Bow House Cottages, The Street
Click on Charmouth Home to return back.

Immediately east of " Bow House" is a row of cottages, which were at one time thatched. How old they are is difficult to say and they changed hands at the turn of this century in quite a romantic fashion. They were owned by Frank Coles at that time and one day he and John Toms, the miller, drove to Axminster and on the way they discussed the cottages. Before they reached Axminster the cottages changed ownership. Frank Coles was prepared to sell them for £500. The first cottage with a covered entrance way into the land behind had good, sheds which Toms was able to use as a store for grain. A room upstairs was built over the entrance and the cottage was let to Hiss Membrey, an aunt of Fred Penny. It was later acquired by Barney Hansford and became his grocer's Stores. The other cottages were all similar in build. Joe Turner occupied one of them, when he was Tom's dairyman. The gardens extended as far as Charmouth Meadows (now the Playing Field) on the north side.
The building adjacent was quite different. Its windows were an ecclesiastical appearance and people used to say that it was once a chapel. I could never find out that this was so. When I wrote to the Wesleyans they replied that it had never belonged to them. I can only remember it as the drill hall of the local Volunteers with a workshop belonging to Jesse Rapsey in the ground behind. According- to the Bridport News for 20th April 1886 the Volunteers first took hold of public favour in 1863, but the first official record of those of Charmouth appear in the army list for January 1866, where they are entered as the "5th Charmouth of the 1st.Dorset Artillery Corps, R.G.A.," and united to "I.A.Br.Devon Artillery Volunteers". In this entry no officers' names are given, but in the list for April 1866 Charles Brown is entered as First Lieutenant and in July 1866 Henry E.Norris as Honorary Surgeon. Later Dr.Morris was captain and George Pavey, lieutenant. In 1891 the corps was without officers.