The new, interactive play area in the gardens of The Bishop’s Palace in Wells was officially opened last Thursday evening at a special launch event attended by local school teachers, 1st Easton Brownies, Len, the Wells Town Crier and The Bishop of Bath & Wells.
“The Dragon’s Lair”, hidden in the Arboretum of the Palace Gardens, is a new natural play project which will introduce children to the stories of the Palace, including the legend of the Dragon and the stories of water at the Palace.
The actual carved Dragon is part submerged into the ground and forms a subterranean play and imagination area, which will be perfect for storytelling! The Palace has trained some resident storytellers with the aim to be able to engage visiting children at busy times with tall tales from history.
Other features include the ‘dragon’s wings’ climbing structure which includes a tree pole jungle and carved scales, alongside dragon’s wings (climbing nets); and a magnificent pair of futuristic tree pods, reaching up into the ancient Arboretum trees and with the option of descending by fireman’s pole or a slide.
The final elements are a fantastical waterwheel, complete with pumps and sluice gates, which will keep children busy pumping for hours, and a new story map designed to help children to navigate their way from the Drawbridge through the Palace Gardens to the Lair.
The Dragon’s Lair will have the same opening hours as the Palace & Gardens; 10am-6pm daily.
This project has been made possible with the help of Viridor Credits, the HLF Sharing Heritage grant and the Medlock Foundation, for which The Palace Trust is extremely grateful.