About the Museum
“A remarkable museum, a gem”, Sir David Attenborough.
Built on the site of Mary Anning’s home, Lyme Regis Museum stands in the heart of the town, just where the beautiful coastlines of Dorset and Devon meet on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. The sea views from the museum’s new Mary Anning Wing are stunning, and the extra space has provided all the facilities you’d expect in a modern museum including the purpose-built Fine Foundation Learning Centre – the perfect space for families and schools.
The building has great idiosyncratic charm. Built in 1902, it was commissioned by Thomas Philpot, a relative of fossil hunter Elizabeth Philpot who had worked with Mary Anning. The architect was George Vialls, who also designed the Town Hall next door.
Following a chequered history, by 1991 the building was badly in need of repair. Largely thanks to a team of committed volunteers, a major refurbishment of the building and displays was carried out in the late 1990s. This has been followed by the construction of the Mary Anning Wing in 2017, with its new geology gallery and Learning Centre.
The museum is a charity, operated and governed by Lyme Regis Museum Trust. It is run by a Director and a small staff team, supported by a fantastic group of volunteers, including a Front of House team, Gallery Guides, a Local History Research team and a Curatorial team. The museum is fully accredited with Arts Council England.
Bridget Houseago, Director
Chris Andrew, Learning Officer
Dr Paul Davis, Geology Curator
Paula Silverthorne Visitor Services Officer
Susan Jones Visitor Services Officer
Samantha Fowler Visitor Services Officer
Richard Bull Hon Curator
Barbara Bull Hon Curator
Graham Davies Hon Research Team Leader
The museum is packed with interesting and thought-provoking displays. Our collections are unusually rich for a small museum and we have a lot of good stories to tell. Lyme’s lively local history is well represented by its spectacular fossil collections, maritime and domestic objects, and illustrated by paintings, prints and photographs. The area is noted for its fossils, displayed in our geological galleries, and the town’s literary connections, from Jane Austen and John Fowles to Tracy Chevalier, are illustrated in the Writers’ Gallery.
Sir Ghillean Prance FRS, Sir Crispin Tickell GCMG KCVO, Professor Richard Lane OBE and Max Hebditch CBE