Ottery organisation to launch £100k appeal to erect statue of Samuel Taylor Coleridge

PUBLISHED: 19:55 05 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:39 08 May 2017

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

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

Archant

A group is to officially launch an ‘exciting’ £100,000 fundraising appeal to erect a bronze statue in honour of Ottery’s ‘most famous son’ - world first. The Coleridge Memorial Trust will begin six-figure project in September as there is no life-size memorial anywhere on the planet of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

A collection of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's lighter moments has been compiled in a new book published in his hometown Ottery St MaryA collection of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's lighter moments has been compiled in a new book published in his hometown Ottery St Mary

The charity’s plans include a bronze sculpture of the poet and a standing stone which has four bronze oval plaques depicting scenes from his life and work.

John Pilsworth, chairman of the trust, said: “We are excited about our proposed sculptural memorial to Samuel Taylor Coleridge because he was Ottery’s most famous son and there is no life-sized memorial to him anywhere in the world.

“Samuel Taylor Coleridge was one of the greatest English poets and a leader of the ‘Romantic Poets’ with Wordsworth.

“We are told that the cost of our project, that will include the bronze sculpture, plus a standing stone to emphasise Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s love of walking and the ‘great outdoors’, will probably be a little in excess of £100,000

“The stone will have four bronze oval plaques on it depicting scenes from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s life and work.”

The trust will also invite pupils from The King’s School to submit ideas for one of the plaques as the poet was a pupil at the school.

The trust hopes to place the statue in the grounds of the parish church. Coleridge used to play in the churchyard as a child.

Mr Pilsworth added: “We plan to launch our fundraising appeal in September and are currently seeking advice from the Exeter Dioceses, who will have to approve of our work before it can go ahead.

Sculptor Nicholas Dimbleby has been chosen to carry out the work.

Coleridge was born in 1772 in the School House, Ottery. His father, John, was the vicar of the parish and master of the King’s grammar school.

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