Open day at Ottery church to celebrate 650th birthday

Ottery St Mary Parish Church. Picture: Simon Horn

Ottery St Mary Parish Church. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Simon Horn

See the hidden parts of Ottery St Mary Parish Church as part of an open day to celebrating the life of its founder.

Areas of the church, not usually open to the public, will be accessible as part of a free event on July 13 to mark 650 years since the death of Bishop John de Grandisson.

Visitors will be able to look around the Minstrels' Gallery, the vestry, the tower, clock chambers, the bells, the roof spaces and the tower roof between 9.30am and 12.30pm. Coffee and cakes will be on sale in the Dorset Aisle.

The church owes its form to the Bishop, who rebuilt the town's earlier 13th century church and modelled it closely on Exeter Cathedral.

A parish church spokesman said: "It is this conscious emulation of the cathedral that accounts for the extremely large size of the church, which seems massively too big for the population of the town. The weathercock is over 500 years old and is perhaps the oldest in Europe."

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The Grandisson celebrations will begin on Friday, July 12.The stories with cheese and wine evening will begin at 7pm. Tickets are available at the Curious Otter.

Tickets are available at the Curious Otter.

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Following the open day on July 13, a choir concert will begin in the church at 7pm. On Sunday, a celebratory service will begin at 10am.

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