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Explore England's Past

Undercroft, Bishop's Palace, Wells

The Undercroft, now used as a restaurant, is part of the original 1230s palace and was probably used as servants' quarters supporting the bishop's great chamber above. It was unheated but a 15th-century style fireplace was introduced later. In the early 19th century Bishop Law used it as a museum to house his geological colections. He was a passionate exponent of the theory that Noah's Flood was responsible for the extinction of the mammals whose bones were found in the Banwell caves. His successors used it as drawing room. The column shafts are of Purbeck marble.

The Palace Trust
Image Caption: 
Undercroft, Bishop's Palace, Wells
Asset Author: 
Michael Blandford