In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Charmouth like this:
CHARMOUTH, a village and a parish in the district of Axminster and county of Dorset. The village stands on the coast, at the mouth of the river Char, under Charmouth hill, adjacent to the line of a Roman road, 2 miles NE by E of Lyme-Regis, and 6½ W of Bridport r. station. It occupies the site of the Cauca Arixa of the Romans; is itself an ancient place; and consists now of one long street, or edificed road, with a sprinkling of villas, on a declivity. It was the scene of two battles, in 830 and 840, between the Saxons and the Danes; and the scene of a narrow escape of Charles II. ...
from capture, on the eve of his embarkation for France after the battle of Worcester. It has a post office‡ under Bridport, and two chief inns; is a watering-place and a coastguard station; was once a market town; and contains an old cottage, originally part of an inn, in which Charles II. spent the night of his peril. The parish comprises 433 acres of land and 85 of water. Real property, £3,344. Pop., 678. Houses, 151. Charmouth Hill is about 1,000 feet high; and was called by Hutchins the Plinlimmon of Dorset. The ground rises from the sea in cliffs and dark slopes; and presents features of great interest to geologists A part of the cliffs, rich in pyrites, ignited in 1531; and another part underwent a great landslip, with a shock like an earthquake, in 1839. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Salisbury. Value, £150.* Patron, J. Hunt, Esq. The church was rebuilt about 1503; and contains a screen and some curious old oaken carvings. There are chapels for Independents and Wesleyans, and charities £48.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Charmouth has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of West Dorset. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Charmouth and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Charmouth in West Dorset | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 30th January 2015
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