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HER Number:MDV10328
Name:Ottery St Mary, St Mary's Parish Church

Summary

St Mary's parish church in Ottery St Mary dates from the 14th and early 16th centuries with documentary evidence of a church at the site from the 12th century

Location

Grid Reference:SY 098 955
Map Sheet:SY09NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishOttery St. Mary
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishOTTERY ST.MARY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5017
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY09NE/13
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (Early Medieval to XVI - 1066 AD to 1600 AD (Between))

Full description

Griffith, F. M., 06/09/1991, DAP/UR, 5-8 (Aerial Photograph). SDV336581.

Swete, R. J. (Revd), 1792-1801, 564M 'Picturesque Sketches of Devon' by Reverend John Swete, 564M/8/181 (Record Office Collection). SDV337942.

Illustrations by Swete.

Unknown, 1842, An account of Ottery St Mary church (Article in Serial). SDV336578.

Coleridge, J. D., 1851, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV102599.

Pring, T. H., 1862, Memoirs of Thomas Chard, 209-10 (Article in Serial). SDV102585.

Thomas Chard, warden of the College 1513-1518, may have been associated with the building of the north or Dorset aisle.

Anon, 1862, Proceedings of the Congress of the British Archaeological Association at Exeter, 157-64 (Article in Serial). SDV336579.

Cornish, S. W., 1869, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV102600.

Chanter, J. F., 1890, 2nd Report on Devon Records, 61-5 (Article in Serial). SDV35442.

Dickinson, F. A. D., 1897, A Lecture on the History of the Church of Ottery St Mary (Article in Serial). SDV102602.

Unknown, 1898, A Lecture on the History of 'Our Parish Registers' (Article in Serial). SDV102601.

Reichel, O. J., 1898, The Domesday Churches of Devon, 311 (Article in Serial). SDV863.

Reichel suggests that there may have been a church here in the 11th century, an oratory for the church of St Mary, Rouen, the Domesday owners of the manor.

Rogers, W. H. H., 1900-1901, Haydon of Woodbury and Ottery St. Mary, etc, Devon, 235 (Article in Serial). SDV107235.

The south porch of the church was erected by John Haydon of Cadhay during the reign of Henry VIII.

Hall, J. J., 1907, Untitled Source (Article in Serial). SDV102604.

Howard, F. E., 1911, Fan Vaults, 1-42 (Article in Serial). SDV57395.

The same mason may have been involved in the construction of the Dorset aisle as the Lane aisle at Cullompton parish church.

Thompson, A. H., 1913, Church Architecture in Devon (Article in Serial). SDV15387.

Reed, H., 1915, Proceedings at the 74th annual meeting, 31-3 (Article in Serial). SDV336577.

St. J. Hope, W., 1916 - 1917, Untitled Source, 63 (Article in Serial). SDV102616.

Dalton, J. N., 1917, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV102603.

Anon, 1919, The Church of St Mary, Ottery, 38-9 (Article in Serial). SDV336574.

Excursion to and discussion of the church given.

Rose-Troup, F., 1922 - 1923, Bosses and corbels in the church of Ottery St Mary, 88-107 (Article in Serial). SDV336571.

Bosses and corbels described.

Knowles, J. A., 1926, The transition from the mosaic to the enamel method of painting glass, 29 (Article in Serial). SDV102612.

Other details: Footnote.

Cresswell, B. F., 1927, Devonshire Churches: The Buildings and Builders, 157 (Article in Serial). SDV124362.

Reed, H., 1927, Proceedings of the Congress of the British Archaeological Association at Exeter, 172-8 (Article in Serial). SDV249288.

Anonymous, 1927, Proceedings of the Congress of the British Archaeological Association at Exeter, 46-8 (Article in Serial). SDV35433.

No evidence for church before Bishop Bronescombe dedicated one in 1259. Church restored by Coleridge family in 1849.

Rose-Troup, F., 1935, Proceedings at the 74th annual meeting, 16 (Article in Serial). SDV336570.

St. Mary's Parish Church which served as a collegiate church from 1335-1545. For details of the secular college (see PRN 19993). The manor and church were granted to Rouen cathedral in 1061, although there are no remains of the Saxon church. A church built about 1250 was reconstructed 1337-1342 by Bishop Grandisson who bought the manor in 1336. To this period belongs the screen, the transeptal towers, north and south chapels and the lady chapel, the church being modelled on Exeter cathedral. The reading desk (an eagle of gilded wood) was formerly in the rood loft, removed early 19th century. Only one small fragment of the original glass remains, in a window of the manorhouse (see PRN 10345).

