A 10-year project to honour Ottery’s ‘most famous son’ culminates on Friday, October 21, with the unveiling of a statue of Samuel Taylor Coleridge outside the parish church. 

The life-size bronze likeness will be revealed to the public for the first time at 11am – the time of Coleridge’s birth on the same date 250 years ago. 

It depicts the poet standing, notebook in hand, gazing from the churchyard towards the site of the schoolhouse where he was born. He went on to write poems including The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan and Christabel, and also produced thought-provoking essays and lectures on logic, philosophy and theology. 

Many of the poet’s descendants including Lord Coleridge will attend the unveiling, which comes after years of campaigning and fundraising by the Coleridge Memorial Trust. 

Dr John Pilsworth, vice chairman and founding member of the Trust, said: “As a past chairman of the CMT and one of its founders I am immensely proud that our generation has achieved what we set out to do 10 years ago.  

“That is to see the first life size sculpture of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, anywhere in the world, in situ in the churchyard where he played as a boy.   

“Nicholas Dimbleby’s brilliant work is a fitting tribute to one of England’s greatest poets and philosophers, at home in Ottery St Mary, Devon where he was born.  It will be an inspiration for lovers of poetry and Coleridge's work for generations to come.” 

The Right Hon The Lord Coleridge, 5th Baron of Ottery St Mary, said: “At last we have a focus, in this town, of the poet’s birth for all those who have been touched by the greatness of the man we commemorate today. My thanks to all those who have contributed, particularly to members of the Coleridge Memorial Trust who have put so much effort, over so many years, into turning yesterday’s dream into today’s truly magnificent reality.” 

“It has taken the work of many people to bring about this momentous contribution to the reputation and stature of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Members of the Coleridge family have helped considerably, as have innumerable lovers of his poetry and philosophy both here in Ottery St Mary and farther afield.”