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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