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Waterways of Wells

The wells, which give the city its name, rise in the grounds of the Bishop’s Palace and access to ‘clean’ water (standards have changed!) for the people of Wells was granted in perpetuity by Bishop Bekynton in the mid-15th century. As well as the water which flows on either side of the High Street there are many unseen and in some cases uncared-for waterways.

Early in 2016 the Civic Society commissioned a survey of the waterways in order to map their routes and to understand more about their ownership (very complex!) and the state of their health.

The survey work and report was carried out by Dr Shaun Plenty, a land and environmental management specialist. He surveyed all accessible parts of the many waterways, and with extensive photographic evidence, was able to comment on the conditions he found. There was some good news and some not-so-good and we aim to follow-up this work with a view to encouraging improvements where they are necessary.

The report (1Mb) and survey (9.1Mb) can be downloaded from the links opposite, and we would very much welcome offers of support to take this project forward. Please contact chris.f.winter@btinternet.com.