ABBOTS LEIGH is a village and civil parish in
about 3 miles (4.8 km) west of the centre of
* 1 History
* 2 Governance
* 3 Parish church
* 4 References
* 5 External links
Middle English name was Lega and the village became
Abbots Leigh in the mid-12th century when
Robert Fitzharding (first
Earl of Berkeley
Earl of Berkeley ), who purchased the manor having been rewarded as
Lord of the Manor
Lord of the Manor of Portbury by the king, He also purchased
Bedminster, Hareclive and Billeswick manors. He went on to found the
Abbey of St Augustine at what was Billeswick and bequeathed the income
from the parish to support the Abbey Because of this connection to the
abbey, when the Diocese of
Bristol was carved out of the Bath and
Wells, Gloucester and Worcester diocesan territories (Patent Roll,
Henry V111, Art. 9, June 1542 ) the boundary to the diocese was drawn
around the parish, including the Saxon 'enclosure' at Hamgreen which
had been part of Portbury manor lands up to this time. All the
surrounding parishes in
Somerset are in Bath and Wells diocese. The
Parish Map shows this very extended historic boundary which puts St
Katherine\'s School and Chapel Pill Farm both indisputably within the
parish and not in Pill as everyone would think!
The parish of
Abbots Leigh was part of the Portbury Hundred .
The manor house here, also named Abbot's Leigh or
Leigh Court , was a
resting place of Charles II during his escape to France in 1651. He
arrived on the evening of 12 September, staying at the home of Mr and
Mrs George Norton, who were friends of the Kings's travelling
companion, Jane Lane . The Nortons were unaware of the King's identity
during his three-day stay.
A description of the house appears in the book The Escape of Charles
II, After the
Battle of Worcester
Battle of Worcester by Richard Ollard:
Abbots Leigh was the most magnificent of all the houses in which
Charles was sheltered during his escape. A drawing made in 1788, only
twenty years before it was pulled down, shows a main front of twelve
gables, surmounting three storeys of cowled windows; a comfortable,
solid west country Elizabethan house."
While staying at Abbots Leigh, Charles deflected suspicion by asking
a trooper, who had been in the King's personal guard, to describe the
King's appearance and clothing at the
Battle of Worcester
Battle of Worcester . The man
looked at Charles and said, "The King was at least three inches taller
The King's escape route is commemorated in the Monarch\'s Way long
distance footpath which passes through the village.
In 1942, during World War II, Rev. Cyril Vincent Taylor (1907–1991)
who, at the time, was a producer of Religious Broadcasting at the BBC
and was stationed here, wrote a hymn tune which he named after the
village. The tune was originally written for the hymn "Glorious Things
of Thee Are Spoken ", which had usually been sung to the tune named
AUSTRIA , but since the German national anthem was also sung to that
tune, new music was needed in wartime Britain. Other hymn texts that
are commonly sung to ABBOTS LEIGH include "Father Lord of All
Creation", "God is Here", "Go My Children, With my Blessing" and
"Lord, You Give the Great Commission".
The parish is in the unitary authority of North
Somerset which was
created in 1996, as established by the
Local Government Act 1992
Local Government Act 1992 . It
provides a single tier of local government with responsibility for
almost all local government functions within its area including local
planning and building control , local roads, council housing ,
environmental health , markets and fairs, refuse collection ,
recycling , cemeteries , crematoria , leisure services, parks, and
tourism.It is also responsible for education , social services ,
libraries , main roads, public transport,
Trading Standards , waste
disposal and strategic planning, although fire, police and ambulance
services are provided jointly with other authorities through the Avon
Fire and Rescue Service , Avon and
Somerset Constabulary and the Great
Western Ambulance Service .
North Somerset's area covers part of the ceremonial county of
Somerset but it is administered independently of the non-metropolitan
county . Its administrative headquarters is in the town hall in
Weston-super-Mare . Between 1 April 1974 and 1 April 1996, it was the
Woodspring district of the county of Avon . Before 1974 that the
parish was part of the
Long Ashton Rural District .
The parish is represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament
United Kingdom as part of the North
constituency , which elects one
Member of Parliament (MP) by the first
past the post system of election. It is also part of the South West
England constituency of the
European Parliament which elects seven
MEPs using the d\'Hondt method of party-list proportional
The Church of
England parish church of the Holy Trinity is a
Perpendicular Gothic building, restored and partially
rebuilt in 1847–48 after a fire. The tower has six bells, three of
which were cast in 1781 by William Bilbie of the
Bilbie family .
English Heritage has designated Holy Trinity a Grade II* listed
* ^ "2011 Census Profile". North
Somerset Council. Archived from
the original (Excel) on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
* ^ "
Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
* ^ Count Grammont. Memoirs of the Court of Charles the Second and
the Boscobel Narratives, edited by Sir Walter Scott, Publisher: Henry
G Bohn, York Street, London, 1846. Chapter: King Charles's escape from
Worcester: (The Kings own account of his escape and preservation after
Battle of Worcester
Battle of Worcester as dictated to Samuel Pepys at Newmarket on
Sunday, October 3d, and Tuesday, 5 October 1680). p.466
* ^ Ollard, Richard (1966). The Escape of Charles II, After the
Battle of Worcester. Hodder and Stoughton.
* ^ J. Hughes (ed.) (1857). The Boscobel Tracts: Relating to the
Escape of Charles the Second After the
Battle of Worcester
Battle of Worcester and his
subsequent adventures, William Blackwood and Sons. p.166
* ^ "The Monarch\'s Way". The Quinton Oracle. 2005. Archived from
the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
* ^ "Cyril Vincent Taylor".
Hymn Time. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
* ^ "Abbot\'s Leigh". Hymnary. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
* ^ "Composer: Cyril Vincent Taylor". Hymns Without Words.
Retrieved 21 March 2017.
* ^ "The Avon (Structural Change) Order 1995". HMSO. Archived from
the original on 30 January 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2007.
* ^ "Long Ashton RD". A vision of Britain Through Time. University
of Portsmouth. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
* ^ Moore, James; Rice, Roy; Hucker, Ernest (1995). Bilbie and the
Chew Valley clock makers. The authors. ISBN 0-9526702-0-8 .
* ^ "Holy Trinity Church". Images of England. Retrieved 5 October