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Old Cleeve, Somerset

Historical Description

Cleeve, Old, a parish in Somerset, on the coast, adjacent to the Brendon Hills, and a mile from Washford station on the G.W.R. It includes the chapeh'y of Leighland, and the hamlets of Warren, Chapel-Cleeve, Blue-Anchor, Bilbrook, Roadwater, Golsoncott, and part of Washford. Post town, Taunton. Acreage, 5203; population, 1447. High craggy cliffs are on the coast, commanding fine views across the Bristol Channel, and alabaster abounds near Blue-Anchor. A Cistercian abbey was founded in the Vallis Florida, or flowery vale, in the time of Henry II., by William de Romana, Earl of Lincoln, and endowed with the property of the entire parish. A beautiful refectory and other domestic buildings remain. A Lady's chapel, long a resort of devotees, and still represented by some fragments, stood between the church and Blue-Anchor. A fragment of a cross, for guidance to the chapel, stands between the church and Washford, and another ancient cross, in tolerable preservation, stands in the churchyard. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Bath and Wells; value, £456. The church is ancient, with floor slanting upward from the tower to the chancel, but is in good condition. The vicarage of Leighland is a separate benefice.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountySomersetshire 
Ecclesiastical parishCleeve St. Andrew 
HundredWilliton and Freemanners 
Poor Law unionWilliton 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records, in association with Somerset Archives & Local Studies, have images of the Parish Registers for Somerset online.

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Old Cleeve from the following:


Online maps of Old Cleeve are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Somerset papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Somersetshire, 1623 is available on the Heraldry page.

DistrictWest Somerset
RegionSouth West
Postal districtTA24
Post TownMinehead