The Bishop’s Palace Welcomes Royal Visitors
The Bishop’s Palace in Wells was delighted to welcome The Earl and Countess of Wessex to the historic site on Monday 17th May.
As part of visits by The Earl and Countess to Wells, coinciding with the re-opening of hospitality and tourism businesses, and to discuss plans for a positive future following the effects of the pandemic, Their Royal Highnesses visited the Medieval Palace & Gardens.
The Earl of Wessex was welcomed at the Drawbridge by Chair of The Palace Trust, Rear Admiral David Wood and Chief Executive Rosie Martin. They progressed to the famous Croquet Lawn, where The Earl heard about the changes made at the wider site during the pandemic with Visitor Experience Manager Laura Richards and Café Manager Nat Burge, along with Volunteers Ruth Clarke and Colin Fenton.
The Earl then visited the South Lawn; adjacent to the ruins of the Great Hall, originally built for King Edward I, to hear about the ongoing work that the Palace is doing within the local community, from Community Engagement Manager Siobhan Goodwin. Siobhan spoke to His Royal Highness about recent projects involving Mental Health groups and introduced representatives from Health Connections Mendip and The Lawrence Centre, which was the first community group to take up one of the new community memberships at the Palace.
James Cross, Head Gardener at the Palace then accompanied The Earl on a tour through the formal gardens and out to the Arboretum, planted in 1977 for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, where they discussed the launch of The Queen’s Green Canopy – the national initiative to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, which was launched today. People in the UK are being encouraged to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee” and The Bishop’s Palace will be doing this with the help of students from The Blue School and Wells Cathedral School. Students from both schools were presented to The Earl.
The party then returned for tea in the medieval Undercroft of the Palace, hosted by Bishop Ruth.
The Countess of Wessex also joined the party for tea, and Their Royal Highnesses were then bid farewell by the Right Reverend Peter Hancock, who retires at the end of this week, and his wife Jane Hancock.
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