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.

Friday, August 21, 2009

New Campaign Website

The Save The Three Cups Hotel Campaign have launched their own website at

I recommend that you visit their site and look at all the pages. There is more information there than I have been able to gather from 200 miles away.

I think the photographs of the interior are fascinating. Doesn't that one of the staircase make you want to get some furniture polish out and make that woodwork shine again as it would have done when Maria Garrod was the proprietor and Tolkien was a guest?

Please come back to this blog if you wish to add a comment to any of the postings here.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Diversifying into cultural tourism?

According to an article in the Bridport News, Palmers Brewery, the owners of The Three Cups, are thinking of re-opening it as a hotel.

To maximise the potential of this famous historical building would require diversification from selling beer into cultural tourism and selling hotel accommodation on historical associations. Both these subjects have been covered many times on this blog and I hope the resources here will be of benefit. In particular, I would draw attention to the various literary societies for authors such as Tolkien, Tennyson, Longfellow, Austen and Chesterton. Students of Whistler and Turner would be interested that they stayed in Lyme Regis and although I have not read that they stayed at The Cups, it would been somewhere they would have visited as it was such a popular destination in their time. And could be again now!

One important source of business for hotels in Lyme Regis which I haven't covered is accommodation for geology field trips or fossil festivals. The Lyme Regis Development Trust are the experts in this area.

The potential is there but it requires a special marketing approach and an understanding of the buyers' needs and aspirations. Just as it seems to be accepted that a new restaurant requires a celebrity chef who loves good food to be successful, The Three Cups needs owners and management who know and love the literature and the history associated with it to make it a must visit destination for tourists from around the world.

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What sort of plans?

A report in the Bridport News says that Palmers have appointed Archial Architects to draw up plans for redeveloping "The Cups".

I've had a quick look at Archial’s website and I saw words like:

large multi-million pound HQ Buildings
speculative projects
owner occupied schemes
purpose built premises
high technology research offices and laboratories

I was hoping to see words like


But presumably the planning authorities will act in the interests of the community to ensure that The Three Cups will be restored in the interests of the people of Lyme Regis and the English speaking world as an historical monument of great cultural importance and AS A HOTEL where tourists can come and stay.

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Enid Blyton and Burton Bradstock

Literary connections and old fashioned holidays seem to be accepted as a commercially viable concept in Burton Bradstock. Just think how much more successful that combination would be in Lyme Regis with its many associations with famous writers and film stars. Click on "Read the full post" for links to stories from the Bridport News.

Thumbs up for West Dorset's Famous Five hotel PLANS to build a multi-million pound cliff top hotel at Burton Bradstock have been given the go-ahead by councillors.

Famous Five hotel in West Dorset would bring a major boost to local economy MULTI-MILLION-pound plans for a clifftop hotel at Burton Bradstock are expected to get the thumbs-up today – bringing dozens of new jobs and a massive boost for the local economy.

Of course, the big difference between the plans described on the linked articles and The Three Cups is that without the original fabric of the building, it will be impossible to capture the atmosphere of the place where famous writers stayed and thought and wrote and drew and where famous actors performed.

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