Ottery St Mary

Ottery St Mary

  • Devonīs oldest and most historic town
  • Famous Tar Barrel Run
  • Near to Jurassic coastline

Ottery St Mary is situated just six miles from the Jurassic coastline of East Devon and Dorset and eleven miles from Exeter in the Otter valley.

Ottery St Mary is one of Devonís oldest and most historic towns dating back 1000 years. Itís streets are narrow and winding and the jewel in the crown is the church of St Mary. This 13th century church sits on the hillside overlooking the town, and while it began its life as a humble parish church it had a radical reconstruction in 1338 when the then Bishop of Exeter modeled it on the cathedral itself.

For places to stay in Devon, as a base from which to visit Ottery St Mary and the surrounding area, please see: Country House Hotels in Devon , Coastal Hotels in Devon , Spa Hotels in Devon , Bed & Breakfasts in Devon or Self-Catering Cottages in Devon

Cadhay House, and Escot Park are here and well worth a visit. Cadhay House is a classic example of a 15th century Tudor and Georgian house, while at Escot Park you can see otters and watch the birds of prey being fed and flown each day.

Ottery St Mary has been an inspiration for some of the great literary giants, who either lived or holidayed here - Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie, Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, John Keats, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Rudyard Kipling, Tennyson, Shelley, Oscar Wilde, and of course Samuel Taylor Coleridge who was born here.

Every year on November 5th for reasons lost in antiquity, the Flaming Tar Barrels are carried through the streets of Ottery St mary to the delight of thousands of townsfolk and visitors. Starting with the junior barrels in late afternoon the size of the adult barrels grows until the final enormous one is carried as Midnight calls.

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