St Mary Ottery Church, Devon, 1821
Medium: Pencil on paper
The design of St Mary's Church is based on that of Exeter Cathedral. John de Grandisson, Bishop of Exeter, began construction in 1342. Originally a "collegiate" church, it contained many peripheral buildings, including cloisters. Upon the decree to shut down the monasteries issued by Henry VIII, the church and its treasures were surrendered to his commissioners. The next year Henry established four governors to maintain St Mary's for perpetuity.
St Mary Ottery was the birthplace of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834). He celebrates the church in his poem 'Frost at Midnight',
"With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt
of my sweet birth-place, and the old church-tower,
Whose bells, the poor man's only music, rang
From morn til evening, all the hot Fair-day ...".