Jocelin, bishop of Wells [d. 1242], is an iconic figure in his native city; but his career as courtier and statesman moved far beyond the west country. From a family network which had produced bishops over several generations, he played a major role in a developing diocese and mother church, and in the growth of towns, fairs and markets in early thirteenth-century Somerset. He had a crucial influence on the completion of what was to become Wells Cathedral, and on the Bishop's Palace beside it.
The essays in this volume look at Jocelin's life and career from a variety of perspectives, with a particular focus on his involvement in the building work to complete the Cathedral, as well as the erection of the earliest part of the Bishop's Palace. Architectural, archaeological and even botanical approaches are used to explain the curious physical nature of the Palace site, the significance of the work still standing there from Jocelin's time, and the possible sites of other contemporary work. A final chapter studies the design and purpose of Robert Burnell's additions to Jocelin's work.
Contributors: Robert Dunning, Nicholas Vincent, Jane Sayers, Diana Greenway, Sethina Watson, Tim Tatton-Brown, Jerry Sampson, Alex Turner, Christopher Gerrard, Keith Wilkinson, Mark Horton, David J. Hill, Matthew Reeve.