|Ottery St Mary is one of the oldest and most historic towns in Devon.
The parish bounds remain virtually unchanged since they were
fixed by Edward the Confessor in 1061. Author William Makepeace
Thackeray was fond enough of the town to include it, under the
name of Clavering St Mary, in his autobiographical Pendennis.
|Town of Character and Charm - Ottery St Mary retains its character as an historic Devon town and is justly proud of its heritage. The Anglo-Saxons designed the town so that the streets fanned out from a central hub. The street names have charm - Paternoster Row, Amen Court, Jesu Street, Long Dogs Lane, Yonder street. An interesting walk round historic Ottery is detailed in the Heritage Trail.|
|The famous church at Ottery St Mary dates from the early thirteenth
century and was greatly enlarged by Bishop John de Grandisson,
who modelled it closely on Exeter Cathedral in about 1340. The
weathercock on the tower is reputed to be the oldest in situ
On entering the Churchyard by the South gateway, the TOWN STOCKS can be seen, a reminder of the rough justice of former days.
|Tar Barrel Ritual
Ottery St Mary is internationally renowned for its Tar Barrels, an old custom said to have originated in the year 1688. Each of the local inns gives its name to one barrel. The tar-soaked barrels are lit and then carried blazing through the crowds on the shoulders of local men whose families have been Tar Barrellers for generations. This exciting ritual takes place each year on 5th November.
|The River Otter runs to the south of the town and the beautiful river valley emerges into the sea at Budleigh Salterton. The river bank walks are a delight and abound with wildlife. There are also many other picturesque walks around Ottery St Mary.|
The Tumbling Weir
|One pleasant walk is through the recreation area of the Land of Canaan and along the pretty mill stream will lead to the famous circular Tumbling Weir, constructed in 1790 when the river was harnessed to supply power to the then newly built Georgian textile factory, and the adjacent corn and grist mill.|
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