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.
First Room, Ground Floor
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Climbing 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.