Charmouth is situated in the western part of Dorsetshire, on the high road between Dorchester and Exeter. It takes its name from the Char, a small stream, that flows through the valley near which it is built. The name of Char is derived from, the ancient British, phrase, y nant Cor, which. signifies " the dwarf water." Charmouth occupies an. open upland situation, a short distance from the sea, and is much ammired for its great taste displayed in buildings and general picturesque appearance. It consists of one street, arid contains two places of worship—the parish church, and a dissenting chapel -—several inns, post-office, shops of various kinds, lodging-houses, &c.
THE CHURCH, dedicated to St. Andrew, was erected
m 1836; it received several improvements in 1861,
and was consecrated that year on tbe 29th of August.
It consists,of nave, chancel, side aisles, and tower.
The roof is supporbed by octagon columns, and it is " lighted by lancet windows : the east, and three in
the north aisle, are of stained glass ; the three latter
contain representations of the Baptism of Christ, and
Christ blessing little Children, The Nativity, Philip
and the Eunuch, and The Death of Rachel. At the
back of the altar, is a richly-carved reredos ; in the
. gallery at the west end is a fine-toned organ ; there
are, in the interior, some interesting mural monuments, some of which were removed from' the 'old parish church, which occupied the same site as the present building. In the churcli-yard are many tombs and headstones, some of which contain very curious inscriptions. The living is a Rectory, to which is attached some glebe land ; the Rectory house is situated on the south side of the church, the entrance to which is through the church-yard. The rector is the Bev. E. E. Breton, M.A.
The Independent Chapel was founded in 1689, and re-built in 1815. It is a neat building, and the interior is conveniently fitted up : against the walls are several marble tablets. Attached to the chapel burying-yard, is a house of great antiquity, it is, in many respects, very interesting, and although the exterior is deprived of nearly every vestige of its antiquity, the interior still retains traces of its original character. These remains consist of some heavy oak ceilings, arches, and a very large chimney ; the latter was, most probably, constructed for concealing fugitives, for which purpose it may have been used at some remote period. This house, during the civil war in 1651, received a visit from King Charles IT., when he attempted to leave this country for France ; it was, at that time, an inn, and the room which the king occupied is still to be seen. The following account of the adventure is taken from Mr, Pulman's " Book of the Axe," in which he says : —" After the decisive battle of Worcester, which was fought on the 6th of September, 1651, the king fled to Trent, near Yeovil and Sherbonip, and took refuge-in the house of. Colonel Wyndham, in which he rerna.ined some time, waiting an opportunity to leave the country. Through the instrumentality of Capt, Ellesden, of Lyme, who was a friend of Colonel Wyndham's, a vessel, belonging to a trustworthy man, named Stephen Limbry, of Lyme, was, at length, engaged for the hazardous service, and a particular part of Charmonth beach was selected as the place of embarkation. Accordingly, on the morning of Sept.22nd, the king, in disguise, set out for Charmouth, on horseback. Behind him, with a view to disarm suspicion, was seated Mrs. Julian Conigsbury, a member of the Wyndham family. The rest of the party were Lord Wilmot, Colonel Wyndham, and a serving-man. They arrived, in the evening, at Clinr-mouth, where a room at the inn had been previously engaged. Soon afterwards, Limbry made his appearance, and reported that his arrangements were complete, and that he should be ready with his vessel at the place and time appointed. He then returned to Lyme, to take leave of his wife, whom he had previously made acquainted with his engagement. The proclamation for apprehending the king, and for prohibiting the going on shipboard for a certain time, of any person without a license, had just been published in Lynie, and the anxious spouse was so alarmed at the risk which her husband was about to incur, although in ignorance of the quality of his employer, that she locked him into a room, and turned a deaf ear to his urgent entreaties for liberation. At midnight, the royal fugitive and his party repaired to the pla.co of embarkation, only to be doomed, of course, to disappointment. After waiting a considerable time, and there appearing to be no hope of the arrival of (lie vessel, it was decided to return to Trent without delay, which they did early the next morning."
The principal Inn is the " Coach and Horses," near the Church, where every accommodation can be obtained. Charmouth also possesses several respectable shops, in various lines of business ; and there a.re a great number of lodging-houses, conveniently furnished, and in pleasant situations.
