Charmouth is charming, but lacks an oasis from which to stand back and enjoy the experience. We see the churchyard as Charmouth’s village green, a heritage garden where the rich history of Charmouth is revealed through gravestones and memorials. An outdoor events place, a place for children’s play; it will be an outdoor room to meet in – not to hurry through on route for somewhere else. It is a space which will provide a foretaste of what may be expected inside the church.
Currently the church stands back from The Street and, due to low-hanging mature Yew trees within the churchyard and the boundary wall that fronts The Street, it is no longer the prominent open visual element that the architect originally intended (see engraving below).
In order to bring the church back to prominence within the village, it is intended that the project will include aspects that increase the visibility of the church, and improve the pedestrian connectivity between the church and the wider townscape.
Behind the dark and sombre street facade of the earlier illustration, there is a magic garden of light and beauty (as these photographs show).
The place is one of Charmouth’s hidden gems, and the project includes its discovery as a space made public, to be enjoyed by all for itself – and as part of Charmouth’s colourful past now being unravelled.