Church opens up unseen areas to visitors to mark 650th anniversary

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 July 2019

Open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7748. Picture: Terry Ife

Open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7748. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

The bells rang out this weekend to celebrate Ottery St Mary Church’s 650 years since a key date in its history.

Gordon Bird helps visitors to the rooftop at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7747. Picture: Terry IfeGordon Bird helps visitors to the rooftop at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7747. Picture: Terry Ife

To mark the occasion, areas of the church not usually accessible were opened for the morning on Saturday.

The open day was to mark 650 years since the death of Bishop John de Grandisson, who rebuilt the town's church, modelling it closely on Exeter Cathedral.

Those attending the day could take a tour through the Minstrels' Gallery, the vestry, the tower, clock chambers, the bells, the roof spaces and the tower roof.

The church's weathercock is also more than 500 years old and is believed to be among the oldest in Europe.

One of the outstanding views on offer at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7744. Picture: Terry IfeOne of the outstanding views on offer at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7744. Picture: Terry Ife

The Grandisson celebrations began on Friday, July 12 with a stories, cheese and wine evening in the church.

A choir concert was held on Saturday evening and a service on Sunday morning topped off the celebrations.

Open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7742. Picture: Terry IfeOpen day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7742. Picture: Terry Ife

One of the outstanding views on offer at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7740. Picture: Terry IfeOne of the outstanding views on offer at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7740. Picture: Terry Ife

One of the outstanding views on offer at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7739. Picture: Terry IfeOne of the outstanding views on offer at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7739. Picture: Terry Ife

One of the outstanding views on offer at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7738. Picture: Terry IfeOne of the outstanding views on offer at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7738. Picture: Terry Ife

Open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7733. Picture: Terry IfeOpen day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7733. Picture: Terry Ife

One of the outstanding views on offer at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7730. Picture: Terry IfeOne of the outstanding views on offer at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7730. Picture: Terry Ife

One of the outstanding views on offer at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7729. Picture: Terry IfeOne of the outstanding views on offer at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7729. Picture: Terry Ife

Rachel and her daughter Seren on the roof at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7725. Picture: Terry IfeRachel and her daughter Seren on the roof at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7725. Picture: Terry Ife

Open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7724. Picture: Terry IfeOpen day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7724. Picture: Terry Ife

One of the outstanding views on offer at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7722. Picture: Terry IfeOne of the outstanding views on offer at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7722. Picture: Terry Ife

One of the outstanding views on offer at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7720. Picture: Terry IfeOne of the outstanding views on offer at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7720. Picture: Terry Ife

Open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7719. Picture: Terry IfeOpen day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7719. Picture: Terry Ife

Fantastic views were on offer at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7718. Picture: Terry IfeFantastic views were on offer at the open day at Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7718. Picture: Terry Ife

Steve Chapman points out some graffiti fro the 1200's in the north tower at the open day in Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7714. Picture: Terry IfeSteve Chapman points out some graffiti fro the 1200's in the north tower at the open day in Ottery St Mary Church. Ref sho 29 19TI 7714. Picture: Terry Ife


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Sidmouth Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald