Wells hotel celebrates 600 years with a stunning display

Colourful flowers made from recycling in front of Wells Cathedral

The Swan Hotel is celebrating 600 years - Credit: The Swan Hotel

A colourful installation near Wells Cathedral has been made by locals and a mental health charity.

An eye-catching display of flowers, made from recycled plastic, has been installed to mark the 600th anniversary of the Swan Hotel in Wells, Somerset providing bed, board and good food for visitors to the city.

The stunning artwork has been created by local people at the workshops of mental health and well-being charity Heads Up.

They made 600 flowers - one for each year that the Swan has been open – starting as an Inn and now a four-star hotel. The installation is in the hotel garden that overlooks the stunning West Front of Wells Cathedral.

Heads Up provides activities for people coping with mental health or dementia including woodcraft, pottery, gardening and well-being. Stocks of plastic bottles were donated by the public to be turned into the creation.

The team from the project stand in front of Wells Cathedral and the artwork

Heads Up have worked with local people to create the art work - Credit: The Swan Hotel

Service Director Bridget Harvey, who founded Heads Up ten years ago, said: “Many people were involved collecting and washing the clear bottles, cutting the shapes, spraying them and making them into 600 flowers. It has been a real community effort.

“The Swan Hotel has been a great supporter of the charity and the installation will help raise awareness and some funds to keep us going.”

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The Swan opened its doors to its first traveller in 1422 when nine-month-old Henry VI became king and travellers on horseback needed a place to rest as they made their way over the Mendip Hills.

Current owner, Kevin Newton, said: “There are many original features in the hotel and in recent years we have transformed it into a four-star hotel that welcomes visitors from all over the world. We opened up the garden with its view of the West Front of the Cathedral and we wanted something special there to mark the significant anniversary.

“The people at Heads Up have done a magnificent job with such vibrant colours. We hope people who come to look at them will donate to the charity.

“The last few years have been tough for everyone during the pandemic, especially those with dementia or mental health issues, so the creative activity and social network that Heads Up provides for local people has become even more vital.”

The flowers will be on display throughout the summer. Information on the charity can be found at headsupsomerset.org.uk and the Swan Hotel at swanhotelwells.co.uk.