The village of Charlton Down developed from the site of the old Dorset County Asylum. In 1920 it became the Dorset County Mental Hospital, and in 1940 was renamed Herrison Hospital. The hospital closed in 1992 and three of the larger buildings — Redwood (built in 1863), Greenwood (1896) and Herrison House (1904) — have been converted into apartments.
Cottage style terrace houses, semi-detached and detached 3, 4, and 5 bed roomed house with all modern services fill the old site. The original cricket ground has a new pavilion and there is a thriving cricket club in the summer. The village has a Londis shop and a cash dispenser. It is one of the few in the area without a church or pub. The village hall is used regularly for various social events.
- "Herrison Hospital". County Asylums. Retrieved 13 April 2019.