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Lyme Regis is a town in west
Dorset Dorset (; archaically In language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed ...

Dorset
, England, west of Dorchester and east of
Exeter Exeter () is a city in Devon Devon (, archaically known as Devonshire) is a Counties of England, county in South West England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is bounded by Cornwall ...
. Sometimes dubbed the "Pearl of Dorset", it lies by the
English Channel The English Channel,, "The Sleeve"; nrf, la Maunche, "The Sleeve" (Cotentinais Cotentinais is the dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two ...

English Channel
at the Dorset–
Devon Devon (, archaically known as Devonshire) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Ch ...

Devon
border. It has noted
fossil A fossil (from Classical Latin Classical Latin is the form of Latin language Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, inc ...

fossil
s in cliffs and beaches on the
Heritage Heritage may refer to: History and society * In history History (from Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the invention of writing systems are conside ...
or
Jurassic Coast The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Worl ...
, a
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for h ...
. The harbour wall, known as The Cobb, appears in
Jane Austen Jane Austen (; 16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry The landed gentry, or the ''gentry'', is a l ...

Jane Austen
's novel ''Persuasion'', the
John Fowles John Robert Fowles (; 31 March 1926 – 5 November 2005) was an English novelist of international renown, critically positioned between modernism , Solomon Guggenheim Museum 1946–1959 Modernism is both a philosophy, philosophical movement a ...
novel ''
The French Lieutenant's Woman ''The French Lieutenant's Woman'' is a 1969 Postmodern literature, postmodern historical fiction novel by John Fowles. It was his third published novel, after ''The Collector'' (1963) and ''The Magus (novel), The Magus'' (1965). The novel expl ...
'' and the 1981 film of that name, partly shot in the town. A former mayor and MP was Admiral Sir
George Somers Sir George Somers (before 24 April 1554 – 9 November 1610) was an English privateer and naval hero, knighted for his achievements and the Admiral of the Virginia Company of London The London Company, officially known as the Virgi ...

George Somers
, who founded the English colonial settlement of Somers Isles, now
Bermuda ) , anthem = "God Save the Queen "God Save the Queen", alternatively "God Save the King" (dependent on the gender of the reigning monarch), is the or in most s, their territories, and the British . The author of the tune is unknown, ...

Bermuda
, where Lyme Regis is twinned with St George's. In July 2015, Lyme Regis joined
Jamestown, Virginia The Jamestown settlement in the was the first permanent in the Americas. It was located on the northeast bank of the about southwest of the center of modern . It was established by the as "James Fort" on May 4, 1607 (May 14, 1607 ), and ...
in a Historic Atlantic Triangle with St George's. The
2011 Census2011 censuses were conducted in the following countries: * Australia: Census in Australia * Austria: Demographics of Austria * Bangladesh: 2011 Bangladesh Census * Bulgaria: Demographics of Bulgaria * Canada: Canada 2011 Census * Croatia: 2011 Censu ...
gave the urban area a population of 4,712, estimated at 4,805 in 2019.


History

In
Saxon The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were a group of early Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic langua ...

Saxon
times, the abbots of
Sherborne Abbey Sherborne Abbey, otherwise the Abbey Church of St. Mary the Virgin, is a Church of England church (building), church in Sherborne in the English county of Dorset. It has been a Anglo-Saxons, Saxon cathedral (705–1075), a Benedictine abbey chur ...

Sherborne Abbey
had salt-boiling rights on land adjacent to the River Lym, and the abbey once owned part of the town. Lyme is mentioned in the
Domesday Book Domesday Book () – the Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. The English language underwent ...
of 1086. In the 13th century, it developed as one of the major British ports. A
Royal Charter A royal charter is a formal grant issued by a monarch under royal prerogative The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege and immunity, recognized in common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or ...

Royal Charter
was granted by
King Edward I Edward I (17/18 June 1239 – 7 July 1307), also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots ( la, Malleus Scotorum), was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England ...

King Edward I
in 1284 when "Regis" was added to the town's name. The charter was confirmed by Queen
Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to i ...

