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St.Andrew's Church

A Brief History

St.Andrew's Old Cleeve stands at the heart of the village about a mile and a half from the sea. The present building dates largely from the 13th century, but there have been many additions and alterations over the years. Much re building took place in 1425AD, the western tower was added in c.1533 and alterations were made to the chancel as late as the 19th century. Records show that there has been some form of church on the site since Domesday, and certainly long before the establishment of Cleeve Abbey in nearby Washford by the Cistercian order in 1198AD.

The Altar

The Altar. (The east window is by Sir J. Ninian Comper)

Early in the 12th century the church was given to the monastery of Bec in Normandy and it was then rented out to the Abbey of "Cleve" for forty marks a year. The monks served the church for a number of years but when they were no longer allowed to serve as parish priests they appointed the first incumbent William de Exton in 1315AD to serve as curate for an annual stipend and some small tithes. As "Rectors" however, the Abbey continued to receive the bulk of the income from the parish until the dissolution in 1537AD.

The dissolution dealt a severe blow to the local economy, for the monks had offered employment to many local people as well as providing a school, hospital and alms for the poor and needy.

During the civil war the church was again in the firing line. Prince Charles (later to be Charles II) was twice besieged by Parliamentary forces in nearby Dunster Castle and many believe that the Puritan army marching by took the opportunity to smash the wayside cross on the Monk's Path, and that in the churchyard at St. Andrew's together with the statues that once filled the two niches on the church walls.

A Palm Sunday ProcessionA Palm Sunday Procession through the village.

Many records survive from the 18th and 19th centuries which give an insight into the life of the church and village. Those who wish to find out more may wish to read two excellent booklets which are available to visitors to the church or by post from the Churchwardens (see information pages).

St.Andrew's Church Old Cleeve by Margaret J. Baker 2+pp.

A Tapestry of past and present in Old Cleeve by Jeanne Webb 4 + pp.

For more history of the PARISH OF OLD CLEEVE visit BRITISH HISTORY ONLINE

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D

omesday Book

In 1066 the survey of England, commissioned by William, Duke of Normandy stated that:

"Earl Harold held Old Cleeve and it paid tax for 4 hides and one virgate of land. There was land for 33 ploughs of which 1 hide is in lordship; 3 ploughs there; 4 slaves; 19 villagers and 9 smallholders with 18 ploughs and two mills which pay 54d ".

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Incumbants of Old Cleeve

1315 William de Exton

1334 Withypen

1348 William Martyn

1349 Stephen Legg

1419 Ric Peret

1429 John Symme

1447 Robt. Matthew

1459 Rad Free

1475 Rog. Funcleyn

1490 Wm. Maser als Fawkner

1520 John Dovel (Last Abbot of Cleeve Abbey)

1525 Tho. Wyse LLB

1528 Will Hopper

1557 John Webb

1565 Tho. Wylliams

1572 Tho. How

1598 Rob. Evens

1608 Ed. Brickenden AM (Follow this link to access the Brickenden Family Tree research)

1633 John Jenkins

1663 Hugh Tomkins or Jenkins

1677 Edward Richards AM

1698 Elston Whitlocke

1705 Escott Richards

1710 Charles Michell

1735 Robert Hemborough

1740 John Wills

1782 James Newton

1806 William Newton

1851 James Hunter Gandy

1858 Thomas Bedford

1863 H. Hamilton Beamish AM

1866 John Blurton Webb AM

1872 Willium Walton Herringham MA

1904 Gilbert Weigall MA

1918 Alfred Charles Harman MA

1929 Frederic Vincent Dawkins MA

1938 G.V. Yonge

1955 W. F. Brimsom BSc.

1975 Charles Townshend MA

1985 Hugh Allen

1998 Robert Earnshaw

2004 Judy Henning

2012 Kenneth Cross

 

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