Place:Wells, Somerset, England

Watchers
NameWells
TypeCity, Civil parish, Borough (municipal)
Coordinates51.207°N 2.652°W
Located inSomerset, England     (500 - )
See alsoWells St. Cuthbert In, Somerset, Englandcivil parish preceding the civil parish of Wells
Wells St. Andrew, Somerset, Englandcivil parish preceding the civil parish of Wells
Mendip District, Somerset, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Wells is a cathedral city and civil parish in the Mendip District of Somerset, on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills. Although the population recorded in the 2011 census was only 10,536, it has had city status since medieval times, because of the presence of Wells Cathedral. Often described as England's smallest city, it is second only to the City of London in area and population, though not part of a larger urban agglomeration.

The name Wells comes from three wells dedicated to Saint Andrew, one in the market place and two within the grounds of the Bishop's Palace and cathedral. A small Roman settlement surrounded them, which grew in importance and size under the Anglo-Saxons when King Ine of Wessex founded a minster church there in 704. The community became a trading centre based on cloth making and Wells is notable for its 17th century involvement in both the English Civil War and Monmouth Rebellion. In the 19th century, transport infrastructure improved with stations on three different railway lines. However, since 1964 the city has been without a railway link.

Governance

the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

The civil parish of Wells was formed in 1933 upon the merger of Wells St. Cuthbert In and Wells St Andrew (the latter being the historic liberty of the cathedral, the bishop's palace, etc., amounting to just 52 acres (21 ha)). Wells is the successor parish for Wells "Municipal Borough", which existed from the creation of municipal boroughs in 1835 to their abolition in 1974. The parish has held the city status of Wells since 1 April 1974 (previously held by the municipal borough) and the member of the City Council who chairs the council holds the historic office of Mayor of Wells, typically for one year.

History

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Wells, Somerset.

Research Tips

  • The Somerset Heritage Centre (incorporating what was formerly the Somerset Record Office and the Somerset Local Studies Library) can be found at its new location at Langford Mead in Taunton. It has an online search facility leading to pages of interest, including maps from the First and Second Ordnance Survey (select "Maps and Postcards" from the list at the left, then enter the parish in the search box).
    The Heritage Centre has an email address: archives@somerset.gov.uk.
  • Three maps on the A Vision of Britain through Time website illustrate the changes in political boundaries over the period 1830-1945. All have expanding scales and on the second and third this facility is sufficient that individual parishes can be inspected.
  • Somerset Hundreds as drawn in 1832. This map was prepared before The Great Reform Act of that year. Note the polling places and representation of the various parts of the county.
  • Somerset in 1900, an Ordnance Survey map showing rural districts, the boundaries of the larger towns, the smaller civil parishes of the time, and some hamlets and villages in each parish
  • Somerset in 1943, an Ordnance Survey map showing the rural districts after the changes to their structure in the 1930s
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Wells, Somerset. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.