1086 Domesday References to Charmouth.

Scroll down to find out more about Charmouth.
Click on images or Charmouth Home to return back.

Robert holds charmouth from the Count. Algar held it before. It paid tax for 3 hides. Land for 3 hides. Land for 3 ploughs. In lordship 2 ploughs, 3 slaves; 3 villagers with 2 ploughs. 16 salt-workers. Meadow 16 acres; pasture 3 furlongs long and 1 furlong wide; woodland 7 furlongs long and 1 furlong wide. Value 60s.

An early depiction of the process of making Salt using a furnace.

Count of Moutain is shown to the right of William the Conqueror in the Bayeux Tapestry

The Domesday entry for Charmouth in 1086, described as Cernemude - the mouth of the river Cerne. At that time there may have been a small harbour at it's mouth. Sixteen Salt Workers were employed there boiling the Sea Water in large shallow open Lead Pans until the water evaporated and the salt removed. It may well have gone back to Roman times with it's proximity to the Roman Road, where the Street is today. The industry was carried on all along the Dorset Coast and there is a reference in 774 to a Salt House in Lyme Regis owned by Sherbourne Abbey. The main use of the salt was to preserve food for the winter months and was one of the first traded products and would have been carried by packhorse or boat.
The lord of the Manor was Robert, Count of Mortain in Normandy, who was William the Conquerors half brother and fought with him in 1066. He held over six hundred other manors, including 71 in Dorset. Below him were a number of tenants in chief who after his death in 1091 formed separate Manors. Another French nobleman, William De Estre is shown as the Lord of the Manor of Charmouth. It is his Grandson Richard who is to later give the village to Forde Abbey in 1170