Elizabeth I
in 1591.
John LelandJohn Leland may refer to: *John Leland (antiquary) (c. 1503–1552), English antiquary *John Leland (Baptist) (1754–1841), United States Baptist minister *John Leland (journalist) (born 1959), ''New York Times'' reporter, columnist, and book autho ...
visited in the 16th century and described Lyme as "a praty market town set in the rootes of an high rokky hille down to the hard shore. There cummith a shalow broke from the hilles about a three miles by north, and cummith fleting on great stones through a stone bridge in the bottom." In 1644, during the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, ...
, Parliamentarians withstood an eight-week siege of the town by
Royalist A royalist supports a particular monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Life tenure, for life or until abdication, and therefore the head of state of a monarchy. ...

Royalist
forces under . The Duke of Monmouth landed at Lyme Regis at the start of the
Monmouth Rebellion The Monmouth Rebellion, also known as the Pitchfork Rebellion, the Revolt of the West or the West Country rebellion, was an attempt to overthrow James II. He had become king of England, List of Scottish monarchs, Scotland, and Monarchy of Irela ...
in 1685. Between 1811 and her death in 1849
Mary Anning Mary Anning (21 May 1799 – 9 March 1847) was an English fossil collector, dealer, and palaeontologist Paleontology, also spelled palaeontology or palæontology (), is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes ...

Mary Anning
, a geological pioneer, found and identified
dinosaur Dinosaurs are a diverse group of reptiles of the clade Dinosauria. They first appeared during the Triassic Geological period, period, between 243 and 233.23 annum, million years ago, although the exact origin and timing of the evolution ...

dinosaur
fossils in cliffs to the east of Lyme Regis, for which she obtained recognition, mostly after her death. Recognition was hampered by her gender and lack of wealth. On New Year's Day, 1915, was torpedoed, the first major U-boat kill of World War I. A local lifeboat delivered bodies to the ''Pilot Boat Inn'' in Bridge Street.
Lassie Lassie is a fictional female Rough Collie The Rough Collie (also known as the Long-Haired Collie) is a long-coated dog breed of medium to large size that, in its original form, was a type of collie used and bred for herding sheep in Scotland ...

Lassie
, the owner's dog, licked the face of Seaman Cowan, who was believed dead, and seemingly brought him back to life. The namesake of this cross-breed became a legend of books, radio, film and television. In 1965, the town's railway station was closed under the
Beeching Axe The Beeching cuts (also Beeching Axe) was a plan to increase the efficiency of the nationalised Nationalization, or nationalisation, is the process of transforming privately owned assets into public assets by bringing them under the public ...
. The station was dismantled and rebuilt at
AlresfordAlresford may refer to: * Alresford, Essex, a village in Essex, England * New Alresford, a small town in Hampshire, England * Old Alresford, a village in Hampshire, England * Alresford Cricket Club, which represented New Alresford and Old Alresford i ...
, on the
Mid Hants Watercress Railway The Watercress Line is the marketing name of the Mid-Hants Railway, a heritage railway in Hampshire, England, running from New Alresford to Alton, Hampshire, Alton where it connects to the National Rail network. The line gained its popular name ...
in
Hampshire Hampshire (, ; abbreviated to Hants) is a Counties of England, county in South East England on the coast of the English Channel. The county town is Winchester, but the county is named after Southampton. Its two largest cities are Southampton a ...

Hampshire
. The route to Lyme Regis was notable for being operated by aged Victorian locomotives. One of these Adams Radial Tank engines is now preserved on the
Bluebell Railway The Bluebell Railway is an heritage line almost entirely in West Sussex West Sussex is a Counties of the United Kingdom, county in the south of England, bordering East Sussex (with Brighton and Hove) to the east, Hampshire to the west an ...
in
Sussex Sussex (), from the Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, e ...

Sussex
. A West Country Class steam locomotive No. 34009 was named "Lyme Regis" after the town. In 2005, one event to mark the bicentenary of
Admiral Nelson Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, (29 September 1758 – 21 October 1805), also known simply as Admiral Nelson, was a British flag officer in the Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United King ...

Admiral Nelson
's victory at the
Battle of Trafalgar The Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) was a naval battle, naval engagement between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French Navy, French and Spanish Navy, Spanish Navies during the War of the Third Coalition (August–D ...

