"Axbridge - passing through on a wet day" England Things to Do Tip by iandsmith

England Things to Do: 566 reviews and 886 photos

  Mediaeval scene
by iandsmith

Dating back to Medieval times, the merchants' house on the right was restored and opened as a museum by the National Trust in the 1970's. Ducking to avoid hitting ceiling beams (can be a nasty experience) is something you'll have to do but you'll also be accompanied by the ever-so-atmospheric creaking floorboards that seem to flow in waves like the ocean.
At the price they charge for admission you'll never have to ask for your money back either - it's priceless.
This timber-framed house might be fine enough for royalty, but it has no association with King John though it carries his name as his hunting lodge. It seems someone guessed that it had and gave it the name. It was built around 1500 as shops on the ground floor, with living areas and workshops above. Notice the appealingly decorative window heads. The carved and painted wooden head on the corner of the building probably dates from when it became the King's Head Tavern.
At the nearby church, the elaborately plastered nave ceiling dates from 1636 and it is recorded that a local man was paid ten guineas (?10.50) for the work. The North aisle ceiling retains some mediaeval painted panels and amongst the carved bosses is the head of a Green Man, with leaves sprouting around his face. At the south east end of the ceiling is a fine plaque of the Madonna with lilies.
At the head of this aisle stands a case containing the altar cloth embroidered by Abigail Prowse. She was the daughter of Dr George Hooper (Bishop of Bath and Wells 1704 ? 1727) and widow of John Prowse (who died of smallpox on 1710). The cloth depicts the altar furnishings of that time and took her ten years to embroider.
The historical records are well kept for this church which always makes visiting more interesting.

Directions: Near Wells

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 19, 2006
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