Cleeve Abbey, Somerset

Childhood holidays sometimes included a trip to Somerset to visit distant family but since then I haven't given it much attention. So when Lindsey suggested a mini-break in a county full of historic churches and other old buildings I was interested to see how things might have changed.

Cleeve Abbey, in the west of the county, was established in 1198. Unusually, after the dissolution by Henry VIII, the abbey buildings weren't left to fall into ruin. Instead, only the church was destroyed and the remaining buildings continued to be used - first as a country house and later as farm buildings. As a result the buildings are very well preserved and give a real sense of what it must have been like to live here as a monk in medieval times.
The buildings are very well preserved

The detail in the stone and flooring is still very clear

Fan ceilings were a popular feature in medieval Somerset

The abbey church was originally attached to this building

It is unusual to see such ancient windows perfectly intact

The refectory with its 'angel roof'

The detail of the angel carvings is exquisite

These medieval wall paintings have recently been rediscovered and are being restored

There are many heraldic tiles throughout the abbey

An entire tiled pavement has been relaid in a dedicated building
We enjoyed Cleeve Abbey and spent more time seeking out some fine medieval churches around the county.