£100k needed for Coleridge statue

The start of a long journey: Sculptor Nicholas Dimbleby (left) next to a current commission, with Jo

The start of a long journey: Sculptor Nicholas Dimbleby (left) next to a current commission, with John Pilsworth, chairman of the Coleridge Memorial Trust. - Credit: Archant

Ambitious plans for a £100,000 memorial to Ottery’s most famous son have been unveiled by the Coleridge Memorial Trust.

The group recently secured the services of a top sculptor to create a bronze statue of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and plan to seek international donors to help fund it.

The trust hopes that the project will be finished in time to coincide with the 250th anniversary of the poet’s birth in the town in 1772.

The group, which was formerly known as the Coleridge Memorial Project, was also behind a £30,000 installation of tablets engraved with the one of the writer’s best known works - Kubla Khan - at the Land of Canaan.

Trust chairman John Pilsworth said that although the plans were at an early stage, the group had commissioned an East Devon-based sculptor, Nicholas Dimbleby, for the work and were beginning to think about where they would place the statue.

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He said: “It is going to be interesting because we had quite a job raising the £30,000 for the poetry stones.

“We will of course be inviting local donations but we are going international with this one.

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“If we are not ambitious it cannot possibly succeed.”

Mr Pilsworth said the trust would approach American, Canadian and European universities with literary departments, as well as organisations in the UK.

He added: “It is going to take us a little while to get the money.”

“Nobody else has managed to place a statue of him in the town for the last 250 years, so it would be nice if our generation could be the one to succeed.”

More information on the trust can be found at www.coleridgememorial.org.uk.

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