Otterton, Devon, St Michael's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Early monastic origins
By the middle of the 19th century the medieval church was in dire condition. The Rt. Hon. Louisa Lady Rolle paid for the entire church to be pulled down and a new church built in its place. The new church was consecrated in 1871. The Duke family vaults were emptied and the bones of generations of the family reburied in a trench in the churchyard. Brass plates from the Duke coffins are now displayed at the west end of the church. In the churchyard is an altar tomb to James Courtenay (d. 1593) which stood in the transept chapel of the old church.
Look for an intriguing memorial to a pair of vicars named Venn. William Venn served as vicar from 1600-1621, and Richard Venn was installed as vicar in 1625. He was ejected from the living in 1645 for his Royalist sympathies. The inscription eloquently tells the tale of his tribulations,
"During 14 years of almost constant wandering he suffered many hardships and even imprisonment in Exeter Gaol. In 1660 he was restored to his Parish and died and was buried here June 28 1662".
The plaque to the Venns was installed by their descendent, John Venn, senior Fellow and rtesident of Gonville and Caius College Cambridge in 1905.
Though many of the furnishings are 19th and early 20th century, St Michael's retains a sense of history. Reminders of the monastic origins of the church are everywhere, and it pays to inspect the nearby buildings for signs of medieval origins.
About Otterton, St Michael's Church
Address: Church Hill, Otterton, Devon, England, EX9 7JE
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Above Fore Street on Church Hill. Parking along Fore Street or outside the church. The church was open when we visited.
Website: Otterton, St Michael's Church
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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Nearest Accommodation to Otterton, St Michael's Church:
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Tourist Information Centre
Tel: 01395 445 275
Fax: 01432 260 282