Somerset in focus

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Cleeve Abbey


Opening hours

Contact English Heritage for information


Tel. 01984 640 377

Postcode TA23 0PS


In Washford lies one of the undiscovered jewels of Somerset, providing an interesting day out for families and budding historians alike. The Cistercian abbey of Cleeve is a haven of peace and tranquillity, said to contain the finest cloister buildings in England.

Visitors today can catch a glimpse of monastic life 800 years ago; although the abbey church was destroyed by Henry VIII during the dissolution in 1536, the cloister buildings including the gatehouse, 15th century refectory with its glorious angel roof and 13th century heraldic tiles have survived remarkably intact.

The great dormitory is one of the best examples in the country, and an exhibition and virtual tour tells the story of the abbey and daily life for the holy men that once inhabited it.

2010 brings to an end the Cleeve Abbey Project, a long term research programme aiming to establish the best ways of conserving the fragile wall painting and tiled floors for the future.

Abbey Road Old Cleeve, Somerset TA23 0PS. Tel. 01984 640 377


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