Cleeve Abbey

Schools

Cover a range of curriculum objectives with a visit to Cleeve Abbey. Give your class a real taste of medieval monastic like at this well-reserved Cistercian monastery, with buildings to explore and activities themed around the beautiful 13th century floor tiles. 

Information about your visit

A visit to one of our sites will inspire your students and bring your teaching to life. We'd like to reassure you that we're following Government guidance to make your trip as safe and enjoyable as possible. 

Important information to consider before you book:

  • To keep everyone safe we’ve introduced limits on visitor numbers and school groups, so please bear this in mind when booking your trip.
  • Find out more about what to expect on your school visit, which also includes our Covid 19 Risk Assessment.
  • To make the planning process as easy as possible, make sure you check our Plan Your School Trip section at the bottom of this page, for updated information on the facilities at the site as well as our free resources.
  • As usual, you’ll need to book your visit at least 14 days in advance. Please check our Terms and Conditions for full details.

We’re continually updating our education offer in line with government guidance.  At some sites you might not be able to use our handling collections or costumes as part of a free self-led visit, but where we can provide hands-on items in a safe way we will. We’ve adapted our Discovery Visit workshops to follow government guidelines, but for certain sessions this hasn’t been possible – please check our schools webpages for further information.

There may be areas of our sites which are closed, so please check what’s available for your school group on our property webpages and with our booking team.  They can put you in touch with our Education Visits Officers who can offer help and guidance, so you can make the most of your school trip.

Curriculum Links

Support your teaching in the classroom by stepping out of it. A visit to Cleeve Abbey will help you bring learning to life, covering multiple topics across the curriculum and key stages.

  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places in the locality
  • KS1 Art and Design: Use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination
  • KS2 History:  A local history study. A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS2 Art and Design: Create sketch books to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas
  • KS3 History: Development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509
  • KS3 Art and Design: History of art, craft, design and architecture, including periods, styles andmajor movements from ancient times up to the present day.

Free self-led visits

Book a free self-led visit to Cleeve Abbey and organise your day to suit your curriculum objectives. Explore the monastic buildings, including the cloister, refectory, dormitory and chapter house. Look out for the fireplaces and exposed wattle and daub in the cloister, and the secret ‘Green Man’ hidden in the refectory. Peer into the painted chamber to see the 15th century wall painting showing a scene from the Gesta Romanorum, and see if you can spot the medieval graffiti of a monk’s head by the door in the gallery. Book the education room to try tile stamping and dress up in monks’ robes.

Enquire now

Plan your visit

We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. Download our free resources to help you make the most out of your visit and create unique learning experiences before, during and after your trip.

We also offer free planning visits for group leaders once you have made a booking. Our Education Booking Team is on hand to advise and help you create the best possible school trip to suit your needs and area of study.

  • Facilities
    • PARKING: There are approximately 50 spaces in the free car park, located 70 metres from the entrance of the site. Visitors will need to cross a road (lane) to reach the site entrance from the car park. There is no marked parking for coaches, so availability is dependent on the number of cars already parked. Typically, there is space for two coaches at a time.
    • TOILETS: Male, female and disabled toilets are located on the main site.
    • FOOD AND DRINK: You are welcome to bring a picnic to eat in the grounds. There are seven benches and two picnic tables located around the Abbey, as well as grassed areas. If the weather is bad, you can eat lunch inside the Education Room, if booked. 
    • SHOP:  The shop is located within the ticket office selling a selection of English Heritage gifts and themed souvenirs. We recommend bringing your students in small groups at a time
    • EXHIBITION: On the ground floor (wheelchair access via ramp) there is an exhibition on the history of the Abbey and monastic life. On the first floor (unfortunately no wheelchair access) there is an exhibition about historic wall-paintings, including a video loop and display boards, and an exhibition about how the tiles at the Abbey were made.
    • EDUCATION ROOM: Please book the education room when booking your visit. In the education room, there are sets of wooden replica tiles to make tiled floor patterns, tile stamping sets and paper, monk robes for dressing up, and a book box. 
    • ACCESSIBILITY: There are 4 disabled parking bays within the Abbey grounds. These are only accessible by cars/small minibuses, please call the site in advance to arrange. Disabled visitors travelling in vehicles larger than a car or small minibus can be set down at the site entrance - there is no need to arrange this in advance. There is wheelchair access to the grounds and ground floor of the Abbey (including the disabled toilet) only. There is one ramp, and two crossing points for wheelchairs where areas of foundation walls have been flattened to allow access. Unfortunately there is no wheelchair access to the first or second floors. A non-audio touch screen tour is available on the ground floor for those who are not able to get upstairs. Please note: One wheelchair is available upon request.
  • Enquire now

  • School visits from September 2020

    Education bookings are now open and can make provisional bookings for visits from September 2020 to March 2021. Due to the current situation we can’t answer calls as quickly as we’d like to. If you’d like more information about a site, email us and we’ll put you in touch with an Education Visits Officer, or if you’d like to book a visit you can use our online booking form. 

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