Battle of Trafalgar
was a re-enactment of the arrival of the news aboard the
Bermuda sloop The Bermuda sloop is an historical type of fore-and-aft rigged single-masted sailing vessel developed on the islands of Bermuda ) , anthem = "God Save the Queen "God Save the Queen", alternatively "God Save the King" (dependent on ...
HMS ''Pickle''. The actor playing the part of Lieutenant John Richards Lapenotière, the Trafalgar messenger, was welcomed at Lyme Regis.


Geography

Lyme Regis is a coastal town in West
Dorset Dorset (; archaically In language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed ...

Dorset
, west of Dorchester and east of
Exeter Exeter () is a city in Devon Devon (, archaically known as Devonshire) is a Counties of England, county in South West England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is bounded by Cornwall ...
. It lies in
Lyme Bay Lyme Bay is an area of the English Channel The English Channel,, "The Sleeve"; nrf, la Maunche, "The Sleeve" (Cotentinais Cotentinais is the dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , ...

Lyme Bay
, on the
English Channel The English Channel,, "The Sleeve"; nrf, la Maunche, "The Sleeve" (Cotentinais Cotentinais is the dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two ...

English Channel
coast at the Dorset–
Devon Devon (, archaically known as Devonshire) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Ch ...

Devon
border. At the
2011 census2011 censuses were conducted in the following countries: * Australia: Census in Australia * Austria: Demographics of Austria * Bangladesh: 2011 Bangladesh Census * Bulgaria: Demographics of Bulgaria * Canada: Canada 2011 Census * Croatia: 2011 Censu ...
, it had a population of 3,671. The town has grown around the mouth of the River Lim (or Lym) which drops from a plateau at an altitude of about before flowing around south and south-east to the sea. Its name is of British origin and probably cognate with the
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...
''llif'' meaning flood or stream. Historically there were mills along its length. Its lower reaches coincide with sections of three recreational footpaths: the Wessex Ridgeway, Liberty Trail and East Devon Trail. The town's beaches and cliffs are noted for
fossil A fossil (from Classical Latin Classical Latin is the form of Latin language Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, inc ...

fossil
s. They form part of the
Heritage Coast A heritage coast is a strip of coast The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the s ...
— known commercially as the
Jurassic Coast The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Worl ...
– a
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for h ...
stretching for from
Orcombe PointImage:Orcombe Point Geoneedle.jpg, upThe "geoneedle" is made from different rocks along the Jurassic Coast and marks its western end at Orcombe Point near Exmouth, Devon. Orcombe Point is a coastal feature near Exmouth, Devon, Exmouth, Devon, on th ...
near
Exmouth Exmouth is a port A port is a maritime Maritime may refer to: Geography * Maritime Alps, a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps * Maritime Region, a region in Togo * Maritime Southeast Asia * The Maritimes, t ...
in the west to
Old Harry Rocks Old Harry and his (latest) wife Old Harry Rocks are three chalk formations, including a Stack (geology), stack and a stump, located at Handfast Point, on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, southern England. They mark the most eastern point of the Jur ...

Old Harry Rocks
in the east. The coastal exposures provide a continuous sequence of
Triassic The Triassic ( ) is a geologic period The geologic time scale (GTS) is a system of chronological dating that classifies Geology, geological strata (stratigraphy) in time. It is used by geologists, paleontology, paleontologists, and other earth ...

Triassic
,
Jurassic The Jurassic ( ) is a geologic period The geologic time scale (GTS) is a system of chronological dating that classifies Geology, geological strata (stratigraphy) in time. It is used by geologists, paleontology, paleontologists, and other earth ...
and
Cretaceous The Cretaceous ( ) is a geological period A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. These periods form elements of a hierarchy of division ...

