(active 1180-1240 in Wells)

Interior view

begun c. 1230
Cathedral, Wells, Somerset

The high point of Gothic architecture in the west of England is Wells Cathedral, which was begun around 1180. Its architecture consists of clear but delicate linear elements set between plain walls. The long rows of uniform piers in the nave are entirely surrounded by thin shafts, in clusters of three, that support the corresponding ribs of the stepped-profile arcade arches. The stories are separated clearly from each other by horizontal stringcourses. The middle story is clearly based on the French triforium. The unusually high clerestory windows have no accompanying openings. The steeply pointed cross-ribbed vault rests on short responds.

The architecture of the cathedral presents a harmonious whole which is entirely Gothic and mostly in a single style, the Early English Gothic of the late 12th and early 13th centuries.

The photo shows the Gothic nave looking east, with the famous scissors arches which support the tower, added in 1338.

View the ground plan of Wells Cathedral.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.