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Historic buildings

Historic buildings – My part in the history of Wells

People don’t think that historic buildings can talk, but they can you know. Those creaking floorboards, that leaking tap and the noise that sounds as though someone’s in the loft, that’s a building communicating with the outside world.

I don’t mind admitting that I’m old – seriously old. We’re not just talking Old Age Pensioner here; I was around before Christopher Columbus reached America, before Leonardo da Vinci was born and before Joan of Arc ended the siege of Orleans. If I could only get a deal with the right publisher I’d make a fortune…But I’m not bitter, by using the technology available today I’m going to take you on a journey back through time; back to the days of my youth, back to the days of the rather attractive Henry VII sleeping in one of my beds. (Originally not popular around these parts due to his Welsh blood, but he did go up in everyone’s estimation when he paid his bill, in full.)

Historic buildings – 600 years and counting

My part in the history of Wells is fascinating, (even if I do say so myself) so I’ve got plenty to gossip about. The current General Manager, bless him, is struggling to find my birth certificate, but I’ve got a vague recollection of being around 600 years ago. Thankfully there is some written documentation around which helps to jog the old memory. Ah, how I remember the different proprietors. I’ve been one of the lucky ones. Cared for and loved. Money lavished on my interior and exterior. Kept fashionable – but in a tasteful way and as for my extensions, a roaring success. But enough about the present, let’s go back to the past and discover more about historic buildings and the history of Wells…

Historic buildings – The days of the stagecoach

Oh, how I loved the days of the stagecoach (and I’m not just saying that as I’ve accumulated a few bumps and bruises on my narrow archway since the invention of the motorcar.) Those really were the days. (There were things that went on in my bar that I really can’t discuss – not here anyway. Not until I secure a late night special on a disreputable TV station…) Horse drawn carriages would arrive from all over the country. Many passengers arrived exhausted and downhearted but it’s amazing what a bit of good food and drink could achieve. While the horses were being changed I could guarantee excellent takings at the bar. After a bit of refreshment spirits were raised and it was difficult for the drivers to get the passengers to leave!

I always had a few favourites, normally my ‘regulars’. Old ‘Dusty Miller’ used to drive the Bath coaches most days travelling between Bath and Exeter. He’d nearly always stop off here for a drink or two. The coaches themselves had fantastic names; the ‘Retaliator’ ran from Bristol to Exeter, the ‘Swiftsure’ went from Wells to Bath, but my favourite was ‘Velocity’, a beauty to look at and fast – we’re talking 12 miles an hour! And it wasn’t just me who benefited from this trade. The inns of Wells all did well. Alas, nothing lasts for ever and the stagecoach gave way to the locomotive engine. However, I didn’t miss out on trade as the proprietor at the time ran his own conveyance, but more of that another time.

Historic buildings is to be continued…