Ottery St Mary - Encyclopedia

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OTTERY ST MARY, a market town in the Honiton parliamentary division of Devonshire, England, 15 m. E. by N. of Exeter, on a branch of the London & South-Western railway. Pop. of urban district (Igo') 3495It is pleasantly situated in the rich valley of the small river Otter. The parish church, the finest in the county, is cruciform, and has the unique feature of transeptal towers, imitated from Exeter Cathedral. The northern has a low spire. The church, which is Early English, with Decorated and Perpendicular additions, contains several ancient tombs. The manor of Ottery belonged to the abbey of Rouen in the time of Edward the Confessor. The church was dedicated in 1260 by Walter Bronescombe, bishop of Exeter; and c. 1335 Bishop John Grandisson, on founding a secular college here, greatly enlarged the church; it has been thought that, by copying the Early English style, he is responsible for more of the building than is apparent. The town has a large agricultural trade. It is the birthplace of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772); and W. M. Thackeray stayed in the vicinity in youth, his knowledge of the locality appearing in Pendennis.

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