Wells Recreation Ground including the Bishop's Barn

The recreation ground is open to the public and includes a play area, kickabout space, bandstand and toilets.

It is also home to the City of Wells Bowls club 

The Bishop's Barn is a 15th century Great Barn in the medieval quarter of Wells.  Once part of the Bishop's Palace estate, today it is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade I listed building.

Hire the Barn, Bandstand and Recreation Ground

The facilities are available for community events and private bookings

Hire the Bishops Barn, Bandstand and Wells Recreation Ground


The site is owned by the Wells Recreation Ground charity (registered number 284947) for the public's recreational use.  The charity Scheme sets out how the assets are held and its Governing document is a modern set of rules for the day-to-day management of the site.

The charity Trustee is Mendip District Council and its Managing Committee is the Wells Recreation Ground Trust Committee.

See Wells Recreation Ground Trust Committee for details of meetings.

Wells Recreation Ground Trust - Forward Plans

Two reports have been completed for the Wells Recreation Ground Trust on the future viability of the charity and exploring how its assets can be improved.

1. Bishop's Barn and Recreation Ground Options Appraisal (Benjamin and Beauchamp Architects, 2014)

This recommended progressing a preferred scheme including a larger barn improvement project based on a heated building enabling year-round use as a community venue.  The appendices include a site survey and a tree report, together with a condition survey and an archaeological assessment of the Bishop's Barn, which is a scheduled ancient monument.  Icon for pdf Bishop's Barn and Wells Recreation Ground Options Appraisal, 2014 [14.36MB].

2. Bishop's Barn and Recreation Ground Business Model (Christina Dixon Consulting, 2016)

This  identified and developed the best financial model for the Trust.  It confirmed the findings of the 2014 Options Appraisal and recommended progressing a larger barn scheme in parallel with enhancing the recreation ground.  It also recommended that Mendip District Council remained the sole trustee at least in the short-term.   All the recommendations within this report have been agreed and first steps include engaging a suitably qualified Project Development Manager to secure funding and drive the project forward.  Icon for pdf Bishop's Barn and Wells Rec Business Model, Christina Dixon Consulting 2016 [1.17MB].

Wells Recreation Ground Improvements

A new play area was installed in 2017.  Further improvements are planned.

Bishop's Barn Improvement Scheme

To turn our long-term vision into reality, we secured a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Resilient Heritage grant to deliver a programme to strengthen four key areas of the project. Icon for pdf HLF RH full report 2018 [4.38MB]

Our bid to the HLF in Summer 2018 was unsuccessful, however, we have been invited to submit a second smaller bid which is under development.