Cretaceous
rock formations spanning some 185 million years of the Earth's history. Localities along the Jurassic Coast include a range of important fossil zones. The
Blue Lias The Blue Lias is a geological formation A geological formation, or formation, is a body of rock having a consistent set of physical characteristics (lithology) that distinguish it from adjacent bodies of rock, and which occupies a particular ...
and Charmouth Mudstone
geological formation A geological formation, or formation, is a body of rock having a consistent set of physical characteristics (lithology) that distinguish it from adjacent bodies of rock, and which occupies a particular position in the layers of rock exposed in a ...
s host a multitude of remains from the
Early Jurassic The Early Jurassic Epoch In chronology 222px, Joseph Scaliger's ''De emendatione temporum'' (1583) began the modern science of chronology Chronology (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, ...
era, from which good fossil records are rare. Many remains are well preserved, including complete specimens of important species. Many of the earliest discoveries of
dinosaur Dinosaurs are a diverse group of reptiles of the clade Dinosauria. They first appeared during the Triassic Geological period, period, between 243 and 233.23 annum, million years ago, although the exact origin and timing of the evolution ...

dinosaur
and other prehistoric reptile remains were made in the area around Lyme Regis, notably those discovered by
Mary Anning Mary Anning (21 May 1799 – 9 March 1847) was an English fossil collector, dealer, and palaeontologist Paleontology, also spelled palaeontology or palæontology (), is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes ...

Mary Anning
(1799–1847). Significant finds include ''
Ichthyosaurus ''Ichthyosaurus'' (derived from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxim ...

Ichthyosaurus
'', ''
Plesiosaurus ''Plesiosaurus'' (Greek: ' ('), near to + ' ('), lizard) is a genus of extinct, large marine sauropterygian reptile that lived during the early part of the Jurassic The Jurassic ( ) is a Geological period, geologic period and System (stratigrap ...

Plesiosaurus
'', ''
Dimorphodon ''Dimorphodon'' was a genus of medium-sized pterosaur from the early Jurassic Period (geology), Period. It was named by Palaeontology, paleontologist Richard Owen in 1859. ''Dimorphodon'' means "two-form tooth", derived from the Ancient Greek, Gr ...

Dimorphodon
'', ''
Scelidosaurus ''Scelidosaurus'' (; with the intended meaning of "limb lizard", from Ancient Greek, Greek ''skelis''/ meaning 'rib of beef' and ''sauros''/ meaning 'lizard')Liddell & Scott (1980). Greek-English Lexicon, Abridged Edition. Oxford University Pres ...

Scelidosaurus
'' (one of the first armoured dinosaurs) and ''''. The town holds an annual Mary Anning Day and Lyme Regis Fossil Festival. A fossil of the world's largest moth was discovered there in 1966. To the south-west are Poker's Pool, Seven Rock Point and Pinhay Bay and to the north-east is
Charmouth Charmouth is a village and civil parish in west Dorset, England. The village is situated on the mouth of the River Char, around north-east of Lyme Regis. Dorset County Council estimated that in 2013 the population of the civil parish was 1,310 ...
. The coast is subject to that expose the Jurassic-age fossils to be found on the beaches. "The Dowlands Landslip" occurred on 24 December 1839, west along the coast in Devon, in an area belonging to Bindon Manor. About of wheat and turnip fields were dislodged when a great chasm more than across, deep and long was formed. The crops remained intact on the top of what became known as "Goat Island" among the newly formed gullies. On 3 February 1840 a smaller landslip occurred nearby. The phenomenon attracted many visitors, and farmers charged sixpence to view it. The area is now known as The Undercliff and is of interest for its diverse natural history. Landslides continued to cause problems in the area into the 21st century. In 2005, work began on a £16 million engineering project to stabilise the cliffs and protect the town from
coastal erosion Coastal erosion is the loss or displacement of land, or the long-term removal of sediment Sediment is a naturally occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering Weathering is the deterioration of rocks A roc ...
. The town's main beach was relaid and reopened on 1 July 2006. On the evening of 6 May 2008, a section of land slipped onto the beach between Lyme Regis and Charmouth. Police described the landslip as the "worst in 100 years". It called for diverting the
South West Coast Path The South West Coast Path is England's longest waymarked long-distance footpath and a National Trail. It stretches for , running from Minehead Minehead is a coastal town and civil parish in Somerset Somerset (; Archaism, archaically ...
inland between Lyme Regis and Charmouth via the Lyme Regis Golf Course.


