Talk at Cadhay House near Ottery St Mary

On 14th October Justin Shepherd of the Friends of Coleridge gave a talk to a Bristol-based walking group of twenty-two, who had taken Cadhay House near Ottery St Mary, the birthplace of STC, for the weekend. Cadhay is a magnificent Grade 1 listed Elizabethan manor house just outside Ottery and is close to where Coleridge is thought as a child to have slept out on the banks of the River Otter after a row with his brother Frank about ‘crumbly cheese’. In the account he gave of this incident in 1796 he mentions seeing someone on Cadhay bridge. A further link is that it was at Cadhay House that Admiral Thomas Graves lived, who became a friend of the Coleridge family. Coleridge’s father, ever assiduous in ‘placing’ his sons, arranged that Frank, the ‘handsome Coleridge’ and next up from Samuel in age, should serve under him as a midshipman. In September 1781, the Reverend John Coleridge took Frank to Plymouth to join his ship. It was on his return home a few days later that he died.

This beautiful house is in private hands but is open to the public on Friday afternoons in summer. A visit to the house and gardens is warmly recommended. (

Cadhay House CO

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