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The Palace Trust

The Palace Trust

Who we are

A Hidden Gem

Located in England’s smallest city, The Bishop’s Palace in Wells is over 800 years old and is the official home of the Bishops of Bath & Wells. Built in 1206, the medieval Palace and its 14 acres of RHS partner gardens are home to some of Britain’s most fascinating landscapes and cultural heritage. The Palace is a Grade 1 listed building and parts of the site are Scheduled Ancient Monuments. Yet our greatest secret is that our gardens contain the pre-historic well pools that give the City its name!

Creating the People’s Palace

Our purpose is "to conserve The Bishop's Palace for future generations; welcoming all who seek a place of beauty, reflection and enjoyment"

We operate the Palace as a visitor attraction and community resource, offering a range of public events, tours, exhibitions, learning opportunities and family activity days. This year we will welcome over 100,000 visitors, a record for the Palace. We employ a small team of staff and are supported by 200+ volunteers. 80% of our income comes from entrance tickets, membership, venue hire, catering, private and public events. The remainder is raised from voluntary sources, grants and donations.

"Great Hall, Great Future"

Saving the Great Hall

Major conservation and stabilisation work is needed on the Great Hall of the Palace. Built in the 1270s it is now a dramatic standing ruin and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

The exposed stonework has weathered significantly; in particular, the window tracery, a strong visual feature of the ruin, has decayed and has become very fragile and the rubble-stone of the walls is seriously eroded.

Expert pinning and conservation work is needed to inhibit further deterioration and loss of original fabric. We began this work in 2014 and it continued throughout 2015 and 2016. For 2017, we are working on the final two sections.

The Great Hall is of architectural significance because it is a Grade 1 listed building, and scheduled ancient monument. The 14 acre site within which it sits is also registered as a Historic park and garden, ranking among the most important heritage sites in the region due to its collective archaeological, historic and landscape significance. To learn more about this conservation project please contact our Chief Executive, Rosie Martin on 01749 988 111.

The simplest and quickest way you can help is to make a donation here through our Virgin Money Giving page. Whatever you can spare will be gratefully received and will help us to ensure that the formal gardens are back in the best possible condition ready for Spring and the new season. And if we reach our target any surplus funds will go directly towards our gardening costs for 2014.

Please do consider making a donation via this fundraising page or contact our Chief Executive to learn how you can support the charitable work of the Bishops Palace. Thank you!


Find out more

Charity details

Registered address
The Palace Trust,The Bishops Palace

01749 988111

Charity number

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