The Times Letter

Letter to The Times – 1,111 Years and Counting

A letter written to The Times by Head Master Alastair Tighe about the continual flourishing of Wells Cathedral School during times of crisis throughout its 1,111 year history was published in the newspaper on Friday.


Alastair Tighe’s letter is replicated below:

Letter to Times: 19th June 2020

Dear Sir,

The ongoing physical closure of schools as a result of the Covid pandemic is undoubtedly unwelcome for the current generation of pupils, but I hope the example of my own school demonstrates that we will bounce back.

Since our foundation in 909, Wells Cathedral School has been forced to close on at least four previous occasions: during the persistent Viking raids on Somerset between 1010 and 1015; in late 1642 when, in the English Civil War, the Cavaliers used Wells as headquarters for their offensives against Bath and Bristol, and again in 1645 when the Roundheads drove the Cavaliers out of Somerset; and almost certainly during the 1685 Monmouth Rebellion when the Cathedral was ransacked by the rebels, leading to the infamous ‘Bloody’ Judge Jeffreys sentencing over 300 of them to death in the Market Square. 

Each and every time, the School reopened and continues to flourish. And history is still being made today; this is the first time in our 1,111 year history that we’ve taught our pupils remotely.

Alastair Tighe

Head Master

Wells Cathedral School