In medieval times Charmouth was initially owned by Sherborne Abbey. It had stretched since Roman times between Ackling Dyke and the sea, and a small chapel had been built to serve it. However, reports in 1281 indicated that the chapel had been ruined by the battering of the sea and storms, and the Bishop of Salisbury gave his assent to the abbots and monks of Forde Abbey (who, by then had become owners of the Manor of Charmouth) to enable them to build the church further north around Ackling Dyke. The new church was completed by 1300.

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