A trip through EJO country 
Somerset

Updated 15th May 2004

This page is part of
COLLECTING BOOKS and MAGAZINES,
Blue Mountains, Australia
SERVING COLLECTORS SINCE JULY, 1997

Elsie Jeanette Oxenham published 87 books and numerous short stories for girls during the first half of last century. Most of them were set in England but a few were set in Wales, Scotland, Switzerland and France. Here are the places in Somerset that we have found so far. We hope you enjoy "visiting" the places you have read about so often.

The locations that appear in RED actually exist. If you would like to know exactly where each is, go to  Multi Media Mapping and enter the name. A map will usually appear on your screen.

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The "Abbey" as described in the Abbey series is at the foot of the Chiltern Hills on the borders of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire near High Wycombe. Before visiting England in 1983, I re-read all my Abbey books writing down all the references to places, directions (Joy tidied herself before entering the village of West Wycombe on her way to school, so this village must be between the school and the Abbey ETC ). All these references were plotted on a map. This map enabled us to pinpoint the general area (somewhere near Chinnor) but a careful search found no Village, Abbey, Manor or Hall. So after trying in vain to find it I gave up and decided it was completely made up.

Years after that abortive Abbey hunting trip to England I found out it wasn't there at all, but almost stone for stone it does exist. It is based on Cleeve Abbey in Somerset and you can visit it (in real life if you are lucky enough to have a trip to England in mind). Or use these photos to imagine you are there.

These three photos were taken before 1920 so they reflect the Abbey as Elsie would have seen it. She describes the Abbey quite accurately except for the underground "additions" which were purely in Elsie's imagination.

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Interior  view of the Refectory


Exterior  view of the Refectory

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The east side of the Cloisters

Here are some recent photos of Cleeve

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The tresaunt goes through to the cloister garth.

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The garth from the cloister ruins.

 

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The round sacristy window


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The cloisters from the dormitory

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The gatehouse from the church
ruins

 

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The cloisters and garth

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The Abbey from Washford Mill

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Cloister windows

 

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The gate to the orchard

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The warming room

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Cleeve cloister - the west
side of the garth has just
a few remaining walls of
the cloister which once
went right around the
garth, seen from
the refectory windows.

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The cloister ruins from the chapter house.

Also visit other sites with Cleeve information

http://www.theheritagetrail.co.uk/abbeys/cleeve%20abbey.htm
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/default.asp
http://www.btinternet.com/~timeref/cleeve3d.htm
http://www.postex.demon.co.uk/reports/cleeve/frames.htm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/somerset/see/galleries/cleeve_abbey/index.shtml
http://www.francisfrith.com/UK/search/imagedispbytown.asp?townid=C114&pagetitle=Photographs+of+CLEEVE+ABBEY

xxxGlastonbury crypt.jpeg (7324 bytes)
Glastonbury crypt -
Where Nancybell used to
hide when she needed time out.

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Glastonbury Abbey

 

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Four views of the Ferry near Brean Down - Elsa's ferry from Adventure for Two & Elsa Puts things right

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The Somerset levels near King's Dyke -
the rhines Nancy photographed

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Right Lighthouse at Burnham-on-Sea
from Pernel Wins

LOCATIONS OF EJO BOOKS
Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire
- Cumbria,Lancashire & Merseyside - Other Counties - Overseas - Scotland - Somerset - Sussex & Surrey - Wales - Yorkshire & Derbyshire

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