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Vicars Close

The oldest purely residential street in England is known as Vicars’ Close, which is located in Wells, Somerset, England, and dates from the mid 14th Century. Planned by Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury, at one time it was 42 separate houses, built of stone from the Mercia Mudstone Group, a rock strata found in plenty in the English midlands. 22 houses were on the east side of the street and 20 on the west side. They line a quadrangle, which is visual delight because it appears longer than it actually is because the houses at the northern end of the quadrangle and nearest the chapel are nine feet closer together than those at the lower/southern end, which is closer to Vicars’ Hall.