The building of the Dragon's Lair

A new educational natural play project called The Dragon’s Lair will open at The Bishop’s Palace in Wells, Somerset, this summer.

The installation and outdoor activity zone will be located in the arboretum of the Bishop’s Palace gardens and be set apart from the quieter areas of the grounds.

The natural play project will introduce children to some of the key themes of The Bishop’s Palace, including the local legend of the dragon slain by Bishop Jocelyn in the 1200s as well as the theme of well pools and water.

The installation will be targeted mainly at Primary and Pre-school children in order to encourage an interest in the heritage and culture of the palace as well as link to subjects such as Science and History.

What will The Dragon’s Lair feature?

To get to The Dragon’s Lair, children will have to navigate their way through the grounds of the palace using an illustrated story map, encouraging learning through discovery.

The story map will include clues that will help the students get from one point in their exploration to another. Some of the clues will link to History and Science.

Features of the actual educational space will include a pole jungle in the shape of the dragon’s wings, climbing pods, a waterwheel with sluice gates and shoots, and a central structure that is itself The Dragon’s Lair.

Inside this central structure, children will discover elements of Physics (when taking part in a water activity), English (in the storytelling area), and Physical Education (when climbing on the apparatus).

There will also be an area full of boulders and tree stumps, which could be used for Drama and English related activities.

Booking information

The new installation in the outdoor activity zone should be open by the summer.

Teachers booking a visit to The Bishop’s Palace can take advantage of free learning resources, access to the Medieval palace and chapel, and free trails for the students.

Teachers should call 01749-988111 or e-mail to book a visit.

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