Bishops Palace Wells

The appalling weather abated a little allowing us a very enjoyable visit. Our guide was very entertaining and full of interesting facts and stories, far too many to jot down here.

The Palace dates from 1206 and the grounds ‘enjoy’  a very high water table due to all the springs it contains. However this is not ideal for a garden and it was Bishop Law (1761-1845 ) who decided to transform the ruins into a garden. To overcome the high water table problem, he imported tons of soil from the Mendips  to raise the whole garden area by 1 metre.

A formidable black walnut tree  (Juglans nigra) stands on the croquet lawn (outside the cafe), this was planted in 1855 and has survived a lightening strike. These walnuts are so hard that squirrels leave them alone and they are highly prized in America.

James Cross, the head gardener, had a blank canvas when he arrived at the Palace and he has created magnificent new borders during recent years. He is assisted by two other gardeners and between 15-20 volunteers, the grounds are immaculate.