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Cleeve Abbey is a Cistercian Abbey near the village of Washford, Somerset, England. It is one of the best preserved mediaeval monasteries in Britain.

 

The abbey was founded in the late twelfth century by William de Roumare between 1186 and 1191, on land he had been given by the king. The move was strongly opposed by the neighbouring abbots of Neath Abbey and Forde Abbey, who claimed that a new foundation so near to them would harm their monasteries. These objections were eventually overcome, however, and on June 25 1198, a new colony of 12 monks led by Abbot Ralph arrived at the site from Revesby Abbey in Lincolnshire. The official name of the abbey was Vallis Florida (Latin: 'Flowering Valley') but throughout its history it was generally known as Cleeve after the nearby village.

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Taken on April 12, 2008