The Palace Trust


The Palace Trust want to extend access to the Palace and it's beautiful grounds, including all the wells from which the city takes it's name, making visits a more rewarding experience, not just to tourist visitors, but also to a wide variety of local organizations and interest groups. We plan to restore the gardens and building interiors of the Palace, making this extraordinary, moated site, accessible to all whilst also providing a real service to the local community.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from 12:00 AM, 7 December 2009 to 11:59 PM, 11 December 2009

Check mark Match funded

Campaign target





  • Arts/Culture/HeritageArts/Culture/Heritage
  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment
  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation
  • OtherOther


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Older PeopleOlder People
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther



Despite the extraordinary history of the Palace and its grounds, the significance of the site is largely unappreciated, both by the citizens of Wells and by the 400,000 annual tourist visitors to the city. Limited public access to parts of the site have been allowed since the 1960s but lack of visitor facilities , especially interpretation materials, has meant that visitors have been few and visits have been of short duration and unrewarding. Furthermore, the costs to maintain the buildings and landscape are not being met by existing income streams. To transform this vision into reality will require an enormous volume of work, some of it imaginative and exciting, such as the creation of a community garden, energy generation from renewable sources and the conversion of the medieval undercroft and the treasury exhibition collated from all parishes within the Diocese . Other parts of the work are prosaic and unglamorous such as the new ticket office, moving the catering facilities away from the undercroft and the provision of visitor toilets. But all are equally essential to the successful completion of the project, and all equally deserving. All this will restore the Bishop’s Palace and Garden to a central position in the life of the City of Wells whilst not only retaining the spiritual atmosphere of the site but creating a space for reflection. It will also ensure the future of the Palace by providing a sustainable income for years to come as well as increased jobs and prosperity to the city and people of Wells. We have already identified over half of our £5 million target and are urgently seeking the remainder through fundraising and grants. We believe this project is the best way to secure a sustainable future for the Bishop’s Palace and Gardens, by protecting and restoring the site while improving its income generating potential. We hope you will be able to help us.