The latest of the architectural plaques has been unveiled at the Liberty in Wells. This road has been of historical significance for many centuries and contains several buildings of note. The unveiling ceremony was attended by representatives of the Rotary Club of Wells, Wells Voice, the Cathedral and Cathedral School, the Museum and the City Council, together with the owner of the wall on which it was installed and members of the Civic Society. We are grateful to everyone for their support.
The Liberty refers to the area of land, including the Cathedral, which until 1866 was free of the bishop’s jurisdiction. The oldest fabric lies within Ritchie Hall, rebuilt in 1884 but containing six 12th century piers of the former Canon’s Barn. The adjacent house, named after Polydor Vergill, the humanist scholar and non-resident Archdeacon (1508-46), also has 15th century details.
The splendid corner property, Cedars House, was designed by Thomas Paty in 1758, and became the Tudway family’s home: it contains rich plasterwork by Thomas Stocking and much original joinery, notably the great staircase.
Opposite here the lofty stone boundary wall which enclosed the Deanery garden plays a vital part of the townscape. Towards its west end a gap reveals the Canon’s houses built in the late 1960s.
The eastern section of the Liberty’s features the elegant Claver Morris House which was built for an eminent local physician in the early 18th century.
Further down, behind high walls, the large 15th century house is the Dean’s lodging. Most of these properties are now occupied by Wells Cathedral school.