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  • Writer's pictureChris Winter

Broad Street (11)

Updated: May 20

Originally called Wet Lane and subsequently Water Lane, this finally became Broad Street when widened from a modest 3.5 metres to its present size in 1838.


Broad Street was widened in 1838 from its original width of 3.5 metres. Photo by Phil Broek
Broad Street was widened in 1838 from its original width of 3.5 metres. Photo by Phil Broek

Originally called Wet Lane and subsequently Water Lane, this finally became Broad Street when widened from a modest 3.5 metres to its present size in 1838. At that time the early buildings opposite here were demolished and replaced with those now forming the frontage; the street was also continued to the completely new Priory Road to create a more direct route to Glastonbury. Broad Street is part of the main shopping area of Wells, and remains an important thoroughfare through the city.


In the eleventh century the street was the site of an early market in Wells. By the fourteenth century some of the buildings were occupied by dyers producing purple from woad, and in 1426-7 there are records of five properties registered in Water Lane. By 1821 Water Lane had a smithy, the Bulls Head Inn, and at the junction with High Street, Jacob’s Well. In 1858 No 1 Broad Street, part of this building, was sold for £58.




The Architectural Plaque for Broad Street can be found at point 11 on the map.
The Architectural Plaque for Broad Street can be found at point 11 on the map.

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