Saturday, June 02, 2007

Through the Trees to Charmouth

Charmouth is a Gateway Town, but is located very close to the shoreline

The rocks at Charmouth are 195 million years old and from the Jurassic geological period. Charmouth covers the area from Black Venn in the West to Stonebarrow in the East. Black Venn was the scene of the largest mudslide in Europe during the winter of 1958 / 59 and Stonebarrow is the scene of occasional cliff falls

Settlement of Charmouth began in the early Iron Age by a Celtic tribe known as the Durotriges. Evidence of thier impressive hill-forts survive today in the surrounding area. the most notable being Maiden Castle, sacked by the Romans in around AD47

Charmouths first claim to fame came in the years 833 and 840 when the Wessex kings Ethelred and Ethelwolf unsuccessfully tried to repel Viking invaders. Eventually the Vikings settled peacefully among the local population. The community living on the bank of the River Cerne. The village 'Cernmunde' was recorded in the Doomsday book of 1088

In 1501 catherine of Aragon stayed in the village on her way to marry Arthur, brother of Henry VIII. Charles II is reputed to have sheltered here after his escape from the Battle of Worcester in 1651

Currently it has a population of about 1200

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