Claremont , The Street, Charmouth
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Claremont, was originally called the Knapp (nap) in Tax records, which is confusing as it is a name which appears on other houses in the village. If you follow the records below it can be seen that the 18th century building either incorprated or replaced a much earlier building on the site. This may have been built the husband of Mrs Aust who when she died at Miles End left it to her nephew Harry Smith. He in turn left it to a relation - Bennett Fellows also living in Essex. He in turn left it to Mrs Smith. Her name appears on the 1867 map for the auction of the Manor of Charmouth.
The Bay windows were addede by H.W. Pryer at the turn of thge 20th century. It was later opned as a boarding house by Alfred Hodges, nephew of Charles, who gave the playing fields to the village. Hodges built a large dining room at the back and it remained a boarding house until 1962 and then the house was turned into flats. The Bridport - Exeter Turnpike Road was opened in 1758 with gates opposite the property. The stumps were found in 1936 and in 1939 the remains of a post belonging to a small gate. Beauregard and Foxleyt were built in the early part of the 19th century. the latter being named when George Grinter lived there and he farmed Foxley. 1929 name change

A Knap is a buiding made of Knapped flint.

The earliest photograph so far found of Claremont dating to pre 1870 showing the distinctive toll window.
A Poor Rate List has survived for Charmouth in the year 1754 and on the left is a section of it. Mr William Gray for his Estates has been marked by a blue cross. Beneath this is Anthony Edwards for Webbers, which is refered to in the 1780 list, and also refers to the Webbers as previous owners. In 1588 a William Webber is listed in the village, which may be the same gentleman

1780 Land tax list shows Mrs Aust paying £1-19-8d for late Grays and 2s10d for Edwards`s. These names were of her predecessors as owners of the Knapp and fields.

In 1783 a map was produced for the Village , which has since been lost but the record bok exists and shows the following entry for Mrs Mary Aust.

99.Mrs Mary Aust, House & Orchard (£3-0-0d) 0a 1p 35r
100.Mrs Mary Aust, Late Grey`s House & Orchard (£6-0-0d) 0a 1p 36r
101.Mrs Mary Aust , Lambs Mead (£2-14-2d) 1a 2p 31r
102.Mrs Mary Aust, House & Orchard by the Mill (£2-10-0d) 0a 2p 38r
103 Mrs Mary Aust, House & Orchard opposite the Fountain Inn Garden(£2-10-0d) , 0d) 0a 2p 26r

This Mary Aust`s Will of 1821 She was living in Mile End in Essex and left her estate to her nephew , Harry Smith. The descent of the estate goes through the Smith family to Bennett Fellows who also lives in Essex.

1806 Poor Rates show Mr Aust as owner of Knapp and renting it and other properties as follows:

Reverend Good- House
Reverend Good- Field
George Webber- House
George Webber- Field
Baker- House
Rev. Brian Combes- Lands

1818 Poor rates show the Executors of Rev. Brian Combes acting for Mrs Aust

1822 Poor Rates show John Robins, Agent for Mrs. Aust

Jacob Baker House and Orchard
George Hart House and garden
Mrs Coles 2 fields
Mr Robins 2 fields
James Cozens 3 fields

1823 Poor Rates show Mrs Smith leasing follows:

Late Warners House & Garden 10-2
Mr Gordon Field 13/4
Jacob Baker House 23/4
George Hart 33/4
Mrs Coles 2 fields 3
Robins 1 field
Robins 1 field 2
James Cozens 3 fields 3

1832 Poor Rates show Mr Fellows leasing as follows:

Robert Mills � Common 1s
James Cozens jnr � Common 3s
Mrs Welch � Nap House £1-3-1d
Joseph Cozens � House � 2s
John Bensted House � 4s
Miss Robins � 2 fields � 2s
James Cozens � 3 Closes �6s

124   James COZENS Three Acres 2 3 4
125   James COZENS Rough Field 2 - 19
152   Susannah WELCH & others Houses & Gardens 1 - 13
155   Joseph COZENS Lamb Moor 1 2 33
167   James COZENS Sea Side Field 1 3 35
174   James COZENS Sea Side Field 2 - 22
177   Mary ROBINS Single Common 1 - 13
182   John NORMAN Single Common 1 - 9
224   William VALLENCE Common 1 - 17
225   Robert GRAVES Common - 3 35

These are the entries for Bennett Fellows. R.N. on the 1841 Tithe Map shown below. Number 152 is Knap House, which was being rented to Susannah Welch and its neighbours in the row of 3 houses

