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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Palmers in Court over Access Dispute

Palmers contribution to the economic well being of Lyme Regis has been in the spotlight at Taunton County Court this week according to the front page story in the View From Lyme Regis. To read this on-line, click on this link and then select the Lyme Regis edition.

Having read the article, it seems that not only are Palmers damaging the economy of Lyme Regis by standing in the way of its most famous hotel re-opening, they are also preventing others from making a decent living from providing desperately needed tourist accommodation. The words "dog" and "manger" come to mind.

As stated at the head of this blog, I am interested in seeing The Three Cups re-opened for the sake of Tolkien fans and scholars from around the world, many of whom I am sure would want to travel to Lyme Regis and stay in the hotel where the great man spent so many holidays. As such, I would like to refer readers to an article on the Tolkien Society website entitled "Calling all tourists to 'Middle-earth'". This describes the work of a PhD student from the Geography Department at Durham University who studyied the tourist potential of locations in New Zealand which were used for making the films of The Lord of The Rings. I think someone should look into the market potential of The Three Cups and Lyme Regis for Tolkien Tourism which ought to be much higher than in the Antipodes, given that Tollers actually lived and worked in England and was obviously inspired by Dorset.

I happen to know that this week the Durham University Geography Department is running a field course examining the economy of Glasgow. Now, there is a community which knows how to build on its cultural heritage be it the architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Greek Thomson or Billie Connolly's Banana Boots. Glasgow also has a very entrepreneurial motto for their city council: "Let Glasgow Flourish". Sadly, Lyme Regis Town Council does not seem to have a motto. "Let Lyme Regis Flourish" would be a good one but Palmers might object!

Page six of the same edition of View From Lyme Regis reports on a Town Council meeting at which the fate of The Three Cups was discussed. There didn't seem to be much enthusiasm to let Lyme Regis flourish there either. May I remind the town councillors that West Dorset District Council has the power to purchase The Three Cups compulsorily and sell it on at a profit to one of the many hoteliers who wish to re-open it. It is up to them to make sure that WDDC does this in the interests of the people who elected them. They may think it is out of order for a blogger who lives in Manchester to say such things but, as someone who enjoys the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, The Three Cups is part of my heritage as well. I would add that I am sure of the grounds for compulsory purchase because I took the trouble to attend two of the protest meetings where the legal situation was explained, which is more than can be said for some of Lyme Regis Town Council.


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