The creation of the Borough of Charmouth in 1290
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|A small section of the stone wall dating back to the 14th century which stretches along the boundary of the properties to the north of the Street.|
|The first really detailed map of Charmouth is the 1841 Tithe Map of which this is only a part. It clearly shows the Burgage plots stretching back from the street on both sides with the stone boundary wall to the north and bank to the south.|
The Cartulary held at the Abbey today provides a picture of the extent of the estates that it owned. The Cartulary includes evidence of purchase as well as exchange to create a cohesive block of lands around Forde Abbey. Monkton Wylde in Wootton Fitzpaine was exchanged for land in Leigh in Winsham. Land management is revealed in the Cartulary with the creation of a borough in the Manor of Charmouth between 1290 and 1297. and the reciting of the church granted in 1281 following the destruction of the previous church by the sea. The monk's established their methods of farming with granges worked by lay brothers. By the mid 13 th century granges were established in the principle estates at Tate, Charmouth, Street, Leigh.. etc. Thomas Chardes lavish living quarters are revealing the substantial landowners. Cartulary was compiled in the third quarter of the 15 th century. It was lost and bought back by Roper family for £235 at Phillips in1911.
Grant by brother William, abbot of Forde, desiring to improve the manor of Charmouth (Cernemue), that the vill of Charmouth shall be a free borough within the following bounds: on the east side of the vill all that place called Sevenaker by the water below the road from Charrereystone up to the road between Charmouth and Bridport, then along the watercourse which runs to the monks' mill; from there along the course of the river to the sea and to the chapel of the vill; thence along the road ascending to le pillory and then to the cross which stands on the road to Lyme above Radehorne; on the west side of the vill as far as le Sheote by the corner along the ditch to the bank adjoining Sevenaker on the north side.
The internal details, supported by the palaeographical evidence of the original (Devon Record Office ED/M/300) and deeds 44-6 in the cartulary suggest the date (and not 1320 as in Hutchins, Hist. Dorset ii. 223). The original charter was witnessed also by Robert de Cotley, Stephen de Hogchester (Hoggeshurste) and Walter Welsh (le Walays).