Save The Three Cups Hotel

The Three Cups Hotel

Campaigning for preservation of the hotel where J.R.R. Tolkien stayed and gained inspiration for his mythology. Jane Austen, G.K. Chesterton, Tennyson and H.W. Longfellow were also guests. The hotel featured in the film, “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”. Please send articles to me, Andrew Townsend, at or add a comment. Thanks to David Moss for all his work. Comments are closed at WDDC for the plans to redevelop the site but you can still write to the papers.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Some mistake, surely

So West Dorset District Council has given permission for change of use and The Three Cups will cease to be a hotel. That's strange, I thought democratically elected councils were supposed to represent the will of the people who elected them (within the law, of course).

The council must have known that many people wanted to see the building re-opened AS A HOTEL to preserve its heritage and bring tourists to Lyme Regis because of the overwhelming votes for such an outcome at the public meetings held on 24/04/2009 and 05/06/2009. Click on the dates to read reports.

Since I officially objected to Palmers plans, I received notification from the council by email on 17th July. However, I read it first in The View From Lyme Regis. Click here and turn to page three to read the newspaper account.

There are quite a few things I would like to say about this report but I'll just pick up on the comments by the "Save the Three Cups as a Hotel" campaign group (of which I am not a member as I live so far away) who didn't seem too saddened that their primary objective had not been met. The article states "the group ... accepted that the brewery found this option ... unviable ...". I would remind readers of this blog that the basis of at least two objections to Palmers' plans was the need for the economic viability question to be settled independently. This is particularly important as the property at stake is of great historical and cultural interest and should be held in trust for the nation like Anne Hathaway's Cottage or Dove Cottage in Grasmere or at least be accessible for tourists to see the interiors as many great writers would have known them.

The votes at the public meetings referred to above indicate that a great many people wanted their elected representatives to take steps to ensure that The Three Cups HOTEL would be preserved as a national treasure for the public. The fact that they haven't done this seems to fall short of the aims of local democracy. In fact, it looks like oligarchy.

One final thought. Perhaps it was because I have recently been in Paris (where I visited Shakespeare and Co - another example of tourism built on literary heritage) that the phrase "faire tromper" came to mind for "to make a mistake". But perhaps I am mistaken. My schoolboy French is rather out of date. When I ran "faire tromper" though Google Translate, I got these results: "mislead", "deceive", "fudge" and "cheat". Surely, that can't be right. Perhaps, as Google suggests, it was just a case of "On a fait une erreur", if you will excuse the French.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Please Attend Planning Meeting on 9th July

The fate of The Three Cups Hotel is likely to be decided by West Dorset District Council on 9th July at a planning meeting in Dorchester.

I would appeal to all who would like to see this cultural gem preserved AS A HOTEL, and can attend the meeting, to do so in order that:

   - the elected officials of the council are held to account
   - a valid case is made for change of use
   - the council acts in the best interests of the electorate

Unfortunately, as I live in Manchester I will not be able to attend but I hope many residents of Lyme Regis will make the 25 mile journey to Dorchester to show their commitment.

The meeting will be held in THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, SOUTH WALKS HOUSE, SOUTH WALKS ROAD, DORCHESTER, DT1 1UZ commencing at 10:00.

Just as a final reminder of the potential of The Three Cups HOTEL to attract visitors to Lyme Regis, here is a link to the website of The Old Inn at Crawfordsburn in Northern Ireland.

I have had the pleasure of staying there a number of times and am always enchanted by the hotel's historical connections including the fact that C.S Lewis was a guest. I believe they also serve teas and coffees as the photograph below suggests.

J.R.R. Tolkien was a great friend of C.S. Lewis. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the admirers of Tolkien's works from around the world could have tea where he stayed in Lyme Regis at The Three Cups HOTEL.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Nouse from Otley

Perhaps Lyme Regis would be better off ruled from Yorkshire. Well, if the UK can be ruled from Brussels, why not? The idea came from the following article.

Click through to read the article. It seems that local authorities can act in favour of the people they represent after all. With a council like the one described here, The Three Cups HOTEL could have been re-opened for business years ago.