Charmouth has been celebrated as a watering-place for a great number of years, and is much frequented by visitors. As a watering-place, it possesses peculiar advantages, in consequence of the purity of the sea water, which was analized by the late Sir George Baker. during a residence in Lyme, and he mentionsthat its specific gravity exceeded that of the same quantity to be found on any other part of the coast; consequently, it contains a greater number of saline particles in a given measure than any other. Also the climate is generally mild, fuchsias and myrtles grow out of doors all the year round. The air is remarkably pure, particularly suited to invalids who .require a mild and moderately bracing climate ]n proof of the salubrity of the air, and the general healthiness of Charmouth, it may be mentioned that the late Lord Herbert, of Lea, selected this place for the establishment of a Convalescent Home, which has been of untold benefit to many. Besides these advantages, so beneficial to invalids, it possesses many attractions, interesting alike to the invalid and healthy.
The walks around Charmouth, in every direction, are extremely beautiful and romantic ; the views are in all parts fine ; and the sea and inland prospects from the surrounding heights are very extensive and commanding. The walk to the beach can be taken either through the lower sea-lane, or the higher sea-lane and fields ; from the beach, the walk may be continued up the eastern or western cliffs, the views from which, both sea and land, especially from the eastern, called " Cain's Folly." are most extensive.
On the western cliffs is the great gun battery, together with other buildings, &c.; belonging to the coast-guard station, near to which are the steam cement mills of Messrs. Morcom and Son, and on the beach beneath are placed the bathing machines.
The Charmouth beach and cliffs will be found very interesting to the fossilist, particularly near Golden Cap and Black Ven Hills, where a great number of fossils are continually discovered. It was at this part of the coast, where many eminent fossilists anp. geologists have made some of their greatest discoveries. During the year 1864, a fine specimen of a new species of Plesiosaurns Eostralus, (Owen), was discovered in this neighbourhood, by K 0. H. Day. Esq., F.G.S., of Charmouth, and purchased of him for the British Museum. Ammonites are found in great quantities, and are made by jewellers into brooches, pins, &c., and form very unique and pretty ornaments.
The river Char will also be found very attractive to the angler, for although "dwarf," as its name implies, it has some reputation as a fishing stream, and produces trout of a fine flavour.
Among other attractions, Charmouth has its Cricket Club, which is in a very flourishing condition, and during the season it generally plays many matches. Likewise a public picnic takes place on the 28th June, annually, the anniversary of the coronation of Her Majesty, and many other amusements during'the year.
These advantages and attractions, combined with its pleasant situation, render Charmouth a most agreeable residence ; and offer inducements for visiting seldom met with in a place so small.
Having described Charmouth, and some of its attractions and walks, attention is next directed to the principal walks and drives in the neighbourhood, which will be found very interesting, and well deserving notice. Especially those to Catherstone, Wootton, and Lambert's Castle Hill ; to Lyme Regis and Axminster; and to Bridport, Golden Cap Hill, Whit-church, &c.
The walk from Charmouth to Catherstone. and Wootton Fitzpaine, through the fields, is extremely picturesque : it is entered opposite the lower sea-lane, the paths to each can easily be traced—that to the right, to Catherstone, which is seen in the distance ; and that to Wootton, is straight forward and passes near the banks of the river.
Catherstone Leweston occupies an elevated situation. It contains the Manor House, Farm House. &o., and a beautiful church, erected in 1858, on the site of the old church, which was then taken down. Its architecture is early decorated, and it consists of nave and chancel. The whole of the windows are of stained glass, those in the chancel are arranged from the north side to the south, in historical sequence, commencing with the Agony in the Garden, the Betrayal, the Bearing the Cross, the Crucifixion, the .Removal from the Cross, the Entombment, and the Resurrection. The west window illustrates the history of the Blessed Virgin, to whom the church is dedicated. The north and south windows of the nave consist of designs of a symbolical character. The glass and designs are of first-rate character, and are by Messrs. Clayton and Bell, of London. The church is enriched with many adornments, among which, are stone carvings of a rich and beautiful design, and are finely executed. On the north side of the chancel is an organ, which is a sweetly-toned instrument, from the manufactory of the celebrated Mr. Walker, of London. The bell in the turret at the west end, i.s remarkable, from having been brought from Sebast/upul. The parish of Catherstone is a rectory ; the rector is the Key. T. L. Montefiore, M.A.
Without returning again to Charmouth, the walk from Catherstone to Wootton may be continued by passing up the hill, from the top of which Wootton is seen in the valley beneath, down which the path leads. Wootton Fitzpaine is a picturesque village. The church is of ancient date ; being early decorated in architecture, the tower, and a great portion of the church besides, being covered with ivy, renders it venerable and picturesque in appearance. The principal houses in the village are Wootton House and the Rectory. The present rector is the Rev. Foster Lewis, M.A.