Demography

In the 2011 census the town's parish had 2,431 dwellings, 1,770 households and a population of 3,671. The population of the parish in the censuses between 1921 and 2011 is shown in the table below. The 2012 mid-year estimate for the population of the parish is 3,637.


Religion

The parish church of St Michael the Archangel, above Church Cliff, dominates the old town. Dating from the 12th century, it was originally a tripartite structure with an axial tower.
Transepts South transept at Kilcooly Abbey, County Tipperary, Ireland">County_Tipperary.html" ;"title="Kilcooly Abbey, County Tipperary">Kilcooly Abbey, County Tipperary, Ireland A transept (with two semitransepts) is a transverse part of any building, ...
were added in about 1200 and two
aisle An aisle is, in general, a space for walking with rows of seats on both sides or with rows of seats on one side and a wall on the other. Aisles can be seen in airplanes, certain types of buildings, such as churches, cathedral A cathedral is ...

aisle
s in the 13th century. A new church was built east of the tower and transepts early in the 16th century and the old
chancel In church architecture Church architecture refers to the architecture of buildings of Christian churches. It has evolved over the two thousand years of the Christian religion, partly by innovation and partly by imitating other architectur ...

chancel
and aisles removed. The old nave was shortened in the 19th century.
Mary Anning Mary Anning (21 May 1799 – 9 March 1847) was an English fossil collector, dealer, and palaeontologist Paleontology, also spelled palaeontology or palæontology (), is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes ...

Mary Anning
is buried there and commemorated in a stained-glass window provided by members of the
Geological Society of London The Geological Society of London, known commonly as the Geological Society, is a learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exists to promote an d ...

Geological Society of London
, an organisation that did not admit women until 1904. The Baptist church was founded in 1653 and has been on the same site since 1699. Bethany Chapel, an independent Evangelical (Christian Brethren) church, celebrated its centenary in 2014.


Education

The Boat Building Academy, a
registered charity A charitable organization or charity is an organization whose primary objectives are philanthropy and social well-being (e.g. educational, Religion, religious or other activities serving the public interest or common good). The legal definition ...
runs courses in traditional boatbuilding and furniture making from its site at Monmouth Beach.


Landmarks


The Cobb

The first record of the Cobb, the town's harbour wall, is in a 1328 document describing it as having been damaged by storms. It was made of oak piles driven into the seabed, with boulders stacked between. The boulders had been floated into place, tied between empty barrels. A 1685 account describes it as, "an immense mass of stone, of a shape of a demi-lune, with a bar in the middle of the concave: no one stone that lies there was ever touched with a tool or bedded in any sort of cement, but all the pebbles of the see are piled up, and held by their bearings only, and the surge plays in and out through the interstices of the stone in a wonderful manner." The Cobb wall provides a breakwater to shield the town from storms and separate
Monmouth Monmouth ( , ; cy, Trefynwy meaning "town on the Monnow") is a town and community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identi ...
and Cobb Gate beaches. The Cobb had economic importance in and around the town, creating an artificial harbour that enabled the town to develop as a port and shipbuilding centre from the 13th century onwards. Shipbuilding was significant between 1780 and 1850; nearly 100 ships were launched, including the 12-gun Royal Navy brig HMS ''Snap.'' Well-sited for trade with France, the port's most prosperous period was from the 16th century until the end of the 18th. In 1780, the port was larger than the
Port of Liverpool #REDIRECT Port of Liverpool#REDIRECT Port of Liverpool The Port of Liverpool is the enclosed Dock (maritime), dock system that runs from Brunswick Dock in Liverpool to Seaforth Dock, Seaforth, Merseyside, Seaforth, on the east side of the Riv ...
but its importance declined in the 19th century, as it could not handle ships of increasing size. The Cobb has been destroyed or damaged by storms several times; it was swept away in 1377, along with 50 boats and 80 houses. The southern arm was added in the 1690s and rebuilt in 1793 after it was destroyed in a storm the previous year. It is thought that
mortar Mortar may refer to: * Mortar (weapon), an indirect-fire infantry weapon * Mortar (masonry), a material used to fill the gaps between blocks and bind them together * Mortar and pestle, a tool pair used to crush or grind * Mortar, Bihar, a village in ...
was used in the Cobb's construction for the first time in this rebuilding. It was reconstructed in 1820 using Portland Admiralty Roach, a type of Portland stone. After the
Great Storm of 1824The Great Storm of 1824 (or Great Gale) was a hurricane force wind and storm surge that affected the south coast of England from 22 November 1824. At Sidmouth, low-lying houses along the Esplanade were inundated, and cottages at the exposed west end ...
, Captain Sir Richard Spencer RN carried out pioneering lifeboat design work in Cobb harbour.