1841 Tithe Map showing Lot 152 with three adjoining houses and long garden behind them
1887 Ordnance Survey Map

William Greys Will 1762
I William Grey late of Lime house in Middlesex, but now of Charmouth, in the county of Dorset, Gentleman, do make this my last Will. After the death of my wife all my messuages, Tenements, Several Closes of Land and heridiaments situated and lying within the parish of Charmouth to my eldest son, Bennett Gray. My other four children will forsake their rights to this estate. My freehold messuages in Ropemakers fields in parish of St. Ann, Limehouse to my son Bennett Gray. My messuages and lands in parish of Clapton in Suffolk to my son William Gray. Messuages called Debathe in parish of Clapton to my three daughters, Elizabeth, the wife of William Fellows, mary and Susannah Gray. A thousand pound South Sea Annuity divided for daughters. Give unto my grandson William Fellows the sum of fifty pounds.
In the presence of John Sykes, Joseph White, Mary Dare.
Will was proved in 1762 by the oath of Mary Gray, wife of deceased

Bennett Gray Will London 1823
I Bennett Gray, citizen and haberdasher of London. I give to my dear mother, Mary Gray all my real estates and ship for her natural life dispose of my parts of the ship Porpus. All my real and personal estate to be divided among my well beloved sisters, Elizabeth Fellows, Mary Aust and Susannah Gray.. that is to say my yearly rents and profits of my estate in Charmouth and the house in Limehouse. The estate situate in Kingston in Jamaica to be disposed of and divided equally with my sisters.
On 5th March 1823; Bennett Gray, formerly of Charmouth and late of Honduras in the West Indies but at sea deceased was granted to Harry Smith the sole Executor of the Will of Mary Aust, widow deceased .. Elizabeth Fellows, Mary Aust and Susannah Smith Widow the sisters

This Mary Aust`s Will of 1822 She was living in Mile End in Essex and left her estate to her nephew , Harry Smith. The descent of the estate goes through the Smith family to Bennett Fellows who also lives in Essex.
This is the last Will of me Bennett Fellows R.N. August 1842
I give to my sister Elizabeth Fellows all my property of every description for her life at the death of my sister Elizabeth Fellows to my niece Mary Baker for her life at her death give the leasehold property in the parish of Romford now let to Mr Brewer of Romford to Mr Russell's children of Kingston Surrey at he death of my niece Mary Baker. I give to Mrs Margaret Smith now living with us the copyhold house and premises in the parish of Leyton in the county of Essex for her life the property in the village of Charmouth in the cont of Dorset. I leave to her and at her disposal to whom she may please. This property has been in the family several ages.I request and hope Mrs Smith will at he death leave all to one person. Subject to an annuity of £20 per Ann, to Mrs Ann Jenkins now living with m sister in Layton in the conty of Essex. I would wish I had more to leave her at the house and premises in Layton at the death of Mrs Smith I give to Mr Alfred Jones of Size Lane London, solicitor subject to a annuity of £10 per annum to Mrs Ann Jenkins now living with my sister Elizabeth Fellows at Layton died 1844
1841 Census
1851 Census showing Susanna Welch, Widow aged 55 living at the House
1861 Census shows Joseph Symes, aged 54 living at The Knapp
1889 - Mrs. Hillman The Knapp
1888 - Frederick Clarke The Knapp
1871 -1875 Joseph Symes Esq, Knapp House Directory
04 October 1866 - Dorset County Chronicle
16 July 1861 - Sherborne Mercury
SYMES, Joseph Charmouth Street Head Married M 48 1803 Licentiate Of Apothecaries Hall Not Ractesery Stoke Abbott 77
1841 Census
1891 Census
1901 Census
Mr Bridgeman - Beauregard, Lart - Author, Seaward - Labourer, John Lock - Laborer, Ruebarn Durrant - Foxley Farm (Darby Farm), Miss Willis - Melbourne House.

