Staff at The Bishop’s Palace in Wells are celebrating after Wynn, the female mute swan who recently lost her long-term mate, Bryn, has hatched a clutch of cygnets.
A palace spokesperson confirmed that the first cygnet appeared in the early hours of 9 May and a further two were spotted by the end of that day.
It is thought that there are now five cygnets, with a further egg still to hatch.
Swan fans have been glued to ‘Swan Cam’ (Editor’s note – scroll to the bottom of the page), the palace’s 24-hour infra-red camera, which is trained on the nest, and viewers from around the globe have been sending their good wishes.
The valiant mum was widowed back in mid-April when her partner, Bryn, passed away due to old age. Wynn had already laid six eggs and was sitting on the nest by this stage.
Palace staff had been keeping a close eye on her to ensure that she had food nearby and that the eggs weren’t left for too long – Bryn used to take her place when she went for a quick swim, or to find food!
Visitors and staff alike have been delighted to see the new cygnets appearing, and the first two cygnets will be named Meghan and Harry in celebration of the Royal wedding.
The annual cygnet naming competition, to name the rest of the cygnets, will be held as usual by the palace over the next few weeks. Entries are invited by email, social media, or in person at the palace shop. The deadline for entries is 24 May at 12:00.
The Bishop’s Palace is the 800-year-old home of the Bishops of Bath and Wells.
The medieval palace is also home to the wells and ancient springs that give the City of Wells its name, the world famous mute swans that ring a bell alongside the Gatehouse when they want their food, and 14-acres of stunning gardens.
Within the gardens are an arboretum, formal planted gardens, the ruined and romantic Great Hall, waterfalls and well pools, a community garden, and the new Garden of Reflection.
The palace buildings open to the public include a medieval undercroft, a striking Long Gallery, hung with portraits of former bishops, exhibition space, and the beautiful medieval chapel.