Anon, 1935, Proceedings at the Annual Meeting, 16-17 (Article in Serial). SDV102619.

Reichel, O. J., 1939, The Church and the Hundreds in Devon, 340 (Article in Serial). SDV15424.

Cited as an example to show that the church was not connected with the organisation of the hundreds.

Joce, L. H., 1940 - 1941, The Dorset aisle of St Mary Ottery and the Grey family, 15-8 (Article in Serial). SDV102623.

Rose-Troup, F., 1940 - 1941, The Dorset Aisle, 217-8 (Article in Serial). SDV336580.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: South Devon, 218-23 (Monograph). SDV336217.

The transepts, outer walls of chancel aisles probably date to c1260; the chancel, nave, aisles and lady chapel are of the Grandisson rebuild. The south porch is post-reformation in date, and the Dorset aisle is thought to have been added 1504-1530.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953, SY09NE8 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV336572.

Presence of a pre-13th century church is undetermined. The present church is a rebuilding of 1337 with various alterations before 1545. Other details: Plan.

Eden, P., 1957, Unknown, 164 (Article in Serial). SDV169712.

Coate, M., 1958, Presidential Address: The Corporation of the Church of St Mary of Ottery, 18-30 (Article in Serial). SDV127799.

The college was dissolved in 1545, after which a corporation of four governors was set up, to be responsible for church and grounds. Its history is given.

Copeland, G. W., 1963, Proceedings of the 101st annual meeting, 22 (Article in Serial). SDV114371.

Church contains work of 13th and 14th centuries. The 15th century Dorset aisle has fan-vaulted roof, great windows and carved bench ends. The twin transeptal towers are the only example in this country outside Exeter cathedral.

Department of Environment, 1974, Ottery St Mary UD, 1 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV102862.

Consecrated by Bishop Bronescombe in 1260. Altered and added to by Bishop Grandison. Mainly Early English. Built like Exeter cathedral, with 2 towers above transepts. Has nave and aisles and Lady chapel. Groining later and north aisle is perpendicular. Very rich roof with pendants. Some fine tombs. Was a Collegiate Church from 1337 to 1545 when it was dissolved. It is an imposing structure of grey stone. The interior was restored drastically mid 19th century by Butterfield and others.

Wilson, C., 1979, The origins of the Perpendicular style and its development to circa 1360, 274 (Monograph). SDV361749.

Allan, J. P. + Keen, L., 1983, Medieval Floor Tiles in Exeter Museum, 135-6 (Article in Serial). SDV123604.

A medieval tile series relaid in the ambulatory of the church contains examples from stamps also found in Somerset pavements and from Dunkeswell Abbey church. The tiles include distorted and discoloured examples, suggestive of local production.

Blaylock, S. R., 1986, A Survey of Greenway's Porch at St Peter's Church, Tiverton., 85-105 (Article in Serial). SDV57407.

The angel corbels of the Dorset aisle are influenced by Greenway's work at St Peter's, Tiverton.

Read, 1992, Unknown (Unknown). SDV336573.

Base of a Norman font said to have been dug up in restoration of 1850.

Exeter Archaeology, 1998, Archaeological Assessment of a Proposed Supermarket Development at Hind Street, Ottery St Mary, 2, 4 (Report - Assessment). SDV336582.

Passmore, A. J., 2005, Archaeological recording in the graveyard of the church of St Mary, Ottery St Mary (Report - Watching Brief). SDV336583.

The present church dates form the 14th & early 16th centuries but documentary evidence suggests the church was in existence from the late 12th century. During the 14th to 16th centurues the church was a Collegiate foundation with the college buildings in & around the graveyard. Six pits were excavated just outside the church in 2005. In one pit to the south of the church the northern wall of the north cloister walk was exposed (see PRN 60686). In another pit to the southeast of the church was truncated by a grave containing a 18th tomb (see PRN ). Other details: Fig 2.

Passmore, A., 2006, Archaeological Recording in the Graveyard of The Parish Church of Ottery St Mary, 2005, 343-347 (Article in Serial). SDV344670.