1911 Census for Knapp House with Charles Edward Lart as the head of the family
The parochial registers of Saint Germain-en-Laye : Jacobite extracts of births, marriages, and deaths; with notes and appendices 1910 Volumes 1 and 2.
Registers of the French churches of Bristol, Stonehouse, and Plymouth [Reprint] Volume: 20 (1912)
Huguenot Pedigrees. Vol. I and II.
The Registers of the Protestant Church at Caen (Normandy): Vol. I and II (1907)

Charles Edmund Lart - Naval Officer 1867 - 1947. There is a Manuscript Collection of French Hugenots

ens. at CORPUS CHRISTI, Oct. 1, 1886. Of London. S. of Edmund, Esq., of 22, Norland Square, Notting Hill. B. Mar. 17, 1867, at 29, St James Square, Notting Hill. School, Westminster. Matric. Michs. 1886; B.A. 1889. 2nd Lieut., 1st Cinque Ports Vol. Art., 1900. Served in the Great War, 1914-19 (Capt., Devon Regt. (T.F.); Officer-Instructor attached to N.Z. Forces, 1916-17). Author, The Church Invisible, etc. Editor of the Publications of the Huguenot Society of London. Died June 29, 1947. (Record of Old Westminsters; Univ. War List; Army Lists.)



World War 1 & 2 - Detailed information
Compiled and copyright © John Hagger 2014

Wing Commander Edmund Lart (Pilot) 05102, 82 Squadron, Royal Air Force. Died 13 August 1940. Aged 39. Son of Charles Edmund and Amy Vincent Lart. His brother John Floyer Vincent Lart also fell. Awarded the Distinguished Service order (DSO). Buried in VADUM CEMETERY, Denmark. Collective Grave C.

In 1939 Edward Lart’s parents lived in Harpford, specifically in a house called “Navarah”. His father had served in the 1st World war in the R.A.M.C. and had attained the rank of Captain. Marian Wheeler (nee Radford), currently living in Newton Poppleford, was in service to the Lart family when she was a young girl. She has provided detailed information for this story. Edward’s father was Dr Charles Edmund Lart M.B. and his mother was Amy Vincent Lart (maybe her maiden name was Vincent).They had two daughters and three sons. Edward was the oldest son and second child.. Born 1902, John Lart was the middle son. (See below). At the time most of the children were born, the family lived at Knapp Cottage, Lyme Regis. By 1911 Dr Charles Lart appears to have retired. The youngest son was probably too young to serve in WW2 and was (in 2013) living in the Midlands. He also had followed his father, into becoming a medical doctor. The two daughters were called Joanna and Judith.

Edward Lart joined the, relatively small, Royal Air Force in the years between the wars, and had risen from Pilot Officer to Wing Commander by 1940. Wing Co. Edward Lart D S O, Commanded 82 Squadron at R A F Watton. He seems to have been awarded the D.S.O. “For meritorious service”

On August 13th 1940 he led a formation of 12 Blenhiem Mark IV’s on a raid on an airfield in Denmark called Aalborg that was being used by the Luftwaffe to raid the northern towns of England. Why did he lead this operation? C.O.’s & Wing Commanders rarely go on “op’s” any more than generals often stand in trenches. It may have been the most disastrous mission for R A F. Bomber Command, in the 2nd World War, and Edward Lart probably foresaw this. Blenhiems were sitting ducks for the Luftwaffe. Of the 12 aircraft that took off, 11 were shot down. Even more sadly the captain of the one surviving aircraft was court marshalled for “dereliction of duty and cowardice in the face of the enemy”. He did not face the charge, as he was killed on a subsequent operation before the case was heard.

19 airmen were killed and 13 wounded and captured. Wing Commander Lart was shot down and killed at 12.23 on 13th Aug over Aalborg, just 2 months after he had been promoted to Wing Commander. Maybe he knew that few, if any would survive, and preferred to face death with his men. The Mark IV Blenhiem was not a successfully designed aircraft and was known to be no match for the Luftwaffe fighter aircraft. Because of the distance involved, they could not be given any fighter cover. The few Blenhiems that remained, were withdrawn from service by 1942. In 1943 Lincoln’s and Lancaster’s became the main bomber aircraft for the RAF, both were very successful aircraft, the Lancaster continuing in service until 1954.

Edward Lart aged 38, is buried in ‘a collective grave’ in Vadum Cemetery in Denmark. He is remembered in the record of all those from RAF Watton who died in the service of their country and on the Newton Poppleford Village War memorial.

Captain 231988, Royal Army Medical Corps. Died 5 January 1944. Aged 40. Son of Charles Edmund and Amy Vincent Lart. M.B. Buried in CASSINO WAR CEMETERY, Italy. Plot VII. Row F. Grave 18.