The drive from Charmouth to Catherstone and Wootton, is through a lane, entered at the bottom of Charmouth ; this lane also leads over Conig Castle, to Lambert's Castle, two lofty hills, from which most extensive landscapes and sea views are obtained. Both hills are likewise very interesting, on account of the remains of their ancient intrenehments. Those on Conig Castle were probably employed by Egbert, when he encountered the Danes at Charmouth in 833. But, although used by him on this occasion, they are, together with those on Lambert's Castle, supposed to have been constructed at a much earlier period. Conig Castle is said to be named from King Egbert, Conig, being from the Anglo-Saxon, " cyning," a king; and " ceasier," a camp, i.e literally the king's camp.* The origin of the name of Lambert's Castle appears to be unknown.
The walk', or drive, from Charmouth to Lyme liegis, is must picturesque and interesting, the road to which, is that to the loft, at the top of Charmouth, where two roads in i.hat direction will be found, the old and the new; the latter is the principal, and most frequented ; but the old road, for a walk, will be found very pleasant, and presents some beautiful sea and land views. Both roads unite again at the top of the hill, where the walk may be continued, either by the road, or by passing down the fields.
Lynie Regis is a borough town, and fashionable watering-place. It contains an ancient and an interesting church,chapels for the Wesleyans, Independents, Baptists, and Roman Catholics, various public buildings, hotels, shops of every description, &c., and numerous other interesting objects.
The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is situate on an eminence ; it consists of nave, chancel, side aisles and tower, it contains some beautiful windows, an excellent organ, a curiously-carved old pulpit, many beautiful adornments, and a great number of veryinteresting mural monuments. The living is a vicarage. The present vicar is the Rev. H. P. Hodges, D.C.I.
The "Wesleyan, Independent, and Baptist chapels, are situated in various parts of the town ; all of which, are neatly and conveniently fitted up, mid each is provided with an organ. The Roman. Catholic Church, dedicated to St. Michael and St. George, contains some beautiful stained glass \viudows; and the High. Altar, Sanctuary, and Lady Chapel, are adorned with carving, gold, and colours ; and in the nave, there are a series of sculptures.
There are excellent National Schools, and the Dissenting and Roman Catholic chapels have schools attached to them.
Charmouth forms part of the borough of Lyrne Regis, to which it was attached in 1832. It returns one member to Parliament.
Adjoining Lyme, on one side, is the pretty village of Uplyme, a visit to which would be found very
Among the attractions of Lyme Regis, especial mention must be made of "the Landslip," which is situated about three miles and a half from the town, on the Sidmouth Road. It occurred on the 23rd of December, 1839 ; it is continually visited by great numbers of people, and is well worthy the attention
of the visitor.
The walk, or drive, from Charmouth to Axminster, presents some beautiful hill and vale scenery. The road to Axminster is that to the right, at the top of Charinouth, and passes by Langmoor, Fernhill, " Pen Inn," Monkton Wyld, &c. ; or, if preferred, it may be varied a short distance by taking the old road, which deviates from it at Langmoor, and joins it again at " Pen Inn.''
Monkton Wyld church is an interesting object, situated a little distance from the road, on the right, after passing "Pen lun." It is dedicated to St. Andrew and-was consecrated in 1859 It is built in the early decorated style of architecture, and consists of nave, chancel, side aisles, and spire. In the chancel are some beautiful windows, and the walls of which are tastefully adorned with fresco painting, inscriptions, monograms, &c., in gold and colours. The incumbent is the Rev. R. S. Hutchings, M.A., Rural Dean.
From Monkton Wyld, the route to Axminster is by " Hunter's Lodge." Axminster is a market town, at which is a station of the London and South-western Railway.
A favourite drive in this direction, is from Charmouth to " Hunter's Lodge," thence through Uplyme to Lyme Regis, and from thence to Charmouth.
The walk, or drive, from Charmonth to liridport, presents, nearly the whole distance, a series of magnificent landscapes. The road to Bridport is that on the east of Charmculh, and passes by Bellair, through Morcombelake and Chidcock. Morcombelake is the village on the hill, and is in the parish of Stan ton St. Gabriels. Chideock is the pretty village in the valley next passed. The road from this passes by Symondsbury to Ijridport, through Allino-ton.
Bridport is a large market trading and borough town, at which is a station of the Great Western Railway.
