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There were very early settlements near  Lyme Regis. This article will tell you about them.

by Max Hebditch after Jo Draper 

© On loan from Dorset County Museum which retains copyright and from where permission to publish must be obtained. 

The Sea and the CobbThe fortunes of the small coastal town of Lyme Regis have always been closely bound up with the sea. For seven centuries trade has flourished and faded through its port, protected by the great wall of the Cobb. Fishing, smuggling, storms and shipwrecks have left their relics. For the past two hundred years the town has earned its living as a tourist resort,and is now part of the Jurassic Coast Word Heritage Site.

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)

Seal matrix - reversed image

In 2010 Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, presented a series on BBC Radio 4 entitled The History of the World in a Hundred Objects, based on material in the British Museum’s collection. Lyme Regis Museum complemented the programmes with a series of talks:...


Bindon LandslipConybeare and Dawson's Memoir and Views of Landslips on the Coast of East Devon &c. 1840

Mary AnningMary Anning (1799–1847). Mary Anning was a self-educated, working class woman from Lyme Regis and the greatest fossil hunter ever known. Each autumn the Museum has a celebration of Mary Anning.Look at our events information for more details.

Lymiad - OrianaA unique book only available from Lyme Regis museum
“A poem in the form of Letters from Lyme to a friend at Bath written during the autumn of 1818”

John FowlesJohn Fowles, writer, curator, collector. In 1978 when the writer John Fowles became curator of Lyme Regis museum, its fortunes started to change.

Jane Austen doll and fanJane Austen (1775 - 1817) was one of Lyme Regis's most famous and best-loved visitors. Her great novel, Persuasion, published in 1818, is in part set in Lyme, making the Dorset town a centre of literary pilgrimage ever since.

JRR TolkienLyme Regis has long been a magnet for artists and writers.  Many came to this picturesque Dorset town for holidays and were inspired by the character of the town and its environment.  Others came here for health reasons.  Some came as children and returned in adulthood.

AmmoniteHere be dinosaurs! The geology gallery of Lyme Regis Museum contains a wealth of fossils and tells of the early pioneering palaeontologists who worked at this Dorset town on what is now the Jurassic Coast World  Heritage Site. You can also learn about the great landslip of 1839 and link to all our fossil-related resources.

In 2009 Tracy Chevalier published her novel Remarkable Creatures about Lyme Regis's famous fossil-hunter Mary Anning and her friendship with Elizabeth Philpot.

Thomas CoramThomas Coram, Philanthropist
Founder of the Foundlings Hospital


View of Stonebarrow landslipThe rocks of Lyme Regis and the adjacent stretches of Dorset coast represent layers from the oldest part of the Jurassic period, which were laid down at the bottom of a deep sea from 200 to 195 million years ago and are now rich in fossils.

John Gould John Gould FRS, a famous son of Lyme who became a leading ornithologist and influenced Charles Darwin's great theory


PostcardLyme Regis Museum holds a large archive of thousands of photographs and postcards pertaining to this historic town on the Dorset coast.

William BucklandLyme Regis in Dorset has connections with an unusually rich array of distinguished personalities. Some were born here, some came for a visit, some came to stay.

Civil War and RebellionOn two occasions in the 17th century the Dorset coastal town of Lyme Regis sprang into national prominence.