John Floyer Vincent Lart was the younger brother of Edward Lart (see above). Born 1904 he had followed in the steps of his father and become a medical doctor. His father Charles Edmund Lart had served in the first world war in The Royal Army Medical Corp and attained the rank of Captain. John also joined the RAMC. In Army terms he was quite senior in years and rose to the rank of Captain. His brother Edward had died only months into WW2 so his parents, two sisters and brother, must have spent all the main years of the war fearing that they would have to suffer the same loss as they had with Edward. By the bleak Christmas of 1943 however a probable end to the conflict was at least in sight. Italy had capitulated and Germany saw that it had to defend three fronts from attack, from the West (France), the East (Russia) and from the south, as the Allies had successfully landed in Sicily and moved up the length of Italy.

After the difficulties of the Sicily landings, the advance into Italy was slow but remorseless. The Germans had decided to defend Rome and northern Italy at Monte Cassino. They erected defence lines at the approaches to Cassino called ”The Winter Line“, and “ The Gustav Line “.that included the Monastery which is on a prominent hill top.

Field hospitals were not usually set up too close to points of conflict, particularly when an army is advancing, however it would seem that John Lart’s hospital was either hit by artillery fire or he was killed in some other event. Medical forces are non- combatants, in accordance with The Geneva Convention. Sadly he was killed on 5th Jan 1944 in the approaches of Monte Cassino.

Captain (and doctor) John Floyer Vincent Lart No. 231988 is buried in the The Cassino War Cemetery, in Grave V11.F.18. He was aged 39. He name appears on the St Thomas’s Hospital (London) War memorial, and on the village memorial in Newton Poppleford.

1871 Knapp House - Joseph Symes living there

1848 directory Mrs Susanah Welch is gentry,

1841 Tithe Map
1901 Ordnance Survey Map
Claud Hider of Bridport produced a set of extremely rare postcards for the owners of Claremont, no doubt to promote their Guest House. They were probably taken c.1923, when he produced a number of postcards of the village in that year.
Aug. 2, at 13, Seymour Plac e, Fulham Road, London, Mrs. Fowler, late of the Knapp. Charmouth, Dorset.13 August 1881 - Southern Times and Dorset County Herald - Weymouth, Dorset.
Mr Woofe is quitting, to SELL the above by AUCTION, Monday, March, without Reserve. Particulars in due course. HILL VIEW, THE KNAPP, CHARMOUTH Monday, March 20th, 1899. THe property of Mr. W.G. Huxter, Knap Farm Charmouth.10 December 1915 - Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Exeter, Devon, England
At liberty for Pantomime . Address as above . and Eccentric Comedy . MR . H . Mant WORSLEY , of the Wight, Disengaged . The Knapp House , Charmouth , Dorset. 25 September 1885 - The Stage - London, London, England
WANTED, good-tempered willing GIRL (good character), good plain cooking required ; small family.—Apply to Mrs Clarke, Knapps House, Charmouth,13 May 1892 - Bridport News - Bridport, Dorset, England
re-erected, anywhere on shortest notice; HUTS and CORRUGATED IRON For Sale.—Joseph Thompson, Engineering Contractor, c/o Knapp Cottage, Charmouth. 17 September 1920 - Western Chronicle - Yeovil, Somerset, England
GENERAL SERVANT (good) Wanted for labourer saving house, Lyme Regis. References.—Apply Mrs. Barratt Hine, Claremont, Charmouth.10 May 1929 - Western Gazette - Yeovil, Somerset, England
COOK-GENERAL and HOUSE-PARLOURMAID (experienced) Wanted early October. Small guesthouse.—Apply Littlebury, Claremont, Charmouth, Bridport.0 September 1929 - Western Gazette - Yeovil, Somerset, England
Some help given. Experienced, good plain cooking, good personal references essential.—Reply Mrs. Read, Claremont, Charmouth.19 May 1933 - Western Gazette - Yeovil, Somerset, England
Clarke.—June 15, at his residence, Knapp House, Charmouth, Mr Frederick Christian Clarke, late of Chapelstreet, Bedford Row, London, in his 83rd yard. 02 July 1890 - Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser - Taunton, Somerset,
Charmouth, Dorset. - To be Let, furnished for summer months, a House containing dining and drawing rooms, five bed-rooms, includiug two attics, with lovely view or hills and sea ; use of piano and lmen. — Address Mrs. H., The Knapp. Charmouth. Dorset01 July 1885 - London Evening Standard - London,

1926 Map -
Melbourne House (34), The Well Head (35), Foxley (36),Felstead (37),Foxley Cottage (38), Badgers (39), Claremont (40), Beau Regard (41), Foxley Farm (42),Foxley Cottage (145),Portland Cottage (146),Knapp Stores (147),Knapp Cottages (148),Hollybank (149).

