Stonebarrow Hill, Charmouth - Coastal Path - St Gabriel's

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The picturesque seaside village of Charmouth is located on the World Heritage Site Jurassic Coast. Awarded its World Heritage Site Status in 2001, Charmouth remains an untouched coastal gem. The beaches around Charmouth are world-famous for the amazing fossils that can be found washed out of the cliff.

Charmouth lies in the south-west corner of Dorset at the heart of the Lyme Bay coastline. Undulating hills encapsulate this great diversity, making this a prominent part of West Dorset's area of outstanding natural beauty. The coastline has both national and international designations which is part of England's first natural world heritage site.

The coastline between Exmouth and Bournemouth is now a World Heritage Site (meaning that it is of particular importance both historically and geologically), similar in status to the Grand Canyon and The Great Barrier Reef. Stanton St Gabriel's: there has been a settlement here since Saxon times, but all that remains now are a few scattered buildings. This ancient landscape of trackways, hedgerows and fields has been formed by centuries of farming and continued by The National Trust and its farm tenants. It was first recorded in 1806; at that time it probably had a hall where the Manor Court was held. Over the centuries, local people relied on farming and fishing for their livelihoods. Many of the hedgerows in the medieval period were to divide the area into small farms.

St Gabriel's Chapel is first recorded in 1240. From the 1500s there are many references to the cost of repairing weather damage to the chapel. In 1650 the 23 families living there asked for St Gabriel's to be made a parish church. There is no record of the request being granted. By the 18th Century the population had disappeared and the chapel became derelict.
St Gabriel's House: probably the site of the medieval manor-house, today most of the building is 18th Century brick. The stone walling is thought to be 16th Century. It was converted to holiday accommodation by the National Trust in 1968. To the right of the house is a 19th Century sheep-wash which has been restored by National Trust wardens.

St Wite's Well: this spring has been known as a Holy Well since at least the 17th Century. It is said to have curative properties for eye complaints. There is a possible connection between the well and the 13th Century shrine attributed to St Wite in the parish church of Whitchurch Canonicorum, one mile to the north.

England - South West England - Devon - Coast


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Flowers, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Industrial Archaeology, Moor, Mountains, National Trust, Public Transport, Sea, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife