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  • Writer's pictureChris Winter

Sadler Street and Brown's Gate (4)

Updated: Apr 30

From the mid 13th century Sadler Street has been the main entry to the city from the north along which are Brown’s Gate (c. 1450), the White Hart Hotel replacing a building from 1301 to c. 1497, and the Swan Hotel first mentioned in 1422.




The view of Sadler Street towards the Market Place. Brown's Gate is to the left and the White Hart Hotel to the right. Photo by Phil Broek
The view of Sadler Street towards the Market Place. Brown's Gate is to the left and the White Hart Hotel to the right. Photo by Phil Broek.

From the mid 13th century Sadler street has been the main entry to the city from the north. Known earlier as Canons Street, Cheap Street and High Street, it was a favorite place for the establishment of Coaching Inns and Taverns – some still trading. The west side of the street was developed first in the 13th century, whilst the east side adjacent to the churchyard was built only after the construction of the Precinct wall.



Brown's Gate and The Ancient Gate House Hotel from Sadler Street
Brown's Gate from Sadler Street. Photo by Phil Broek.



Brown's Gate from Cathedral Green
Brown's Gate from Cathedral Green.

A. Brown’s Gate. This was built by Bishop Beckynton c. 1450 on the site of the earlier churchyard steps, as was the Ancient Gatehouse Hotel. It pierces the mid-14th century Precinct Wall around the Cathedral Churchyard and became a popular shortcut for traffic into Wells until closed c. 1970.



The White Hart Hotel on Sadler Street was first know as "The Hertehed"
The White Hart Hotel on Sadler Street was first know as "The Hertehed". Photo by Phil Broek.


B. The White Hart Hotel. There was an earlier building on this site from 1301 to c. 1497. This inn was first known as “The Hertehed” and by 1706 as “The White Hart”. Parts of the structure are original, but the frontage dates from c. 1908.



C. 15-17 Sadler Street. There was an Inn here known as the “Flower De Luce” from 1605 – 1760. It was then renamed the “Mitre Inn” but has since closed.


D. The Swan Hotel. First mentioned in 1422 and called a “Great Inn”. Being an important Coaching Inn, it was rebuilt in 1769 by Charles Tudway, Mayor and the Member of Parliament for Wells.








Sadler Street & Brown's Gate is at location 4 on the trail map.
Sadler Street & Brown's Gate is at location 4 on the trail map.

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