The diocese of Bath andWells was founded in 909 and in 2009 celebrates its 1100th anniversary. Over
those centuries its bishops, some famous, some notorious, and at least one saintly, have been responsible
for its religious life.This is the story of their attempts at ensuring order and discipline over clergy and
laity alike and of the failures of all. It is the story of struggles for the truth, of deep disputes and divisions, but
also of rebirth and revival. The exquisite churches of Somerset were expressions of the devotion of men
and women to whom these bishops were both pastors and judges, and their continuing survival is but one
expression (and an important one) of a community of faith that has, over these 1100 years, been an essential
part of our national heritage.
Robert Dunning ranges widely over 1100 years of history and across the diverse
county of Somerset, from the windswept heights of Exmoor to the pastures of South
Somerset, and from the seaside resorts of the coast to the glories of medieval Wells
and Georgian Bath, to paint a vivid portrait of this community of faith through more
than a millennium.
Robert Dunning has been licensed by five bishops of Bath and Wells as a reader in their diocese and long
ago wrote a thesis on the activities of five of their predecessors. He was for nearly forty years the official
historian of the county of Somerset.
Imprint: Ryelands. ISBN: 978 0 9556477 8 9, hardback, 238x258mm, 160 pages. Published August 2008.
REVIEWS: BBC Somerset, Somerset County Gazette.