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Guidebook: Cleeve Abbey


Product Code: 501867

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Cleeve Abbey, by archaeologist Stuart Harrison and Dr Michael Carter, Senior Historian at English Heritage, examines the architecture and history of this Cistercian abbey in Somerset, which contains some of the best preserved monastic buildings in south-west England, including a remarkably intact angel roof and rare medieval wall paintings. It gives a vivid account of how the abbey’s architecture evolved over the years under successive abbots to reflect changes in life both within the abbey and in wider society, and how, following the Reformation, its buildings were put to use as a farm and visitor attraction.

Drawing on contemporary sources from the time of its foundation to the 20th century, the guidebook reveals Cleeve’s fortunes from its earliest days to its suppression under Henry VIII and subsequent use as a house, grain store and livestock barn, until it was acquired and presented to the public by the Ministry of Works. It casts light on the now-vanished medieval pilgrimage site on Blue Anchor Bay, with its miraculous image of the Virgin, and explores how the buildings were used by the monks and abbey servants, and how Cleeve later became celebrated through its depiction in popular children’s literature.

This attractively illustrated new guidebook to Cleeve gives a full tour and history of one of England’s most inspiring monastic sites, and is illustrated with new photography and plans.

Key Features:

  • Cleeve Abbey Guidebook illustrated with photography and plans
  • Published April 2017
  • Paperback
  • 40pp

Size: 285 mm x 160 mm
Author: Stuart Harrison and Michael Carter
ISBN: 9781910907191

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Guidebook: Cleeve Abbey