Cleeve Abbey

Cleeve Abbey, Washford

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Closed until 28 Feb 2022
Cleeve Abbey
4.5
Historic Sites • Religious Sites
Temporarily closedClosed until Feb 28, 2022
About
Boasting the most impressively complete and unaltered set of monastic cloister buildings in England. Standing roofed and two storeys high, they include the gatehouse, the 15h century refectory with its glorious angel rood; unusual painted chamberand the floor of an earlier refectory. An exhibition and touch screen virtual tour tell the story of abbey life and a story bag is an ideal way for families to explore the site. Child friendly and dog friendly.
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4.5
275 reviews
Excellent
183
Very good
77
Average
11
Poor
3
Terrible
1

devmike
Crediton, UK71 contributions
Interesting for history buffs.
Sep 2021
This was an interesting couple of hours, The site is large, and the buildings mostly intact. The barns/rooms are mostly empty, but interesting to explore. It is like a maze. Much bigger that expected. Free parking, not too busy, and cheapish! Well worth a visit!
Written 7 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Clive H
Truro District, UK6 contributions
A real gem
Oct 2021
Everything about our visit to the abbey was interesting and fascinating. Steeped in history and well preserved artefacts. Gives a real feel for the spartan life of monks in that era
Written 24 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Millie024
Llantwit Major, UK406 contributions
Beautiful and peaceful
Sep 2021 • Couples
Cleese Abbey is a lovely place to visit. There is a large car park across the road from the entrance but once you have parked, there is no indication as to ho w to find the abbey. Fortunately we saw another family making their way across the road, so hoping they knew where they were going, we followed them. Throughout the site there are good information boards, starting at the substantial gatehouse. The domestic buildings of the abbey were used as a farm after the dissolution and then converted into three cottages, but have been put back as far as possible to their medieval incarnation, following the trend in the 1960s to remove all non medieval remains from sites like this.
We were able to see the dormitory, chapter house, refectory, parlour, the abbot’s bedroom, library and guest accommodation, showing what a substantial concern this was in its heyday. The abbey had close links with various aristocratic and gentry families, and their coats of arms are represented in the famous tiles with which much of the building was floored. A modern shelter has been erected to protect a particularly complete area of tiling. Sadly, Henry VIII’s men demolished the abbey church, but its footings have been exposed, so we could imagine the monks coming down the night stairs to sing the night offices. There are some wall paintings preserved, but also evidence of others that have been lost, notably the crucifixion scene once visible on the wall of the refectory. I was interested that Bishop Hooper of Gloucester, who was burnt at the stake during Mary I reign, began his ecclesiastical career as a monk of Cleeve, before encountering the reformed religion on the continent. I felt that if you had a vocation for the Cistercian way of life, Cleeve would have been a beautiful setting in which to fulfil it. There is a small shop with a coffee machine, and toilets. The site is all well maintained and a credit to English Heritage.
Written 18 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Robert B
Pontefract, UK174 contributions
A gem
Sep 2021 • Couples
We visited Cleeve Abbey because we were looking for something to do and we are so glad we did. The staff were fantastic and extremely helpful and friendly. We didn’t expect it to be so complete and well preserved, we are members of English Heritage and as we enjoy visiting places like the Abbey we think the cost is well worth it.
Written 17 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Annabel
Weston super Mare, UK7 contributions
Check cost of tickets first.
Sep 2021 • Family
We didn’t realise you needed tickets so we were approached but the cost of tickets was extortionate. We luckily saw most of the outside before we left! It is quite special but at £12 per adult plus kids, it is not good value for a family with 12 yo and 4 yo.
Written 12 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Euro_Diner
London, UK245 contributions
Over priced
Aug 2021
I seldom leave bad reviews, but quite frankly we found the prices charged here by English Heritage were far too high, for a family experience, so much so, that we arrived at the main entrance and totalled our parties entrance fees and decided not to go in, which was a shame, but such are times, English Heritage really need to think about inclusivity a little more. Great grounds/gardens for the little we did see!
Written 26 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Carpentr
New Malden, UK179 contributions
Quieter than it deserves to be.
Aug 2021
Surprisingly quiet, given how impressive the buildings are. Perhaps the lack of any refreshments doesn't help, or people just assume that it will be a pile of stones like most other ruined abbeys whereas it's a largely complete set of buildings with only the church completely gone. Beautiful surroundings and a really interesting place.
Written 23 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

alex bm
London, UK94 contributions
Recommend for a picnic in green Somerset
Aug 2021
Great, Green and Beautiful. We stayed in a cottage in Washford, very close to the abbey. Definitively recommend; not only the abbey but the surroundings. Parking nearby, dogs' friendly. Perfect for an afternoon out with plenty of space for picnics.
Written 21 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelling_fool_101
London, UK128 contributions
unique cistercian abbey
Aug 2021
Well preserved abbey with some unique features which makes it worth a visit. Huge preserved floor from chapter house for example.

Not as busy as nearby Dunster Castle
Written 18 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

malcsaville
Stroud, UK1,041 contributions
Dreamy!
Aug 2021
In a quiet rural location, the Abbey seemed very serene, especially as there were very few visitors, and for much of the time we were on our own. There are very fine restored parts of the Abbey - in particular the old dormitory building. Where did all the stones from the Abbey Church go to though?
Written 16 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Cleeve Abbey

Cleeve Abbey is open:
  • Wed - Sun 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM