You are using an old version of Internet Explorer. It may not display all the features of this and other websites. To improve security and online experience, please use a different browser or
update Internet Explorer
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.
The abbey is located in a beautiful valley surrounded by countryside so is ideal for walkers or visitors travelling on the West Somerset Railway, which stops at Washford station. It is just a ten minute walk to Cleeve Abbey from the station and with your train ticket you can get a discount on your entry ticket.
Evening theatre in the Cloister. Join us on Sat 13 Jul for Taunton Thespian’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest. Bring a picnic to enjoy from 6pm, before the performance at 7.30pm – for full details and tickets at visit www.tauntonthespians.org.uk
The monks at Cleeve took a vow of silence, but could also fill the Abbey with atmospheric plainchant. On weekends from 20 Jul to the end of August (11am - 4pm) you can step into this life by listening to the recorded sounds of monastic music in the Cloister. You can also put on a monks robe and take the Vow of Silence Challenge!