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

More Nouse from Samuel Smith of Tadcaster

I previously praised the "nouse" of Samuel Smith's Brewery in re-opening an historic public house in Chester. Click here to read.

I would also like to draw attention to Samuel Smith's policy of offering hotel accommodation in old charming buildings of great character. Click on this link to see examples.

The word "nouse" is difficult to translate from Yorkshire into English but, as a Lancastrian, I would suggest that "common sense and business acumen" is a close approximation to its meaning. As such, I would suggest that Samuel Smith's Brewery is displaying lots of nouse with the use of their buildings. May I suggest this approach of maintaining public houses and hotels as going concerns to the owners of The Three Cups.

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Sunday, January 04, 2015

Heritage, Character and a Warm Welcome

I would like to suggest 3 other critical success factors for a hotel apart from the proverbial location, location, location (which The Three Cups HOTEL certainly has). 

I recently had the pleasure of staying at the Rosely Country House Hotel in Arbroath for work. It was a while since I had been there and I was pleased to find that the hotel is thriving despite attempts from property developers to take it over for other purposes. It would seem that the owners' enthusiasm and the character of the building continue to attract patrons and visitors to Arbroath. This formula should be noted by West Dorset District Council in their current deliberations on the future of The Three Cups HOTEL.

Please note from their website that Rosely Country House Hotel is "popular with game hunting parties, golfers, walkers, cyclists" and not just those interested in luxury accommodation. 

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Against Oligarchy

In a democracy, government and laws are meant to protect ordinary people from rich property owners doing what they like when it will harm the prosperity of the many. If you wish to see this principle upheld, I would recommend that you write to West Dorset District Council to object to Palmers' plans to change the use of The Three Cups Hotel from that of a hotel by clicking here and here.

A hotel is what Lyme Regis needs and what the people of the area want which has been demonstrated at public meetings. See here and here.

Remember comments close on 3rd January!

It is interesting that the oligarchs involved in this case have chosen to use the Christmas period to reduce the likely number of objections as many people will be distracted by the festivities. This modus operandi seems familiar. It was used by international bankers who set up the Federal Reserve in the USA in 1913. They waited until 23rd December to get their act through when most of the Senators had gone home for Christmas.

Some Americans are only now waking up to the terrible consequences of letting the oligarchs take of the control of their money supply. Woodrow Wilson who was president at the time, later wrote,

"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of  credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most  completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a  Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."

To all the people of Lyme Regis, I would say don't let yourselves end up regretting the loss of The Three Cups AS A HOTEL.

A small group of dominant men should not be allowed to overrule the will of the people. President Wilson also wrote,

"Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it."

I would hope that the same cannot be said of West Dorset and the field of the hospitality business.

Going back to Palmers' application to change what lies behind the frontage of The Three Cups beyond all recognition and prevent public access, a lot will depend on the definition of "substantial demolition" and I believe that a figure of 45% is being talked about. Let's see what 45% demolition looked like in another case where financial oligarchs were allowed to do what they wanted with a building of great cultural value.

You may think that the link to the Parthenon is tenuous but the perpetrators of the above cultural vandalism were the Venetian oligarchs who transplanted their financial systems and funds to Old Amsterdam, thence to the City of London and ultimately to Wall Street. See "How the Venetian System Was Transplanted into England". For more against oligarchy, see Dr W G Tarpley's Essays and Speeches 1970-1996.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Lose - Lose - Lose - Lose - Lose

I don't agree that turning The Three Cups Hotel into shops and rented accommodation is a win-win situation for those who have campaigned for the building to be open to the public again such as the former Save The Three Cups Hotel Campaign.

I see it as a Lose - Lose - Lose - Lose - Lose situation because:

1) Lyme Regis loses a hotel
2) English Heritage loses interiors
3) Literary fans lose public spaces which attracted great writers
4) Dorset loses a tourist attraction
5) The English speaking world loses cultural heritage

May I suggest that anyone who would still like to see the building re-opened as a hotel, should register their complaints by going to the West Dorset Council website at

and click on the "Make a comment" button. For advice on commenting, go to

and click on the link for

Please read the planning application procedure document before commenting on an application (pdf, 407kb)

Please note that comments close on 3rd January 2015.

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