The distinctive townscape character of Charmouth comes from the farsightedness of the monks of Forde Abbey – who moved the original settlement from a perilous location close to the coast to a safer position further inland on or near the line of the original Roman road. Medieval burgage plots were set out at right-angles to the main spine (many of which remain) leaving opportunity for subsequent infilling of frontages to plots in Georgian and Regency times. Buildings are constructed from local Blue Lias and Greensand chert – many being rendered. Roofs are of thatch or slate. The church sits in a dominant centrallocation, and the tower is a clearly visible anchor – whether approaching from the east or the west. The whole of the village is a Conservation Area.