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Cleeve Abbey, Remains of Cistercian Abbey of St Mary Covering About 28 Acres

A Grade I Listed Building in Old Cleeve, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.1576 / 51°9'27"N

Longitude: -3.3635 / 3°21'48"W

OS Eastings: 304744

OS Northings: 140703

OS Grid: ST047407

Mapcode National: GBR LP.77QS

Mapcode Global: VH6GV.N56D

Plus Code: 9C3R5J5P+3J

Entry Name: Cleeve Abbey, Remains of Cistercian Abbey of St Mary Covering About 28 Acres

Listing Date: 22 May 1969

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1057579

English Heritage Legacy ID: 264814

Location: Old Cleeve, Somerset West and Taunton, Somerset, TA23

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Old Cleeve

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

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1/56 Cleeve Abbey, remains of
Cistercian Abbey of St Mary
covering about 28 acres


Remains of Cistercian abbey. Founded 1198, remodelled C15 and early C16, dissolved 1537 when church demolished, apart
from South transept and South aisle wall, incorporated into farmhouse, altered early C17, farmbuildinqs to South West
remodelled C18, excavated and restored 1875-6, placed in Department of the Environment guardianship 1951. Red sandstone
coursed rubble, slate roofs. Plan: gatehouse, remains of walls to inner and outer courts, cloister - foundations of
church and South aisle wall with collaction seat North side, East range dorter over chapterhouse, sacristy and library,
common room in angle with South range, frater over individual cells with heraldic tiled pavement of earlier trater
projecting from South West corner, latter farmbuildinqs now ticket office and administration projecting South East,
West remains of cloister alley. Gatehouse: gabled, 2 storeys, one bay; C13, altered C14, upper storey rebuilt and
buttresses added early C16. Chamfered pointed arch opening, stepped buttresses, large C20 raking buttress North front,
4-light mullioned window opening first floor. North face half relief Virgin and child, South crucifiction flanked by
empty cusped headed niches; early C16 arch braced roof with 3 tiers of curved wind braces and moulded wall plate.
Cloister: Dorter range, C13, altered C15; 2 storeys, 10 bays; lancets first floor, groundfloor openings include centre
right entrance to chapter house, quadripartite vault in 2 bays, ribs springing from moulded corbels with short shafts;
here and in the barrel vaulted sacristy to North, remains of C13 painted decoration are visible. Day stairs right to
common room right and dorter left. Frater: C13, altered C15; 2 storeys, first floor left five 3-light mullioned and
transomed windows with flattened cusped ogee heads, groundfloor right opening to stone stair, and other to individual
study chamber. Interior: splendid 5 bay arch-braced roof, divided by subsidary arch bracing, richly moulded with half
and three-quarter length crowned angels forming sole-pieces to the overhanging arch braces, carried on moulded brackets
and stone corbels, originally intended to be completed on a wagon roof but left unfinished. To right of stairs chamber
with extensive remains of C15 painted decoration and gallery with moulded rail. Cloister alley: late C13, altered C16;
6 bays remain unroofed. A small abbey by medieval standards, notable for the extensive survival of monastic buildings
including the splendidly roofed frater, the rare survival of a monastic dormitory, dorter, C13 and C15 painted
decorative and C13 heraldic tiled floor. Scheduled Ancient Monument (Somerset County No 31). (Photograph in NMR;
Gilyard-Beer, Cleeve Abbey, 1960; VCH Somerset, vol 5 forthcoming; Country life January 6 and 13, 1923).

Listing NGR: ST0476740849

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