Welcome to Ottery St Mary
Standing on the River Otter, Ottery St Mary’s picturesque buildings and its magnificent church has inspired writers like Harry Potter author JK Rowling (referred to in the books as Ottery St Catchpole), William Makepeace Thackeray and famed poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge — who was also born in the town.
The town is probably most famous for its annual Tar Barrels event, where men shouldering flaming tar barrels run through packed streets — an astonishing spectacle worth coming out to watch! The town also holds its unusual ‘Pixie Day’ each June, where children dress up as pixies and re-enact an old legend.
The parish church of St Mary’s is a magnificent building constructed dating back to the 14th century. It holds many treasures, including a 14th century astronomical clock and a minstrel gallery built on pillars. There’s plenty of other history in the area too, with the tranquil Tudor house Cadhay in the Ottery St Mary parish, with Escot also nearby. Escot boasts stunning gardens designed by Capability Brown.