Fragments of medieval floor tile recovered from two pits close to the south porch, dug as part of a series to house copper base plates for lightening conductors.

Monckton, L., 2006, Experimental Architecture? Vaulting and West Country Cloisters in the Late Middle Ages, 275, 261, 277, 281, Fig 11 (Article in Serial). SDV361750.

Curved ribs in a grand form are key elements in the chancel vault. Transept vaults structurally anticipate the fan.
Wilson ('Origins of Perpendicular', 274) implies that William Ramsey may have been involved in both the south transept at Redcliffe and at Ottery St Mary. Whilst the south transept at Redcliffe shows differences in overall style and handling to the rest of the late medieval re-building, the work at Ottery, and in particular the choir and Lady Chapel vaults are handled in a way so close in style, construction and date to those known to have been by Joy at Wells that here he is considered to be responsible for the Ottery designs.

Watson, A., 2007-2017?, Devon Crosses, 627, (Vol 5), sketch (Un-published). SDV360833.

Ottery St Mary Church SY098956
Around the exterior walls of the church are 13 small panels containing what are known as consecration crosses, each about 1.5 metres from the ground, consisting of a quatrefoil set in a circle, with a full-faced three quarter length figure of an angel with outspread wings and bearing a plain Greek cross. Some of the crosses on the exterior walls were restored through the efforts of Phillis M. Coleridge.
Panels measure 0.50 by 0.50 metres. Circle 0.40 metres in diameter. Quatrefoil 0.30 by 0.30 metres.

Archaeology and Planning Solutions, 2008, Ottery Town Mill, Ottery St Mary, Devon. Archaeological Desk Based Assessment, 11, 22 (Report - Assessment). SDV346685.

Wootton, M., 2019, St Mary’s Church, Ottery St Mary, Devon: Archaeological Evaluation (Report - Evaluation). SDV363639.

Although the excavation was somewhat limited in scope, the trenching has nonetheless provided new information on the level of the original floor in- and around the north porch. It is likely that the original ground level at the time of the construction of the north aisle and porch in the early 16th century is represented by the top of deposit (202/306). Although any evidence for earlier flooring inside the porch has been removed by the insertion of the current late 19th or early 20th century tiled floor, this is likely to have been located immediately above the projecting foundations of the north aisle. This would coincide with the external levels and correspond to the assumed height of the late medieval floor inside the north aisle and nave.

Externally the ground has clearly been raised over successive centuries by continued inhumation within the graveyard, phases of alterations and repairs to the external fabric and windows of the church and episodes of reordering and landscaping within the graveyard. The latter is represented by an earlier line of cobbles located against the east elevation of the north porch and perhaps associated with the work undertaken by the architect William Butterfield in the 1840’s. These were subsequently buried by an extensive concrete plinth with inset cobbles extending as far as the east end of the church and associated with an extensive layer of landscaping. This level coincides with the tiled floor inside the porch, the latter perhaps representing late 19th or early 20th century renovations and alterations requiring the insertion of a new step immediately in front of the door leading to the north aisle and the nave beyond.

Finally, the identification of additional floor-tile fragments shows that even small-scale observations in areas of high disturbance are useful in furthering knowledge about the history and development of the former medieval pavements inside St Mary’s.

