Ottery church - Bishop Grandisson's gift to his people
This is an outline history of Ottery church from the first entry in the Domesday book to the present day.
1061 – Bounds of the manor and parish of Ottery St Mary fixed
1086 – The manor, but no church, is listed in the Domesday survey
1259 - 14th December. Walter de Bronescombe consecrates a church
1280 – July. Manor and church are leased to Walter de Lechelade, Precentor of Exeter for his life
1334 – John de Grandisson asks the Archbishop of Rouen for permission to found a collegiate church in Ottery St Mary
1335 – 13th June. The canons of Rouen grant permission to build.
1337 – 15th December. Edward III grants a Royal Licence
1342 – Sometime during this year the remodelling work on the church built by Bishop Bronescombe is completed. Grandisson’s church resembles Exeter Cathedral
1520 – Lady Cicely, widow of Thomas Grey the Marquis of Dorset, married Henry Lord Stafford, Earl of Wiltshire in 1503. In 1520 she funded the building of the Dorset aisle. She was a direct descendant of the Grandisson family, hence her connection with Ottery.
1545 – The Reformation forces the wardens and canons to surrender the church and its property to the King.
1545 – 24th December. A vicar and schoolmaster are appointed to “instruct the youth of the parish in the King’s New Grammar School of Saint Mary Ottery” For further information about The King's School click here
1560 – Three galleries are erected in the transepts
1645 – Sir Thomas Fairfax sends Parliamentarian troops to winter at Ottery. The troops damage and destroy the stained glass windows and take pot shots at the weather vane.
1829 – Between 1829 and 1833 Edward Blore restores the altar screen front
1849 – William Butterfield begins work to restore Ottery church from its neglected state
1878 – The south transept walls are covered with mosaic tiles according to the design ideas of the time.
1919 – Plaster is removed from the walls to expose the original stonework
1952 – Work begins to restore and repair the whole church, an ongoing project
For further information on the history of Ottery church please refer to the official guide written by John A Whitham. "The Church of St Mary of Ottery in the County of Devon. A short history and guide."
Cottage Holiday Guide