Golden Cap Hill, 600 feet high, is one of the most lofty on this part of the coast, the walk to it from Charmouth can be taken by passing down the Bridport road, up Stonebarrow Lane, and over the hill to Westhay farm-house, from thence through several pleasant fields, which leads direct to Stanton St. Gabriels, the farm-house at the foot of Golden Cap. The ascent up the hill will be well repaid by the magnificent views to be obtained from the top. Near the farm-house at the bottom of the hill is the old parish church of Stanton St. Gabriels, now disused ; it is evidently very ancient, and would be very interesting. The drive to Golden Cap from Charmonth, is to Morcombelake, and from thence down a lane which leads to the foot of the bill.
The walk, or drive, from Charmouth to Whitchurcb, can be taken by passing up the Bridport road, and turning to the left at Bellair. Whitchtirch Canonicorum is situated in the valley to the left of Morcombe-lake. The parish church is very interesting, and was restored a few years since. In the chancel is a very curious monument, elaborately carved, erected to the memory of "John Jeflerey, of Catherstone, Knight," dated 1611, arid there are several other objects in the church, deserving notice.
Besides these already mentioned, there are many other walks and drives in the neighbourhood attractive to the visitor, among which is the drive to Ford Abbey, one of the most perfect remains of a monastery in England ; it is situated about 10 miles distant, in the parish of Thorncombe, in this county. Also the drives to the neighbouring towns and villages of Seaton, Beer, Axmouth, Colyton, Sidmouth, Honiton, Hawkchurch, Charclstock, Chard, Bettiscombe, Bearninster. &c.
PRINTED BY W. C. FROST, WEST STREET,BRIDPORT
Money Orders issued and paid, and Savings' Bank business transacted from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Postmaster —MRS. J. W. CARTER.
An Omnibus from Lyme Regis to Bridport Railway Station, passes through Charmouth daily, except Sundays, at 11.15 a.m., returning again at 4 p.m.
There are also other carriers from Lyme, Axminster, and Bridport.
Flys, carriages, post horses, &c.s can be obtained at the " Coach and Horses " Inn.
Basket Carriages are let by others.
PLEASURE BOATS, both for rowing and sailing, can be obtained on hire.
ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH, OIIAIIMODTH.—Rector: Rev. E.Bre ton, M.A. Sunday services, 10.30 A.M., and 3 P.M., except in December and January, when the afternoon services commence at 2.30.
INDEPENDENT CHAPEL OHARMOUTH.—Minister : Rev. "W". Axford. Sunday services, 11 A.M., and 6 P.M.
ST. MARYS CHURCH, . CATHERSTONE.--Rector : Rev. T. L. Monteiiore, M A. Sunday services, 11 A.M., and 6 P.M.
WOOTTON OreuiMJH.—Eector: Rev. F, Lewis, M.A. Sunday services, 11 A.M., and 3 P.M.
ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH, MONKTON WYLD.—Incumbent: Rev. R. S. Hutchings, M.A. Sunday services, 10.30 A M., and 2.30 P.M.
ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCI-I, LYME REGIS.—Vicar : Rev. F. IP. Hodges, D.C.L. Sunday services, 10.30 A.M., and 2,30 and 6 P.M.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, LYME REGIS.—Priest: Rev. E. Meager. Sunday services, 8.30 and 10.30 A.M., and 3 and 7 P.M,
INDEPENDENT CHAPEL., LYME REGIS.—Minister : Rev. W. Axford. Sunday services, 11 A.M., and 6 P.M.
WESLEYAN CHAPEL, LYME REGIS. -Ministers various. Sunday services, 10.45 A.M., and 6 P.M.
BAPTIST CHAPEL, LYME REGIS.—Minister : Rev. D. .Jennings. Sunday Services, 11 A.M, and 6 P.M.
Charitable Institutions Charmouth
THE NATIONAL SCHOOLS are supported by a government grant, and by voluntary contribution. Underneath the School room is a residence for a Master and Mistress.
THE ALMS-HOUSES are for the benefit of soldiers' widows.
THE CONVALESCENT HOME was established in 1857, by the late Lord Herbert, of Lea, in connexion with the Salisbury Infirmary, It contains 20 beds, and it is managed by a resident matron.
Besides these, there are several other charities, namely, the "Sea-lane," "Marker,"Cattlebury," and " Bullen" Charities, yielding yearly sums amounting from £10 TO £14, which are divided annually at different times, amongst the poor of the parish, by the Rector and Churchwardens.