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

The Land Tax for 1788 reveal that the Estate was literally split in half, with the property to the North of the Street known as Backlands being bought by the Reverend Brian Coombes, the village's Curate and that to the south called Sealands by Lieutenant James Warden R.N. Later in 1804, Simeon Bullen purchases the Manor House where his family were to live for 80 years before moving to Catherstone Manor.
It is James Warden who is to become the Village`s new Lord of the Manor. It is a puzzle how he was able to afford Charmouth and also Langmoor Manor where he resided. It has been conjectured that it was from prize money for the nineteen Sea Battles he fought in. But the Will for his wife shows them owning considerable property at Wapping, near London. He quarrelled with his son, whom he disinherited, and in his will left the Estate to his wife and upon her decease, upon trust, out of the rents and profits they were to pay to his son, William Weeks Wharton, £20 a year during his life.
In 1789 James won an action against the Rev. Brian Combe and others for removing sand and seaweed from the beach. His arguments climaxed with a disagreement with a neighbour, Norman Bond that resulted in a duel at Hunter's Lodge Inn with James being shot through the heart and the neighbour fleeing the country to Barbados. The episode is recorded on the large tabletop tomb near the entrance to Charmouth Church. His Wife, Elizabeth, was to survive him by 7 years, but not it would seem broken hearted. For a letter turned up where the writer says that: �Mrs, Warden welcomed and even courted her widowhood. She chose the pistols, thanked the gentleman who had lent them and made no effort to prevent the duel, although she lived close to a magistrate. In short she seemed determined that one of them should fall. If Mr, Bond, that her husband must be hanged, and if the latter, she was fairly rid of him�. She was to lease Langmoor to a Mr Dicken and move to Axminster where she was to spend her last years. James and Elizabeth Warden were to have three children, of whom Ann who was to become Lady of the Manor on the death of her mother in 1798. She had married Matthew Liddon by licence in Axminster on 22 June 1789 in the presence of her father. At least five children were born of the marriage, Elizabeth in 1791, Sophia in 1793, Ann in 1795, Lucy in 1799 and Matthew John in 1801. The Liddon`s were an important family in Axminster, where they are shown as Farmers and Clothiers. She was living at Langmoor when she died in 1849. Her name appears as Lady of the Manor in the detailed plans Isambard Kingdom Brunel drew up in 1846 with a proposal for a Railway linking it with Exeter. The 1841 Census and Tithe Map show her living with two of her daughters in Charmouth, probably at Melborne House. Her eldest son was to die young at just forty and most of her Estate went to the younger son, Matthew. It is of interests that her eldest daughter Ann Warden Liddon was to be one of the earliest emigrants to Australia when she left these shores in 1833 with her nine children. By then she was Lady Spencer and accompanying her husband Captain Sir Richard Spencer, he was taking up his appointment of Government Resident at Albany. In the Dorset Record Office there is a magnificent bundle of deeds that cover the Liddon`s ownership and reveal the tangled web of debt she and her family were to amass on the security of the Manor of Charmouth for over 50 years. When Ann died in 1849 her surviving children are shown as Mathew Liddon, Jnr, of Harwich, Essex, a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, Sophia Jackson Liddon and Lucy Liddon. In her will she leaves each of them a part of the Manor of Charmouth. The Naval Records for Matthew Liddon held at the Public Record Office are quite informative and show him rising from Masters Mate in 1822 to Lieutenant in 1828. He retired in 1860. At the time of his mother's death he had a house called �The Grove� in Axminster . Shortly afterwards in 1854 he put the Estate up for sale. The Sale particulars describe a valuable Compact Estate comprising the Manor of Charmouth with all its rights and also Langmoor House with its park. . A newspaper advert for 1862 show him still owning property in the village when he sells by auction, "a pleasantly situated and roomy freehold dwelling house formerly called Streets Tenement with an excellent large garden and orchard situated opposite- Lower Sea Lane." This house was no doubt �The Limes� or as it is now known �Charmouth Lodge� in the Street. Matthew was to die in 1864 leaving two children, but by then their links with the village had been broken and the Manor of Charmouth had long been out of the family's hands. There is an unusual marble memorial to him in the church with a coat of arms above the inscription.


In 1788, the land Tax returns show Richard Henvill paying £8-6-6d for the Manor Farm with John Bowdridge as his tenant. The following year it is James Warden who is paying £4-14-8d for the land to the south called Sealands and the Reverend Brian Coombes paying £4-16-8d for the property to the North of the Street known as Backlands.
On James Warden death it is Widow, Elizabeth who is shown as paying the Land Tax for 1793. It is interesting in that it is described as part of Charmouth Farm.
The Land Tax for 1808 now shows that on the death of Elizabeth Warden it is her daughter, Ann Liddon who is the Lady of the Manor.

The warden Tomb.
Hutchins in his history of Dorset has the following inscriptions. Today they are barely too be seen.
To the Memory of James Warden, Sq, who fell in a. Duel, He 28h of April, 1792, in the 56th year of his age.

He was created Lieutenant of his Majesty's navy in the year 1760 in which capacity he served his country with reputation & success. He was in 19 engagements during the memorable expeditions against the French fleet under the Gallant Hawke, & was present at the Surrender of Belleisk.

On the commencement of hostilities with America, his Voluntarily came forward to offer his service, and was in the number of those who first landed the British Grenadiers on that shore, after escaping the various dangers inseparable from his profession, he had the misfortune to experience the untimely end above mentioned .

Ann Liddon Spencer as a young girl at Langmoor Manor, near Charmouth.
Langmoor Manor on the outskirts of Charmouth as it is today.
1846 proposal for railway through Charmouth showing Mrs Sarah (Ann) Liddon as lady of the Manor.
Langmoor Manor on the outskirts of Charmouth as it is today.
The 1810 Ordnance Survey for Charmouth showing Langmoor to the north west of the village and open fields to the south of the Street.
Sir Richard Spencer (1779- 1839) and Lady Ann Spencer (1793-1855)
Strawberry Hill Farm, the Spencer`s home in Albany, Australia.
The Manor of Charmouth with it's Manorial Rights , and the Estates of Langmoor and Seaside Lands with 120 acres was auctioned on 27th of September, 1837 at the Coach and Horses in Charmouth. But it could not have met its reserve as the sale did not go through until 1854.
Memorial in Charmouth Church to Captain Matthew Liddon.
July 1853

Matthew John LIDDON. (Lieutenant, 1828.)(1801-1864)

Matthew John Liddon entered the Navy 13 July, 1815; passed his examination in 1822; and obtained his commission 23 May, 1828. His appointments have since been – 16 Sept. 1828, to the Victor 18, Capt. Rich. Keane, on the Jamaica station, whence he returned to England in 1830 in the Fairy 10, Capt. Fras. Blair – and 14 July, 1838, to the Coast Guard, in which service he still continues.