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, February 13, 2013

What would Thomas Hollis have thought?

Thomas Hollis invested in Lyme Regis during the eighteenth century to develop tourism as well as supporting democracy in New England. What would he have thought of the sorry state of affairs concerning the continued closure of The Three Cups Hotel? Click on this link to see my letter to The View From Lyme Regis on page 20 under the heading of "Three Cups Debate: why doesn't district act in interests of locals?" or click through to read the text of my letter.

Dear Sir

Following your article in the View From Lyme Regis of 31 January on the Three Cups Hotel, I would like to say that, having campaigned via my blog ( for eight years to see the building re-open as a hotel, I am disappointed in the lack of support from West Dorset District Council for the people and businesses of Lyme Regis. The Three Cups has a huge potential to attract tourists and money to the town, even more so as the popularity of its famous guests like Tolkien and Chesterton increases.

Why won’t WDDC act in the interests of the people they represent and stop the proposals to demolish all but the facade? Why are Palmers allowed to claim via their agents that “it would not work financially as a hotel” when they only used the worst (posh end) case? What about sensitivity analysis and scenario planning? Why don’t they take a look at some of the budget hotels springing up in the current economic climate and see how they could work for the economic well-being of the area?

The historic interiors of The Three Cups need to be preserved as well as the frontage. What could be more desirable for literary fans from around the world than to enjoy the hospitality of the hotel where Tolkien, Tennyson and Chesterton stayed in the very rooms where they stayed, ate, drank, laughed and gained inspiration?

We should also remember Thomas Hollis (1720 – 1774) and his connection with The Three Cups. Considering his investment in Lyme Regis for tourism and the cause of democracy at Harvard College, I think he would be spinning in his grave if he knew that the hotel has been left empty for 23 years. And it would be a great loss for “we, the people” if the building were allowed to collapse!

Yours faithfully

Andrew Townsend


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