Bridgeman - Beauregard
The remainder of the estate eventually went to Joseph Symes of Charmouth, the younger son, who then owned Horsehill Farm, other lands in Stoke Abbott, Broadwindsor and Mosterton (Dibberford). He died in 1878 and his widow bequeathed Horsehill to her nephew Thomas Palmer Daniel the younger who sold the estate in the early 20th century for about £3007.
1808 Poor Rates showing Rev. Brian Coombes rents a house to Rev. Joseph Good. He was a teanat from at least 1805, when the Poor rates lists start. Brian Coombes is shown as living in The Rectory whilst Rev. Audain is absent in the West Indies.
Good, Joseph Henry (1775–1857), architect, was born on 18 November 1775, in Sambrook, Shropshire, the eldest son of the Revd Joseph Good, rector of Sambrook. He received his professional training from the renowned architect John Soane, to whom he was articled from 1795 to 1799, and early in his career he gained a number of premiums for designs for public buildings.
1782 Obituary for the Rev. William Combe rector of Charmouth and Catherstone for 35 years
At Charmouth, co. Dorset, The Rev. William Combe, who had been 35 years rector of that parish, also rector of Catherstone, both in the county of Dorset and Diocese of Bristol. Steward to all the Estates of the late Mr Grey,
George Hart 1740-1824

House of Commons - Reports

Askerswell Hill (Devon a27 Geo II Parl 4 Sess 7; A 1753-54)Part of road from Charmouth Bridge to the top of Charmouth hill is so steep, rocky narrow and of so great a height that the same is very dangerous and that the said hill may easily be avoided by making a road under the NW side.hat road to top of Charmouth hill which leads from Bridport to Charmouth Bridge is very inconvenient and dangerous and needs to turn the road to the NW, to make more commodious, which may be done without difficultyThat the road from the Almshouse at Charmouth to and thru Lyme Regis and to and thru Uplyme and over Uplyme Hill to the direction stone on the road to Axminster is not intended to be repaired by tolls arising although said road is the ancient post road and is now and for many years has been the post road from Salisbury to Axminster and when repaired will be very commodious to travellers.


In 1757, there is a description of the existing road as that “ High Road leading from the Almshouse at west end of Charmouth to and thru Lyme Regis which are in a ruinous condition, narrow in many places and very steep and uneven and by reason of the waters in the winter season unpassable at divers places and very dangerous to travellers cannot be repaired, widened by present methods” As a result, the following year Charmouth had the first of its turnpike roads built. It was known as the Great Western Road and continued on as far as Aylesbeare, within a few miles of Exeter . It started from the top of the Street where there would have been a toll gate which were generally stout and substantial with keeper as depicted here. A turnpike was a gate set across a new or improved road which was only opened when a toll had been paid to the turnpike-keeper. During the day they may have been left open, or at least ajar, on a busy road but at night were closed and the pikeman would need rousing to take the toll (or, heralded by a coach horn, let the mail coach through free of toll).  This individual lived in a tollhouse, which often had windows facing in both directions so that the keeper could see the traffic approaching from either side.
Evidence of the gate which would have gone across the street was found by workman laying drains in the form of the stump and the post hole of part of it. In 1939 the other Stump was found on the opposite side. The original Gate was demolished shortly after 1874.
Here are the workmen busy at the time. The buildings in the background are Waterloo House( now the fossil shop) and Granville House which at that time was a shoemakers owned by the Hutchin
They originally were part of an even larger estate that included Charmouth House and 4 acres of land on that side of Higher Sea Lane. They form part of the sales by John Petre in 1575 when he sold this block of land and buildings to Edward Lymbry. Amongst the Deeds to Charmouth House, which Reg Pavey listed, is the following:
All that messuage, cottage or tenement lying between a cottage then in the tenure of William Rockett on the west side of another cottage then in the tenure of William Best on the East side and the queens highway on the north side. It consists of Barnes,Stables, edifices, lands, meadows, pastures, common ways, paths, woods, under woods, easements.
There were 40 acres of fields including the Fountain Inn and in time these were sold by Edward`s Grandson also Edward to Edward Lush of Chideock. He in turn sold them To Robert Burridge. Later in 1704 there is another reference to the farm as follows: �The property consisted of Curtilages, gardens, orchards, yards, barnes, stables, outhouses, easements and Appurtenances also 2 little closes of Meades lying and adjoining the messuage of about 3 1/2 acres.
1867 map shows mrs smith owning fellows land.