In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Wells like this:
Wells, mun. bor. and ancient city, Somerset, at foot of Mendip hills, 6 miles NE. of Glastonbury and 19 SW. of Bath by rail, 726 ac., pop. 4634; P.O., T.O., 2 Banks, 1 newspaper. Market-days, Wednesday and Saturday. Wells took its name from the numerous springs in the vicinity. It originated in a collegiate church founded in 704. The diocese of Bath and Wells comprehends all Somerset except Bedminster. The cathedral and the Episcopal palace are at Wells. The cathedral is a magnificent structure, in the Early English style. ...
The Episcopal palace is a castellated building of ancient date, surrounded by a wall and moat. Wells has breweries, flour and paper mills, and brush manufactories, but its trade is principally agricultural. It was first chartered by King John, and was made a mun. bor. by Queen Elizabeth; it returned 2 members to Parliament from the time of Edward I. until 1867-1868.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Wells has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Mendip. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Wells and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Wells, in Mendip and Somerset | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 22nd May 2013
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