'Wells Cathedral, West Front', c 1880.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photographic view of the West front of Wells Cathedral, Somerset, published by Francis Bedford & Co. Construction of the cathedral began in 1180. The magnificent west front was built between 1209 and 1250. It has retained almost 300 of its original medieval statues. Bedford (1816-1894) was a prolific and well-respected photographer, best known for his numerous topographic and architectural views of Britain. In 1857 Bedford became a member of the Photographic Society. During the 1860s and 1870s Bedford travelled extensively throughout Britain, taking hundreds of views of British scenery. He was asisted by his son, William (1846-1893) whose work is almost indistinguishable from that of his father.