Lyme Regis Marine Aquarium

Open since the late 1950s, Lyme Regis Marine Aquarium occupies an early 18th-century stone building on the Cobb harbour wall. The aquarium showcases some of the abundant local sea life and offers insight into Lyme's rich maritime history. Visitors have opportunities to hand-feed a shoal of tame Thicklip grey mullet, stroke a lobster, and hold a starfish. Other exhibits include weaver fish, wrasse, blennys, sea mice and crustaceans, including hermit crab.


Other landmarks

Town Mill, a
watermill A watermill or water mill is a mill that uses hydropower Hydropower (from el, ὕδωρ, "water"), also known as water power, is the use of falling or fast-running water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, t ...

watermill
dating from 1340, has been restored to working order and produces flour. It is powered by water from the River Lym via a leat running along a
lynch Lynch may refer to: Places Australia * Lynch Island, South Orkney Islands, Antarctica * Lynch Point, Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica * Lynch's Crater, Queensland, Australia England * River Lynch, Hertfordshire * The Lynch, an island in the River Tham ...
. The ''
Domesday Book Domesday Book () – the Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. The English language underwent ...
'' records a mill at Lyme in 1086, so the site could be much older. Town Mill Brewery opened in part of the mill in March 2010. Near the Town Mill, on the site of an old chapel dedicated to St Mary and the Holy Spirits, is the "Lepers' Well". In medieval times "leper" was used as a general description of skin diseases, not necessarily leprosy. A hospital that stood on the site 700 years ago is commemorated by a plaque on the wall of the well. The well water still runs, but probably at a reduced rate. The land was left untouched for many years before it was landscaped as a visitors' garden in the 1970s. The frontage of the '' Three Cups Hotel'' in Broad Street dates from 1807. It is believed that
Jane Austen Jane Austen (; 16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry The landed gentry, or the ''gentry'', is a l ...

Jane Austen
stayed in Hiscott's Boarding House on the same site in 1804. Since then the hotel has accommodated
Alfred Lord Tennyson Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson (6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892) was a British poet. He was the Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, Poet Laureate during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular British poets ...
,
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet and educator whose works include "", ', and '. He was the first American to translate 's ' and was one of the from New England. Longfellow was born in , w ...

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
,
Hilaire Belloc Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (, ; 27 July 187016 July 1953) was an Franco-English writer and historian of the early twentieth century. Belloc was also an orator, poet, sailor, satirist This is an incomplete list of writers, cartoonists ...

Hilaire Belloc
, and J. R. R. Tolkien, who spent several holidays there. In 1944 General Eisenhower delivered an important briefing before
D-Day The Normandy landings were the landing operation Allied invasion of Sicily, 1943 A landing operation is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended fo ...

D-Day
to senior Allied officers in its first-floor lounge. It was used as a setting in the film ''The French Lieutenant's Woman'' in 1981. The owners, Palmers Brewery of Bridport, closed the hotel in May 1990 and put forward plans to demolish the significantly historic rear of the building and replace it with retail units, a restaurant, and visitor and private accommodation. The '' Royal Lion Hotel'' is a former coaching inn dating from the first decade of the 17th century. It is reputedly haunted; many alleged ectoplasms have been sighted in the corridors and cold spots.


Culture and media

The museum stands on the site of
Mary Anning Mary Anning (21 May 1799 – 9 March 1847) was an English fossil collector, dealer, and palaeontologist Paleontology, also spelled palaeontology or palæontology (), is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes ...

