm and help the team to do some planting, while learning about which flowers are good to grow for cutting. You will also have the chance to buy some of our spare seedlings to get your own cutting patch started.
Saturday 18 May 7pm – 10pm
Calling all Lords, Ladies, Knights and Entertainers! We’re having a feast! Join us for A Knight at the Palace
with jumping jesters, storytelling, and food for feasting. Don’t forget to bring your banner and costume that you have recently made at the Palace with you or dress up! The first 100 Tickets to this event are FREE. Adults £3, children £2 and under five’s for FREE! To book your tickets please ring 01749 988111 ext 200 or e-mail us.
Sun 26 May 11am – 4pm
Join the Yarnsmith of Somerset in his storytelling tent to hear about the Heroes and Villains Of Olde England; when Wells was a magical place and the springs within The Bishop’s Palace were a place of pilgrimage and wonder; where heroes like Robin Hood, King Arthur and fearless Saints inspired the town folk.
Available Saturday 25 May – Sunday 2 June
Be a Palace and Garden Explorer with one of our interactive activity packs which all the family can enjoy. Inside the Palace or out in the gardens, you choose which pack you want to take with you, each one is full of fun activities which all the family can enjoy together. Or if you are feeling brave then discover more about the gory stories and horrible histories about the Palace with our new Gory Stories Trail.
Posted 28 March
Medieval Palace turns vintage for the day with an Old School Vintage Fair, inspiring a retro café menu for visitors
We are very excited to be welcoming Somerset based Old School Vintage to The Bishop's Palace on Sunday 21 April; the fair organisers who work exclusively with popular tourist attractions including The National Trust.
“Rather than trying to make people come to us - we believe that vintage fairs should be held where most people go at the weekend – namely - beautiful historic venues with wonderful gardens and great catering! Says Simone Barker, who works alongside her husband Andre to organise the vintage fairs.
We also aim to attract an equal amount of men as women to our fairs, with careful selection of "mantiques". And have branded ourselves with a more androgynus logo (rather than the all pervasive vintage girl).”
Based in West Harptree, Simone and Andre have an extensive knowledge of all things Vintage and are delighted to have found such a unique venue near their Somerset home to hold this Vintage Fair.
As you make your way over the drawbridge you will get your first peek as some stalls will be outside the Palace building and dotted around the gardens. There’s more to see inside as the Undercroft and Entrance Hall will be full of vintage treats to tempt you.
Entry to the fair is included in the price of admission, which is even better news for members as they can enjoy free entry as usual. The Palace, garden and Chapel remain open as usual so it’ll make for a really great day out whatever the weather decides to do.
And if you enjoy this one then Old School Vintage will be back on 20 October and 15 December. Keep an eye on our What's On
leaflet and web page for more information.
For one day only! Retro Menu in The Bishop’s Table
To help get you in the mood, Jamie, Head Chef at The Bishop’s Table
has created a retro menu for you to enjoy. After all who doesn’t love prawn and avocado salad, gammon steak with pineapple and chips followed by a classic Vienetta??
To try these tempting delights you need to pre-book, reservations can only be made in The Bishop’s Table if you are ordering from this special menu so be sure not to miss out! To book your place then ring 01749 988111 ext 206 and the friendly team at The Bishop’s Table will be delighted to help you.
Posted 14 March
Could you be a guide at the Palace?
Have you got time and your hands and would like to learn a new skill? Here at The Bishop’s Palace in Wells, we are looking for new volunteers to join our team of guides.
Extending our range of tours that are available to booked groups, we are looking for guides to lead Palace Water Walks and Horticulture Tours which will tell our visitors about the history of the gardens and the flora and fauna that grows there.
As well as learning about the importance of water to this heritage site and the gardens you will be given expert tuition on leading groups on a tour, including groups of children and young people here on educational visits.
This is the ideal role for people who love history, gardens and most importantly, other people!
We already have a passionate and dedicated team of guides here but we are always looking to extend the family. Full training and support is given to get you going and it’s also a great way to make new friends and meet likeminded people.
To apply for this volunteer post please contact Anneli Connold
on 01749 988111 ext 202 (Weds – Fri) by Thursday 28 March
Posted 14 March
Medieval costume making, sunflowers and Easter feast trails at The Bishop’s Palace
Join hundreds of people this Easter and cross the drawbridge at The Bishop’s Palace to enjoy events, Easter treats and beautiful spring gardens.
Available Friday 29 March – Sunday 14 April
Exploring the gardens takes on a new twist with our Easter Feast trail – there’s a chocolate treat for all who take part!
Or be a Palace and Garden Explorer with one of our interactive activity packs which all the family can enjoy. Inside the Palace or out in the gardens, you choose which pack you want to take with you, each one is full of fun activities which all the family can enjoy together.
Monday 1 April
On Easter Monday 1 April, you can join us in the Community Garden to Sow a Sunflower. Yours to keep but during National Allotment Week in August you will have the opportunity to bring your sunflowers back so we can see who’s has grown the tallest.
Sunday 7 & Wednesday 10 April
Also during Easter we will be giving you the chance to make your medieval costume and banner in preparation for our Museums at Night Event on 18 May, A Knight At The Palace. You’ll need the right outfit for an evening of medieval feasting and entertainment!
“We’ve seen some beautiful weather in March before and we’re hopeful this Easter will be warm and sunny as we have lots of exciting events for visitors during the holidays” says Helen Garrett, Assistant Visitor Services Manager.
