Welcome to Wells & Transatlantic Slavery

Exploring Histories, Legacies & Perspectives

Bringing together people from Britain and the Caribbean to explore how the City of Wells is connected to transatlantic slavery.

Uncovering Hidden Histories

Connecting the past and present

In recent years many British institutions have been moved to rediscover, re-evaluate and ‘own’ their histories – seeking ways to balance the appreciation of treasured places and people with the acknowledgement of their connections to enslavement of Africans. Our website explores important buildings, institutions and people in Wells and their connections to British slavery in the Caribbean. A series of talks reveal a range of histories, legacies and perspectives from Britain and the Caribbean.

The Buildings

Mapping slavery in the historic buildings of Wells

Discover how the historic sites of Wells, including Wells Cathedral, The Bishop’s Palace, Wells & Mendip Museum and Wells Town Hall, are connected to British slavery. Our building pages highlight treasured places and belongings, such as paintings, stained-glass windows and chandeliers, that all have visible connections to the enslavement of Africans.

The People

Tracing slavery through the people of Wells

Slave-owning families and their descendants living in or close to Wells were instrumental in the life and politics of the city from the 17th onwards. Our people pages uncover how they shaped the city and its history in countless ways, through politics, religion, banking, land-ownership, education and beyond.

'John Hothersall Pinder', National Portrait Gallery
The Revd. John H. Pinder was a slave-owner, plantation chaplain and inaugural principal of Wells Theological College.
Long Gallery with portraits
Over the centuries, many of the bishops of Bath and Wells have played significant roles beyond their pastoral and ecclesiastical duties; supporting the abolition of slavery was one of these.
Portrait of Charles Tudway, MP.
The Tudway family were important politicians and significant landowners in Wells, as well as owners of enslaved Africans on their plantation in Antigua.

Talks & Resources

Talks exploring histories, legacies and perspectives from Britain and the Caribbean

Video, Talk
Anne Gell
Acting Dean of Wells Cathedral
Talk, Video
Jess Witchell, Wells Cathedral & Susann Savidge, Somerset African Caribbean Network
Video, Talk
Revd. Dr Carlton Turner
Anglican Contextual Theologian, The Queens Foundation