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Map > Otterton

Otterton Mill is more than a thousand years old. When the Domesday Book was written in 1086, it was one of the three largest mills in Devon. The manor mill for Otterton Priory in the middle ages, it ground corn for this part of the Lower Otter Valley when Otterton was in the hands of the monastery of Mont St Michel in Normandy, and, later, when the landlords were the Duke family, and then, the Rolles. There has only been a break of twenty years in all that time when flour was not being made. This was between 1959, when the mill was closed down as un economic, and 1979, when the present restoration was completed, and grinding began again. The mill has always been an important part of the village. At one time, the cattle market was held in what is now the car park, the local slaughterhouse was in the mill courtyard, and heavy horses were housed in the mill stables. For the last twenty years the mill as a working watermill museum, half a ton of flour a week being made in the time-honoured way by water power, used in the mill bakery and restaurant for freshly baked cakes and bread, and sold for home baking. The mill also houses a small arts centre, with studio workshops, a co-operative craft shop, an exhibition gallery, and a programme of concerts and performances throughout the year.

The mill is open daily, [except for the days at Christmas] and so are the Barn Bakery and the Duckery Restaurant. Enquiries 01395 568521. Alternitivly visit the website - http://www.ottertonmill.com/

Otterton Church Otterton Cottages

Otterton, tucked into the fold of the hills to the east of the river Otter, derives its name from that river. From early times the area further to the east, on Mutter's Moor, had been the home of pre-historic man and by Saxon times a settlement had developed on the river, which was then a large estuary with direct access to the sea, two miles to the south. Otterton became a small port. After 1066, William the Conqueror granted this settlement to monks from Mont St Michel in Normandy, who built their priory on the high ground where the church stands today and erected a mill on the river below. From these beginnings the village grew and eventually at the Reformation in the 16th century came into the possession of the Duke family. By this time a shingle bar had developed at the river's mouth and the estuary silted up. Ships were no longer able to reach Otterton. By developing the agricultural potential of the district, however, the Dukes and their successors in later centuries, the Rolles and Clintons established a considerable number of farms. The village became the centre, with many farmsteads in the village street. Virtually the whole of the village was owned by these landlords until very recent times and it has therefore managed to retain its old world charm. Many cob and thatch cottages and the typical cross-passage farmhouses stand in the main street interspersed with 20th century cottages of various styles, built for estate workers. These blend in with the older properties to create the atmosphere so loved by holidaymakers. Today a fair proportion of inhabitants are either retired or active estate workers or workers who commute to neighbouring towns, villages or farms. In compararativley recent years the landowners {Clinton Devon Estates} have sold off much of the village for private ownership. This mix of population has produced a lively, friendly community. Gerald Millington. Local Historian.

Otterton Bridge Path along the river otter