The gardens at The Bishop’s Palace are bursting into spring bloom and we’ve all been enjoying a spectacular sight of snowdrops and crocuses. By Easter we hope to see banks of daffodils and a carpet of bluebells lining the arboretum floor”.
Posted 1 March
Bishop’s Table tea cosy competition sparks creativiTEA amongst knitters of Wells
Encouraging the local community to turn away from shop brought tea bags, Jamie Mould, head chef at the Bishop’s Table, based in the grounds of the Bishop’s Palace, is on a one man crusade to bring back loose leaf tea to the people of Wells.
Passionate about England’s most renowned pass time, Jamie has been raising awareness of what he believes is the best, and only way, to drink tea – ‘loose leaf, in a proper pot and with a hand knitted tea cosy’.
Coming up with the idea for a retro tea cosy knitting competition, which ran from 5 to 22 February, Jamie explains how the local community has embraced his loose leaf beliefs by knitting a whole range of weird and wonderful tea cosies ranging from bobbled and bright to floral and striped.
“The standard of the cosies has been fantastic and we’ve made some great new friends through it. We’ve had 14 entries all together and it was so difficult to pick a winner that we’ve actually chosen two.”
Winners were chosen last weekend and voted for by regulars to the café restaurant. Marilyn Payne, who created a cute buttoned cardigan cosy, was joint winner with a bumble hive inspired entry, created by Jo Sowerby. Both winners, who are also local to Wells, will each be treated to lunch for two at the Bishop’s Table.
“It’s great to know that the people of Wells are so keen to get involved with our competition, the effort put in by all the entrants really has been fantastic,” added Jamie.
Launching a new range of loose teas this month, alongside British tea producer Tregothnan, Bishop’s Table has added a playful twist to the menu, asking ‘What type of tea drinker are you?’, amongst the list are teas for serious drinkers, adventurous ones and teas for the more refined, including manuka, lemon verbena and earl grey.
For one night only on 14 March, the Bishop’s Table will also be opening after hours to serve up four courses of gastro delights for its first ever over 40’s supper club, a special Mother’s Day menu will be offer on 10 March, three courses for only £21.50 as well as complimentary chocolates for all mums.
Posted 26 Feb
March over the Drawbridge to explore and enjoy spring events
Racing to cross the drawbridge and pass underneath the portcullis you’ll discover an exciting world where old meets new and 14 acres of vibrant gardens and a medieval palace are enticing you to discover, photograph, admire and explore.
Half term may be over and Easter still a month away but there is still plenty to keep you busy here at The Bishop’s Palace.
Spring is when the gardens really come to life and with snowdrops already out we have the daffodils and bluebells to look forward to in the coming weeks. A photographer’s dream, the gardens are at their most exciting at this time of year.
Gardens and gardening are very much at the forefront of March events.
Saturday 16 March you can join our Community Gardener for our very first Introduction to Vegetable Growing Workshop
. The day long workshop includes homemade berry cordial on arrival and a tempting two-course lunch to keep you going. Through a combination of practical and theory, you’ll learn all you need to know to start successfully growing your own vegetables at home.
Sticking with the garden theme, Sunday 24 March sees the return of the ever popular Rare Plant Fair at The Bishop’s Palace. This is a great opportunity to stock up on new plants for your own garden at home, browse the colourful stalls and chat to likeminded garden enthusiasts. There is a special entry price on this day of £4 per adult, Members and under 16’s are free!
But if gardens aren’t for you then how about exploring and discovering terrifying tales and horrible histories from the Palace’s past? On Saturday 16 March you can do just that with our new Gory Stories trail and if you are brave enough you can join our very own Gory Stories Storyteller at 11am, 12pm and 2pm.
Spring at The Bishop’s Table
This March in The Bishop’s Table
café restaurant we’re treating Mum’s (or just somebody we love) with a special lunch on Sunday 10 March and also launching the 40s Supper Club on Thursday 14 March. Call in and pick up a menu or book a table!
Coming up at Easter
Easter Feast Trail
Friday 29 March – Sunday 14 April
A chocolate reward awaits children who go on an Easter Trail at the Palace. Learn about trees that grow edible treats and look out for the dragon’s newly laid eggs!
Secret Palace and Garden Explorers
Friday 29 March – Sunday 14 April
Take a deeper look into the mysterious world of the Palace gardens- what will you find? Hear? See? Smell? There’s a pack of fun activities to enjoy, but be quick, packs are limited!
Sow A Sunflower
Monday 1 April 11am – 4pm
Come along to our Community Garden to make a paper flower pot, and sow a sunflower seed. Take it home and watch it grow up, up and away! You can bring it back later in the year to see if yours is the tallest. (Judging date TBC).
Medieval Banners and Colourful Costumes
Sunday 7 and Wednesday 10 April 11am – 4pm
Calling all Lords, Ladies, Knights and Entertainers! We need help making bright banners and colourful costumes for a feast we’re planning in May – and you’re invited! Enjoy these creative workshops ahead of ‘A Knight at the Palace’ on Saturday 18 May, when you can join us for a feast of medieval food, music, stories and entertainers with your banner and costume. Tickets to this event will be limited. More details will be released nearer the time.
Posted 5 February, 2013
Just in time for half term, The Bishop’s Palace re-opens its gates to visitors from Sa