Mary Anning
's birthplace and family shop off Bridge Street, holding a collection of local memorabilia, historical items and exhibits to explain the local
geological Geology (from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek ...

geological
and
palaeontological Paleontology, also spelled palaeontology or palæontology (), is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes including, the start of the Holocene Epoch (roughly 11,700 years before present). It includes the study of Fossil, ...
treasures. It was formerly known as the Philpot Museum. Set into the pavement outside the museum is an example of
Coade stone Coade stone or ''Lithodipyra'' or ''Lithodipra'' (Ancient Greek (''λίθος''/''δίς''/''πυρά''), "stone fired twice") was stoneware Stoneware is a rather broad term for pottery or other ceramics fired at a relatively high temperature. ...
work, in the form of
ammonite *Belemnoidea of belemnoids. Belemnoids are an extinct group of marine cephalopod A cephalopod is any member of the mollusca Mollusca is the second-largest phylum of invertebrate animals after the Arthropoda. The members are known as mollu ...

ammonite
s, reflecting the palaeontology for which the town is famous. It commemorates
Eleanor Coade Eleanor Coade (3 June 1733 – 18 November 1821) was a British businesswoman known for manufacturing Neoclassical architecture, Neoclassical statues, architectural decorations and garden ornaments made of ''Lithodipyra'' or Coade stone for ov ...
, who had an 18th-century artificial stone factory in London and a seaside home, Belmont House, in the town. The Dinosaurland Fossil Museum is in the former church where Mary Anning was baptised. Thanksgiving Day has been held since Parliament decreed, at the end of the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, ...
, as a day of celebration and prayer in Lyme to mark its victory over the long siege of the town by Royalist forces. The celebration includes residents dressed in period costume to parade through the streets. Annual events include the Lyme Regis Carnival and Regatta, the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival (in conjunction with the London
Natural History Museum A natural history museum or museum of natural history is a scientific institution with natural history scientific collection, collections that include current and historical records of animals, plants, Fungus, fungi, ecosystems, geology, paleo ...

Natural History Museum
), and
Mary Anning Mary Anning (21 May 1799 – 9 March 1847) was an English fossil collector, dealer, and palaeontologist Paleontology, also spelled palaeontology or palæontology (), is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes ...

Mary Anning
Day. The traditional conger cuddling event takes place during Lifeboat Week. The carnival and regatta, organised by volunteers, take place over a week in August, as does the Lyme Regis Gig Club regatta. Bonfire night celebrations include a torchlight procession, a bonfire on the beach and a firework display. A Christmas Tree Festival has more than 30 trees decorated and displayed in Lyme Regis Baptist Church. An Easter bonnet parade takes place in the town on Easter Sunday. A May Day fête features stalls and entertainment from various groups in Lyme. Lyme Regis is the home of B Sharp, a music charity for young people. It runs music workshops, performances and training, and signposts progression routes beyond B Sharp. It also runs an annual Busking Festival open to all performing artists, now in May, and an open air "Big Mix" festival in July to present music-making by young people. The Marine Theatre, operated by the charity Lymearts Community Trust, stages a variety of live events. In 2012 graffiti artist Banksy stenciled an origami crane on a wall adjacent to the River Lym at the intersection of Mill and Coombe Streets.


Literature and films

The Cobb featured in
Jane Austen Jane Austen (; 16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry The landed gentry, or the ''gentry'', is a l ...

