f

The Whittingtons - The Limes Day School (Little Lodge) - Charmouth

Click on image or on Home to return back.

Little Lodge is the name given to the house that stands between Charmouth Stores (Nisa) and Charmouth Lodge in the centre of the village of Charmouth. Its present appearance belies its fascinating history. For it was formerly a house in the 18th Century where the owners of the adjoining Sail Cloth Workshops lived and was called "Yandover". With the demise of this business it was rebuilt as a shop in 1815 run by Ann, the daughter of Jacob Ridley Kitt. A number of occupiers followed until in 1839 Charles Denning is shown as a Draper living there. The building adjoining it, which had previously been workshops, and was by then a house was occupied by Thomas Bidwell. He and his daughter, Susan had a Girls School in their house then known as The Limes, but now Charmouth Lodge. Little Lodge was later a Shoe shop run by Charles Frost and by 1861 a Grocer and Drapers owned by Samuel Ryall. In 1870 The Limes was occupied by Rev. Thomas Law Montifiore, Vicar of Catherston and Wootton Fitzpaine. It is he who in the same year buys Little Lodge, described as a" messuage, shop and garden" for £325. It is detailed as being used by the National School and in part occupied by Henry William Pryer. The School was only there briefly whilst a new building was erected on the site of Cattle Sheds in Lower Sea Lane. The neighbour and owner Rev. Montiefore appears twice in the School Log Book (now kept in the Dorchester Record Office), complaining about the excess noise of the children and there is also a reference to the building being a former shop. The 1891 census shows George Pavey aged 57, a retired Surgeon living at Charmouth Lodge, whilst Eliza Wild, a widow is living at the Little Lodge. Ten years later it is Rev. Richard and Julia Whittington, who were living with their family at The Limes (Charmouth Lodge). He was descended from the brother of Dick Whittington, Lord Mayor of London and famous in pantomime. The name Richard seems to have perpetuated down the centuries and his own son also went by the same name. He had retired to Charmouth from previously being Rector of Orsett in Essex. There were seven children in the family, two boys and five girls. Richard Junior went on to become a Canon and retired towards the end of his life to Hillside in Charmouth. Four of the daughters, Dolly, Winnie, Beryl and Joan were later to open a school in the adjoining building now known as Little Lodge, whilst living in The Limes. They were well-known in the village for nearly 70 years through their involvement in church matters, the tennis club and their exclusive private school. None of the five daughters married and the longest surviving, Winnie died in 1974, aged 95, Joan died in 1976, aged 91, Beryl died in 1963 and Alice in 1953. An album of their family photographs has come down to us and many are shown here. It is difficult to be precise with the years some of the photographs were taken and who the children are. If any readers can assist or add to the collection please contact me at neil@freshford.com.
Dorothy and Helen Parker who own Little Lodge today are very enthusiastic about the history of their house and have organised a "Limes Day School Reunion" from 3pm onwards on Sunday 23rd July. This will be an opportunity for former pupils or those connected with the school to see their old class room and share memories. Refreshments will be provided. To find out more ring Helen or Dorothy on 01297 561580 or email: helenparkercharmouth@btinternet.com

 
LIttle Lodge, The Street, Charmouth, today
The Western Times 11 July 1835 has an advert for the School run by the Bidwells at The Limes
The 1839 Pigots Directory shows Charles Denning a Linen and Woollen Draper at Little Lodge and Miss Bidwell running a Ladies Academy from Charmouth Lodge.
The 1841 Census shows Charles Frost, aged 40, who was a shoemaker living at Little Lodge with his children, Caroline(15) William(15), Herbert (13) and Julia (10). Thomas Bidwell,aged 72 is living with Martha Berry (50) a Foot Servant, at Charmouth Lodge.
Photograph of Little Lodge on the left with a bike in the door way of the shop in 1880

Little Lodge covered with ivy on the right in 1890
Little Lodge can be seen on the left of this photograph. c.1900
The Whittington sisters in front of the gates to Little Lodge, with The Limes (Charmouth Lodge)on the right. c.1905
The Whittingtons and friends outside Little Lodge can be seen on the left of this photograph. c.1905
Two of the Whittington sisters at the Tennis Courts which still stand in Lowere Sea Lane in 1905
Photograph dated 1927 showing the buildings fronting the Street
The Pupils of The Limes Day School in the Garden with their dog in 1940
The Pupils of The Limes Day School in the School Yard in 1941
The Pupils of The Limes Day School in the front garden in 1941
The Pupils of The Limes Day School in the front garden in 1941
The Pupils of The Limes Day School in the front garden in 1941
The Pupils of The Limes Day School in 1941
The Pupils of The Limes Day School in 1941
The Pupils of The Limes Day School in the front garden in 1941
The Pupils of The Limes Day School in the Garden in 1943
The Pupils of The Limes Day School in the Garden
The Pupils of The Limes Day School in the Garden
The Pupils of The Limes Day School in the Garden
The Pupils of The Limes Day School in the Garden
The Pupils of The Limes Day School in the Garden
The Pupils of The Limes Day School in the Garden
The Pupils of The Limes Day School in the Garden
Misses Beryl, Winnie and Joan Whittington with their cat, Nemo in Charmouth Lodge
An advert for the school that appeared in the Charmouth Annual Guide.