Ottery St Mary, known as “Ottery”, is a town and civil parish in the East Devon district of Devon, England, on the River Otter, about 10 miles (16 km) east of Exeter on the B3174. At the 2001 census, the parish, which includes the villages of Metcombe, Fairmile, Alfington, Tipton St John, Wiggaton, and (until 2017) West Hill, had a population of 7,692. The population of the urban Place alone at the 2011 census was 4,898. There are two electoral wards in Ottery (Rural and Town). The sum population of both wards, including the neighboring civil parish of Aylesbeare, at the above census was 9,022.
Archaeological excavations in 2014, in help of a housing go forward at Island Farm, uncovered a medieval longhouse dating to AD.1250–1350.
Ottery is first attested in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as ‘Otri’ and ‘Otrei’. ‘Oteri Sancte Marie’ is first mentioned in 1242. The town takes its herald from the River Otter on which it stands, the river taking its post from the animal. The ‘St Mary’ element refers to the fact that the town belonged to the church of St Mary in Rouen in 1086.
Ottery’s notable buildings complement the Tumbling Weir and St Mary’s church. The town is the site of The King’s School, now a mass school, a former grammar speculative founded in 1545 by Henry VIII, and Ottery St Mary Primary School.
The town as it now stands, comprises several independent shops, mainly in Mill Street, Silver Street and Yonder Street. An Place known as ‘The Square’, is the heart of Ottery St Mary. There are pubs, restaurants, and coffee and tea rooms. Ottery provides services, employment, and a wide range of shopping for local residents as well as visitors from simple villages and towns. Visitors often come from supplementary afield and abroad. Historical features are within walking make unfriendly from parking areas allowing residents and visitors to enjoy both chronicles and shopping together.