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Cleeve, Old (St. Andrew)

CLEEVE, OLD (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Williton, hundred of Williton and Freemanners, W. division of Somerset, 18 miles (N. W.) from Taunton; containing, with the chapelry of Leighland, 1351 inhabitants. The parish adjoins the Bristol Channel, and is remarkable for its craggy rocks, which abound with alabaster; it comprises by measurement 4700 acres, whereof about 2900 are arable, 1500 meadow, pasture, and orchard, 200 woodland, and 100 uninclosed. On the beach a great quantity of kelp is gathered and burnt for the market at Bristol. Lodging-houses have been erected for the accommodation of persons resorting hither for the benefit of sea-bathing. The living is a discharged vicarage, endowed with the rectorial tithes, and valued in the king's books at £7; patron and incumbent, the Rev. W. Newton, whose tithes have been commuted for £600, and whose glebe comprises 3¼ acres, with a glebe-house. At Leighland is a distinct incumbency. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. A Cistercian abbey, in honour of the Virgin Mary, was founded here in 1188, by William de Romara, the revenue of which, in 1534, was valued at £155. 9. 4½.: there are still some remains, part having been converted into a private mansion, called Cleeve Abbey. At the hamlet of Chapel-Cleeve was a chapel, also dedicated to the Virgin; it stood on a rock, and was the resort of numerous pilgrims.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.