Jane Austen
's novel ''Persuasion'' (1818) and in the 1981 film The French Lieutenant's Woman (film), ''The French Lieutenant's Woman'', based on the 1969 The French Lieutenant's Woman, novel of the same name by
John Fowles John Robert Fowles (; 31 March 1926 – 5 November 2005) was an English novelist of international renown, critically positioned between modernism , Solomon Guggenheim Museum 1946–1959 Modernism is both a philosophy, philosophical movement a ...
. The poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Tennyson is said to have gone straight to the Cobb on arrival, saying, "Show me the exact spot where Louisa Musgrove fell!" The town was used in filming ''All Over the Town'' (1949), under the name "Tormouth". The town community is portrayed in disguise in ''The Earl's Granddaughter'' (1895) by Georgina Castle Smith, writing as Emma.Charlotte Mitchell: Smith, Georgina Castle... ''Oxford Dictionary of National Biography'' (Oxford, UK: OUP, 2004/2008
Retrieved 2 April 2018.
/ref> It also features in A. S. Byatt's Booker Prize-winning 1990 novel ''Possession (Byatt novel), Possession'' and the 2002 Possession (2002 film), film adapted from it. Lyme Regis is the setting for much of the historical novel ''Remarkable Creatures'' by Tracy Chevalier, of which fossil hunter
Mary Anning Mary Anning (21 May 1799 – 9 March 1847) was an English fossil collector, dealer, and palaeontologist Paleontology, also spelled palaeontology or palæontology (), is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes ...

Mary Anning
is a protagonist. Lyme Regis is the setting and filming location of a 2020 film ''Ammonite (film), Ammonite'', starring Kate Winslet as
Mary Anning Mary Anning (21 May 1799 – 9 March 1847) was an English fossil collector, dealer, and palaeontologist Paleontology, also spelled palaeontology or palæontology (), is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes ...

Mary Anning
alongside Saoirse Ronan and Fiona Shaw.


Sport

Lyme Regis Football Club, known as the Seasiders, was formed in 1885. Its three senior and five junior teams play at the Davey Fort Ground in Charmouth Road. The seniors play in the Devon and Exeter Football League and Perry Street and District League. In its 125th anniversary year, 2010, Tony Cottee (a former West Ham, Everton F.C., Everton and England striker) was made club patron.


Notable people

In birth order: *Admiral Sir George Somers (1554–1610), English naval officer, was knighted and appointed Admiral of the Virginia Company. *Bartholomew Westley (1596–1680), nonconformist preacher, was buried here. *Thomas Coram (c. 1688–1751) founded the Foundling Hospital in London. *
Mary Anning Mary Anning (21 May 1799 – 9 March 1847) was an English fossil collector, dealer, and palaeontologist Paleontology, also spelled palaeontology or palæontology (), is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes ...

Mary Anning
(1799–1847) was a pioneering fossil hunter on the Lyme Regis coast. *Abraham Hayward (1801–1884), writer and essayist, who brought a landmark case in the 1840s for residents to maintain a permanent right of way (public throughway), right of way across the cliffs to Axmouth and Seaton. *John Gould (1804–1881), an artist and ornithologist born in Lyme Regis, wrote and illustrated 18 books on birds. The Gould League is named after him. *Georgina Castle Smith (1845–1933), children's writer, died and was Lyme Regis Cemetery, buried here in 1933. *Percy Gilchrist (1851–1935), metallurgist born in Lyme Regis, was notable for his work on steel production. *Sir Eric Bertram Rowcroft (1881–1963), British Army major-general and founder of REME, retired to Lyme Regis and died there. *
John Fowles John Robert Fowles (; 31 March 1926 – 5 November 2005) was an English novelist of international renown, critically positioned between modernism , Solomon Guggenheim Museum 1946–1959 Modernism is both a philosophy, philosophical movement a ...
(1926–2005), author of ''
The French Lieutenant's Woman ''The French Lieutenant's Woman'' is a 1969 Postmodern literature, postmodern historical fiction novel by John Fowles. It was his third published novel, after ''The Collector'' (1963) and ''The Magus (novel), The Magus'' (1965). The novel expl ...
'' and other novels, lived in Lyme Regis from 1965 until his death and was curator of Lyme Regis Museum from 1978 to 1988. *Selima Hill (born 1945), award-winning poet *Ian Gillan (born 1945), lead singer of Deep Purple, lives in Lyme Regis


See also

*List of place names with royal patronage in the United Kingdom *East Devon Way *List of Dorset Beaches *List of fossil sites


References


External links

* *
Town council
(Southampton University) *
Lyme Regis Lifeboat
{{Authority control Lyme Regis, Seaside resorts in England Towns in Dorset Beaches of Dorset Geology of Dorset Populated coastal places in Dorset Jurassic Coast