"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Monday, 27 June 2016

East Devon Day 2 - Saturday, 18th June - Part 2: Otterton and St Michael's Church

Leaving Budleigh Salterton we drove back to Otterton and the Mill.

The River Otter - you can walk from here along the river back to the reserve at Budleigh Salterton I mentioned in the last post.

Grey Wagtails were spotted on the river and a Tree-creeper on trees in the Mill car park.

More plants on walls - Herb Robert

I left the family looking round the Mill and had a quick look round the Church of St Michael which was close by.

There has been a church on the site since Saxon times. In the 11th Century the Manor of Otterton was handed over to the Benedictine Abbey of St Michael in Normandy by William the Conqueror in return for the use of their vessels to transport some of the army from France. Otterton was an important sea port in the 12th century and a Prior and 4 monks were sent to Otterton at this time to take charge of temporal affairs. The monastery, part of which still remains, was on the North side of the church. The original Saxon church was replaced by a Priory church. In 1414 the manor was given to the Syon Abbey by Henry V and the Abbey remained in possession until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. By the early 1800's the church was in a state of disrepair following years of neglect and, although it was repaired, in 1868 the old church was replaced by a new one at the expense of the Rt. Hon Louisa Lady Rolle and this is the building which can be seen today.

The organ was installed in 1879. I did buy a booklet on the history of the church which covers the earlier days but there wasn't a lot of information on the present day church.


I didn't have time to visit the churchyard to see how wildlife friendly it was but there was a nice little overgrown area of trees and shrubs at the front of the church.


Dartford Warbler said...

I expect you would have loved to have seen the old church, with its long history. The Victorian version is very grand. Lovely flowers. I wonder if there had been a wedding?

Ragged Robin said...

Dartford Warbler - Thanks :) Yes, it would have been good to see the old church - would have liked to work out where the old monastery was too but sadly no time. Possibly a wedding although I think there probably would have been more flowers - churches usually seem to have one display.

Margaret Adamson said...

the church is lovely both inside adn outside. I always love the stain glass windows in churches.

Ragged Robin said...

Margaret Adamson - Thank you Margaret. It was quite an impressive church :)

Wendy said...

It is interesting to read about the history of the church on this site. The old church sounds central to a religious community (in a busy port) and then after the Dissolution everything changed until it became a project (I suppose) of an individual. It does make me wonder what the future of the church will be!

Ragged Robin said...

Wendy - Thanks very much Wendy. You have made such interesting observations. It does make you wonder about the future of the church. I believe church attendances are falling although I have no idea if they are more stable in rural rather than urban areas or the age of the congregation. When I visit rural churches I do get a sense that perhaps they are more a part of the community - although I am just surmising and may be totally wrong! It would be a tragedy if the older churches with all their history had to close or fall into disrepair :(