Book exploring Lyme’s architecture launched at museum

Members of the Lyme Regis Society pictured with the Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Michaela Ellis, and her consort Alan, and museum director David Tucker

THE Lyme Regis Society officially launched the latest in its series of ‘Historic Houses’ book this week, with a well-attended reception at Lyme Regis Museum.

The launch was held on Thursday evening in the museum’s new Fine Foundation Learning Centre, offering spectacular views across Lyme Bay.

Museum director David Tucker welcomed guests, including the Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Michaela Ellis, and her consort Alan Ellis.

Peter Coe, chairman of the Lyme Regis Society, then invited two of the authors of ‘Historic Houses Part 4’ to speak.

Keith Shaw said that volunteering in the museum had ignited his interest in the historic buildings in Lyme Regis and how following a trail of information had become a compelling hobby.

Keith’s article on Captain Henry Waring, his family and their home South Cliff traces the history of the house and its owners. He has also written about Coolrus, described as a fine example of a ‘Caddy’ house – Arts & Crafts style houses that were built all over Lyme Regis by the Caddy family of builders early in the 20th century.

An article by Audrey Standhaft on Fairfield House tracks the history of the elegant Charmouth Road building, originally owned by John Hill, a retired Russian merchant, and more recently as it became a children’s home in the 1960s and a care home in 1986.

‘Historic Houses Part 4’ features a range of articles on local buildings with fascinating illustrations of maps, diagrams and early photographs.  Many buildings and places have changed little over the years and can still be spotted as you walk around the town.

The book is available at many local shops, including Amid Idols and Giants, The Alexandra Hotel, The Black Dog, The Slipway, Felicity’s Farm Shop, Lyme Regis Museum, The Mariners Hotel, Serendip and Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre.

The Lyme Regis Society works with local councils and other organisations on projects to enhance the beauty and architectural integrity of Lyme Regis and the local surroundings. It also hosts informative and entertaining talks about Lyme Regis’ history, architecture and people.

Anyone interested in joining should email Vicki Dixon on, complete the online form at or go along to the next meeting at the Woodmead Halls, starting 2.30pm on Tuesday, September 25  when there will be a talk on entitled History of Lyme Museum: Origins and Opportunities’ by Max Hebditch CBE, honorary curator.

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