Tour of the Museum

Go on a virtual tour of Lyme Regis Museum, taking you step by step through the science, arts and landscape of this fascinating town on Dorset’s historic Jurassic Coast.

See a “gigapan” picture of the Museum and zoom in to the smallest details. (Link to external web-site)

Entering the Museum

The museum is entered through the shop where there is a warm welcome for everyone. Then walk through the glass gallery overlooking the sea and the Cobb into the museum itself.
A warm welcome at the desk from staff and volunteers The children’s area of the museum shop

First Room, Ground Floor

View of the Tudor table which dates from around 1550 and wooden tracery from the 14th century chapel formerly on the nearby Buddle BridgeThe first room on the ground floor tells the story of Early Lyme Regis, with objects from the Bronze Age, Roman and Medieval times. There are displays on the Monmouth Rebellion and the Siege of Lyme and a model of the early, wooden Cobb. A superb carved bedhead from the bed slept in by the Duke of Monmouth is on the wall in this room.

The head of the bed that the Duke of Monmouth slept in when he landed at Lyme on June 11th 1685

Second Room, Ground Floor

In the second room on the ground floor are displays that tell the story of Lyme’s history as a port, the development of the Cobb, shipwrecks, fishing and summer holidays. Our winter local history exhibitions and regular talks are also held in this room.

Second ground floor room Display in the second ground floor room


The stairwell of the museum has a real ‘wow’ factor. It’s a beautiful spiral, echoing the form of the local ammonite fossils. At the foot of the staircase are some decorative examples of Coadestone, an artificial ‘stone’ developed by local businesswoman Eleanor Coade. And on the staircase are paintings of people associated with Lyme and a stone niche containing an imposing large ammonite.

Stairs from ground floor Ammonite Paraconiceras charlesi form the Lower Lias Lyme Regis, 190 million years old

First Floor Landing

Hanging in the centre of the stairwell is the magnificent old town bell which dates back to the 17th century. On the first floor landing there is information about the wonderful glass engraver Laurence Whistler and the perhaps more famous artist James McNeil Whistler.

First floor landing with bell

Geology Gallery

The geology gallery on the first floor contains a superb selection of fossils along with information about Mary Anning and other key personalities in the history of geology and palaeontology.

Gigapan panorama of the Geology Gallery (link to external website)

View of the geology gallery with Kevin the Ichthyosaur A display of Anning family tools, drawings and fossil finds

Landslip and Literary Galleries

The landslip gallery tells the story of the great landslip of Christmas 1839 with contemporary illustrations and a scale model. Passing through a display on the Undercliff, you enter the literary gallery.

In the literary gallery you will find displays on a wide range of writers who lived in or visited the town including Jane Austen, G. K. Chesterton, and John Fowles.

Landslip and literary galleries

Second Floor

ew into the rotunda galleryClimbing the green iron staircase or the tiny stone spiral staircase to the second floor you will find the Rotunda, which sits above the main staircase. This is used for temporary exhibitions and from here you can look down to the ground floor. The adjacent balcony gallery has local history displays about World War II and the long -departed railway. There are also cases containing an eclectic mix of items from lace patterns to miniature toy food and butterflies.

View from the spiral staircase towards the Guildhall Lace-making and domestic items Tiny toy food and the golden key used by the lord Bishop of Salisbury at the opening of the new school in 1892 Display including dolls dressed in the costumes of children from Thomas Coram’s Foundling Hospital, as worn in 1739 and tiny beads and pearls from the late 18th century Lyme Regis railway display

Further Information about Lyme Regis Museum