Unknown, Undated, Church (Worksheet). SDV358724.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV102585Article in Serial: Pring, T. H.. 1862. Memoirs of Thomas Chard. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 18. Unknown. 209-10.
SDV102599Monograph: Coleridge, J. D.. 1851. On the Restoration of the Church of St Mary at Ottery St Mary. Unknown.
SDV102600Monograph: Cornish, S. W.. 1869. Short Notes on the Church & Parish of Ottery St Mary. Unknown.
SDV102601Article in Serial: Unknown. 1898. A Lecture on the History of 'Our Parish Registers'. Transactions of the Exeter Diocese Architectural and Archaeological Society. Unknown.
SDV102602Article in Serial: Dickinson, F. A. D.. 1897. A Lecture on the History of the Church of Ottery St Mary. Transactions of the Exeter Diocese Architectural and Archaeological Society. Unknown.
SDV102603Monograph: Dalton, J. N.. 1917. The Collegiate Church of Ottery St Mary. Unknown.
SDV102604Article in Serial: Hall, J. J.. 1907. The Horological Journal. Unknown.
SDV102612Article in Serial: Knowles, J. A.. 1926. The transition from the mosaic to the enamel method of painting glass. Antiquaries Journal. 6. Unknown. 29.
SDV102616Article in Serial: St. J. Hope, W.. 1916 - 1917. Archaeologia. 68. Unknown. 63.
SDV102619Article in Serial: Anon. 1935. Proceedings at the Annual Meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 67. A5 Paperback. 16-17.
SDV102623Article in Serial: Joce, L. H.. 1940 - 1941. The Dorset aisle of St Mary Ottery and the Grey family. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 21. Unknown. 15-8.
SDV102862List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1974. Ottery St Mary UD. Historic Houses Register. Comb Bound. 1.
SDV107235Article in Serial: Rogers, W. H. H.. 1900-1901. Haydon of Woodbury and Ottery St. Mary, etc, Devon. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 1: Part 1. Unknown. 235.
SDV114371Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1963. Proceedings of the 101st annual meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 95. A5 Paperback. 22.
SDV123604Article in Serial: Allan, J. P. + Keen, L.. 1983. Medieval Floor Tiles in Exeter Museum. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 41. Paperback Volume. 135-6.
SDV124362Article in Serial: Cresswell, B. F.. 1927. Devonshire Churches: The Buildings and Builders. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 33. Unknown. 157.
SDV127799Article in Serial: Coate, M.. 1958. Presidential Address: The Corporation of the Church of St Mary of Ottery. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 90. A5 Paperback. 18-30.
SDV15387Article in Serial: Thompson, A. H.. 1913. Church Architecture in Devon. Archaeological Journal. 70. Unknown.
SDV15424Article in Serial: Reichel, O. J.. 1939. The Church and the Hundreds in Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 71. A5 Paperback. 340.
SDV169712Article in Serial: Eden, P.. 1957. Unknown. Archaeological Journal. 114. Unknown. 164.
SDV249288Article in Serial: Reed, H.. 1927. Proceedings of the Congress of the British Archaeological Association at Exeter. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 33. Unknown. 172-8.
SDV336217Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: South Devon. The Buildings of England: South Devon. Paperback Volume. 218-23.
SDV336570Article in Serial: Rose-Troup, F.. 1935. Proceedings at the 74th annual meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 67. A5 Paperback. 16.
SDV336571Article in Serial: Rose-Troup, F.. 1922 - 1923. Bosses and corbels in the church of Ottery St Mary. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 12. Unknown. 88-107.
SDV336572Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953. SY09NE8. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV336573Unknown: Read. 1992. Unknown. Unknown. Unknown.
SDV336574Article in Serial: Anon. 1919. The Church of St Mary, Ottery. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 65: Part 1. Unknown. 38-9.
SDV336577Article in Serial: Reed, H.. 1915. Proceedings at the 74th annual meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 47. A5 Paperback. 31-3.
SDV336578Article in Serial: Unknown. 1842. An account of Ottery St Mary church. Transactions of the Exeter Diocese Architectural and Archaeological Society. Unknown.
SDV336579Article in Serial: Anon. 1862. Proceedings of the Congress of the British Archaeological Association at Exeter. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 18. Unknown. 157-64.
SDV336580Article in Serial: Rose-Troup, F.. 1940 - 1941. The Dorset Aisle. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 21. Unknown. 217-8.
SDV336581Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 06/09/1991. DAP/UR. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 5-8.
SDV336582Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 1998. Archaeological Assessment of a Proposed Supermarket Development at Hind Street, Ottery St Mary. Exeter Archaeology Report. 98.13. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2, 4.
SDV336583Report - Watching Brief: Passmore, A. J.. 2005. Archaeological recording in the graveyard of the church of St Mary, Ottery St Mary. Exeter Archaeology Report. 5532. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV337942Record Office Collection: Swete, R. J. (Revd). 1792-1801. 564M 'Picturesque Sketches of Devon' by Reverend John Swete. Devon Record Office Collection. Unknown + Digital. 564M/8/181.
SDV344670Article in Serial: Passmore, A.. 2006. Archaeological Recording in the Graveyard of The Parish Church of Ottery St Mary, 2005. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 64. Paperback Volume. 343-347.
SDV346685Report - Assessment: Archaeology and Planning Solutions. 2008. Ottery Town Mill, Ottery St Mary, Devon. Archaeological Desk Based Assessment. Archaeology and Planning Solutions Report. A4 Stapled. 11, 22.
SDV35433Article in Serial: Anonymous. 1927. Proceedings of the Congress of the British Archaeological Association at Exeter. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 33. Unknown. 46-8.
SDV35442Article in Serial: Chanter, J. F.. 1890. 2nd Report on Devon Records. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 22. A5 Paperback. 61-5.
SDV358724Worksheet: Unknown. Undated. Church. Exeter University Extra Mural Archaeological Parish Surveys Field Worksheet. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV360833Un-published: Watson, A.. 2007-2017?. Devon Crosses. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. 627, (Vol 5), sketch.
SDV361749Monograph: Wilson, C.. 1979. The origins of the Perpendicular style and its development to circa 1360. The origins of the Perpendicular style and its development to circa 1360. Unknown. 274.
SDV361750Article in Serial: Monckton, L.. 2006. Experimental Architecture? Vaulting and West Country Cloisters in the Late Middle Ages. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 159. Digital. 275, 261, 277, 281, Fig 11.
SDV57395Article in Serial: Howard, F. E.. 1911. Fan Vaults. Archaeological Journal. 68. Unknown. 1-42.
SDV57407Article in Serial: Blaylock, S. R.. 1986. A Survey of Greenway's Porch at St Peter's Church, Tiverton.. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 44. Paperback Volume. 85-105.
SDV863Article in Serial: Reichel, O. J.. 1898. The Domesday Churches of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 30. A5 Paperback. 311.

