Memorial plans a go-go

PLANS to construct a memorial to one of Ottery St Mary’s most famous sons are gathering pace.

The Coleridge Memorial Project Group (CMPG) was set up as a working group of Ottery Heritage Society in November 2009 to secure funds for a memorial in Ottery to the poet and philosopher, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who was born in Ottery on October 21, 1772. It has since become independent of the society and has attracted a high level of public interest, including from former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion and Coleridge biographer Richard Holmes.

A public consultation exercise was carried out in February, and project member Chris Wakefield said it produced “some new and wonderful ideas” for the development of a memorial.

Mr Wakefield said those involved were hoping to get help from East Devon and Blackdown Hills AONB Making It Local fund. He said: “The next stage is fundraising, as many such grants require match funding.”

The first stage of the fundraising drive is a booklet entitled Coleridge Sauce, an insight into the lighter side of the poet’s personality, with a target publication date of late summer.

Mr Wakefield said: “We’ve gathered a lot of support and we now need to translate that into action.”

Anyone who has any comments about Coleridge or the memorial project, or wants to find out more, can fill in the form online at or contact the project’s honorary secretary John Pilsworth on (01404) 812737.