Coleridge Memorial Trust submit application for £100,000 life-size statue of poet

PUBLISHED: 12:32 17 November 2018

A front view of a maquette designed by sculptor Nicholas Dimbleby. Picture: JUDITH COX

A front view of a maquette designed by sculptor Nicholas Dimbleby. Picture: JUDITH COX

Archant

“In Ottery, did CMT a life-size famous son decree,” to adapt one of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s most well-known lines.

A perspective drawing of where the statue would be located on the church ground's if the plans were approved by EDDC. Picture: CHRISTOPHER WAKEFIELDA perspective drawing of where the statue would be located on the church ground's if the plans were approved by EDDC. Picture: CHRISTOPHER WAKEFIELD

Coleridge Memorial Trust [CMT] proposes to install a £100,000 bronze statue in honour of the poet.

The trust hopes to win the support of Ottery Town Council’s planning committee on Monday for its plans to install the statue of the Kubla Khan poet in the grounds of Ottery Parish Church.

The group unveiled its ambitious six-figure fundraising plans last year to fund the project as there is no life-size memorial of Coleridge anywhere in the world.

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

A side view of a maquette designed by sculptor Nicholas Dimbleby. Picture: JUDITH COXA side view of a maquette designed by sculptor Nicholas Dimbleby. Picture: JUDITH COX

The application argues it is a duty to acknowledge the writer’s achievements as he remained ‘largely unsung’ in his birthplace.

The trust said: “Coleridge is a colossus of English cultural history, and as Devon’s pre-eminent cultural icon, we are duty bound to cultivate his international reputation and impress upon visitors the love Coleridge had for his home town and for the church in particular.”

The statue would stand on a granite plinth made out of a Devon based stone and would be installed on the south side of the church as the poet used to spend his youth in the grounds.

Sculptor Nicholas Dimbleby was appointed consultant for the project and has designed two maquette so far, with a third to be commissioned when a final design has been agreed.

Fundraising for the project has begun and aims to be completed by midsummer 2019.

If the target is not achieved by the end of 2020 the committee will review its plans.

Speaking to the Herald, Javeria Coleridge, chairman of the Coleridge Memorial Trust, said: “The STC Statue will boost local economy, add to the educational experience of young people and visitors and will attract national and international attention.”

East Devon District Council will decide the fate of the application at a later date.

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