Medieval Somerset Churches

Cleeve Abbey was remarkable and, keeping to the theme, we also visited a number of medieval churches in the area.

Evercreech, a small village near Shepton Mallet, has St Peter's church which was built in the 13th to 15th centuries.
The church has a large, ornate tower which dwarfs the surrounding cottages
The painting of the nave roof was completed in the 1550s

Near Cleeve Abbey is St Andrew's church in the village of Old Cleeve.
As we approached Old Cleeve we enjoyed a good view across the Bristol Channel

Much of the floor is covered with medieval tiles made by the monks at Cleeve Abbey
The tiles are well preserved despite being a similar age to those surviving at the abbey
The ornate chandelier dates from the 1770s below an 'angel roof'
The poor box is dated 1634
After Old Cleeve we moved to Watchet and St Decuman's church.
St Decuman's church has stood on this site since the 13th century
The interior shares a number of features with nearby Cleeve Abbey ...
... including another 'angel roof' ...
... and medieval tiles on the floor
Somerset has a large number of ancient churches and we only had time to visit a few of them. We wanted to end our tour at Wells, a small city with a population of around 12,000 but with a very fine cathedral.
The cathedral can be enjoyed at a distance from Cathedral Green. The west front includes many sculptures of prophets, angels and other icons, mostly life-size or larger
The west front is said to be the finest collection of medieval sculptures in England
The fine stone work continues inside
Every tiny detail is finished to perfection
Biblical symbolism is everywhere
The fine decoration includes the ceilings

The five windows of the Lady Chapel, four of which are madeup of fragments of medieval glass

The rich colours illuminate the chapel
The fine stonework continues to the cloisters
The fan ceiling of the adjacent Chapter House is said to resemble palm trees
The octagonal building has seating round the edge for the canons who discussed cathedral matters
The catheral of often seen looming above the low buildings in the pretty, historic city
The medieval worshippers of Somerset wanted to create the best possible churches, bringing all the skills available at the time - including floor tiles, stone carvings, beautiful windows. Some 900 years later we can only gaze in awe at the results of their devotion.