Associated Monuments

MDV83065Parent of: Ottery St Mary World War I Memorial Tablet (Monument)
MDV106932Parent of: Ottery St Mary World War II Reader and Book (Monument)
MDV10334Parent of: St Mary's Parish Church, Burial (Monument)
MDV15121Parent of: St Mary's Parish Church, Clock (Find Spot)
MDV10335Parent of: St Mary's Parish Church, Doorway (Monument)
MDV44155Parent of: St Mary's Parish Church, Grandisson Memorial (Find Spot)
MDV10329Parent of: St Mary's Parish Church, Haydon Tomb (Monument)
MDV14979Parent of: St Mary's Parish Church, Lady Chapel (Monument)
MDV10333Parent of: St Mary's Parish Church, Memorials (Monument)
MDV44154Parent of: St Mary's Parish Church, Northewode Memorial (Find Spot)
MDV10330Parent of: St Mary's Parish Church, Pulpit (Monument)
MDV10332Parent of: St Mary's Parish Church, Screen (Monument)
MDV10336Parent of: St Mary's Parish Church, Sherman Family Memorial (Find Spot)
MDV10338Parent of: St Mary's Parish Church, Stocks (Building)
MDV10338Related to: St Mary's Parish Church, Stocks (Building)
MDV10331Parent of: St Mary's Parish Church, Sundial (Monument)
MDV10337Parent of: St Mary's Parish Church, Weathercock (Find Spot)
MDV60686Related to: Cloister of Collegiate Church, Ottery St. Mary (Monument)
MDV19993Related to: College associated with Collegiate Church, Ottery St. Mary (Monument)
MDV10345Related to: MANOR HOUSE in the Parish of Ottery St. Mary (Building)
MDV77568Related to: Medieval Floor Tiles from the Parish Church of Ottery St. Mary (Find Spot)
MDV19992Related to: Ottery St Mary, Priory (Monument)
MDV19995Related to: Ottery St Mary, Vicarage (Building)
MDV72734Related to: St Mary's Parish Church, Jeffery Tomb (Monument)
MDV60687Related to: St Mary's Parish Church, Library of Collegiate Church (Monument)
MDV10338Parent of: St Mary's Parish Church, Stocks (Building)
MDV10338Related to: St Mary's Parish Church, Stocks (Building)
MDV17013Related to: The Manor House, North Street (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV3996 - Unnamed Event
  • EDV3997 - DAP/UR
  • EDV3998 - Archaeological assessment of a proposed supermarket development at Hind Street, Ottery St Mary
  • EDV3999 - Archaeological recording in the graveyard of the church of St Mary, Ottery St Mary
  • EDV8278 - Evaluation: St Mary's Church, Ottery St Mary, Devon (Ref: OA1542)

Date Last Edited:May 12 2020 3:39PM