Ottery Heritage Society - Local History and Archaeology
Historic Documents

This page contains links to resources useful for anyone researching Ottery St Mary's history or is looking for leads to family history questions. There's some Coleridge resources here too.

1). A good source of 18th and 19th century Ottery names is available from the Friends of Devon Archives website which has jurors lists and tithe apportionment information (not complete unfortunately but the names are all there - see below also) -

2). Another source of useful Ottery surnames and placenames is "The Manor Book of Ottery" published in 1913 and now available as an ebook download from

3). The Society has published its complete tithe apportionment on the East Devon AONB website as part of the Parishscapes Project 2007 - 2010. This can be downloaded as a pdf file from The map is there too - along with many other east devon parishes. The future home of this data is not certain - best to download now!

4). Anyone who likes old OS maps and finds them useful for research will find the Alan Godfrey reprints an absolute must. Whilst not every old OS map is in his catalogue, there is a very wide range of 6" and 1" maps from late 19th and early 20th century and all terrific value at £2.25 each (Feb 2010). Visit for more info.

5). The old market place was the site for Ottery's new Town Hall, a gift of the Kennaway family made in 1859. A transcription of the deeds are available here (pdf file). This includes lots of Ottery names from the middle of the 19th century, and the details of the property transfer.

6). Mrs Winslows Soothing Syrup - an empty bottle once containing this popular remedy was discovered at the Goveton Farm archaeological dig (July 2008). The medicine was an American import, sold locally, as a soother for teething children. It was heavily laced with morphine, and as such, potentially lethal. It gained a reputation as the "Baby killer" and was eventually reformulated to exclude the opiates, from which time its popularity declined. see photos for a picture of the bottle.

7). Daniel Lysons account of Ottery St Mary as it was in 1822 is available here (pdf file )

8). The bounds of the manor published here previously were causing some technical problem (which couldn't be sorted) so I'll have to key them again from scratch at some point rather than paste in from elsewhere.

9). An 1816 edition of Coleridge's Cristabel from Google Books is available here - (pdf file 3.2Mb)

10). If you enjoy looking through old directories for information about what the town was like in the period from the late 18th to the early 20th century, then the best site I am aware of is - there are a number of Devon Directories there.

11). Ordnance Survey map - surveyors draft of Ottery (west of the parish) overlaid on Google earth

Visit again soon!