Monday 22 July 2019

Swanning Around

Erm....please forgive me. Somehow I managed to completely forget to take a photo of my intended target when I was in Wells a few weeks ago. My intention has been to get a close up of the bell which is near the bottom of the right hand tower of the Bishop's Palace Gatehouse....I think if you enlarge it you might just be able to see it if you squint hard enough! There is one the other side as well I do believe.

In the 1870s the bishop's daughter taught the swans who live in the moat to pull the bell ropes when they were hungry. Thus a tradition was born which continues to this day. Sadly the cob died this year and the pen left of her own accord. However, a new pair has arrived to replace them....the main criteria for their suitability for the job was that they had hearty appetites and enjoy a snack!

I am surmising that this swan sculpture we found was inspired by this custom. The city had 60 swans decorated in 2012 and then auctioned them off to raise money for charity. This one is a remainder. It seemed rather appropriate that the images of the people with their umbrellas were all covered with raindrops on what was rather a wet, grey day.



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