The branch line of the Great Western from Maiden Newton makes a wide detour northwards to reach Bridport, passing through a very charming and unspoilt countryside where old "Do'set" ways still hold out against that drab uniformity that seems to be creeping over rustic England. In this out-of-the-way region are small old stone-built villages lying forgotten between the folds of the hills and rejoicing in names that makes one want to visit them if only for the sake of their quaint nomenclature.

The first station is laconically called Toller. It serves the two villages Toller Fratrum and Toller Porcorum. The Toller of the Brothers is charmingly situated on the side of a low hill. It once belonged to the Knights of St. John, whence its name. The Early English church has an old font sculptured with the heads of what may be saints, a possible relic of Saxon times; some antiquaries have declared the work to be British of the later days of the Roman occupation. In the church wall is a curious tablet representing Mary Magdalene wiping our Lord's feet. The manor house was built by Sir James Fulford, the great opponent of the Puritans. It is a delightful house in an equally delightful situation and the beautiful tints of the old walls will be admired as well as the admirable setting of the mansion.

Toller of the Pigs may only mean the place where hogs were kept in herds. The village is of little interest and has not the fine site of the other. In the church is a font that is supposed to have once served as a Roman altar.

Over the hills to the south-east is the little village of Wynford Eagle, so called from the fact that it once belonged to that powerful Norman family, the de Aquila, who held Pevensey Castle in Sussex after the Conquest. The church is an exceedingly poor erection of 1842, but preserves a Norman tympanum from the former building. The carving represents two griffins or wyverns facing each other in an attitude of defiance. Wynford Manor House is a beautiful building of the early seventeenth century. Under the stone eagle that surmounts the centre gable is the date 1630. This was the home of the great Thomas Sydenham, the founder of modern medicine. He was wounded while serving in the army of the Parliament at the battle of Worcester and, probably in consequence of the ill success that followed the bungling treatment he received, determined to practise himself and adopt rational methods for the treatment of disease and injury. He died in London in 1689, aged 65, and lies in the churchyard of St. James', Piccadilly.

Three miles or more to the north of Toller are the villages of Wraxall and Rampisham (pronounced "Ramsom"). The former has near it two interesting old houses - the Elizabethan manor of Wraxall and an old farmhouse that was a manor in the reign of King John, though the present building was not erected until 1620. Rampisham is in a lovely situation at the bottom of a wooded and watered dingle. Here is another picturesque old mansion and an interesting stone cross in the churchyard with a platform for open-air preaching. The base of the cross is carved with representations of the martyrdoms of St. Stephen, St. Edmund and St. Thomas a Becket, though they are so worn that one must accept the identification on trust. Another carving is of St. Peter and the cock, with figures of monks, knights and fools. Within the church are some brasses worthy of inspection.

Hidden away among the hills of Western Dorset is Beaminster, a little town so placed that it may be visited from several different railway stations without much to choose in mileage or roads; possibly Crewkerne on the main line of the South Western Railway is that most used. It is about six miles from Toller, Bridport and Crewkerne, and therefore as quiet as one would expect it to be. But "Bemmister" is not by any means a dead town and is, for all its want of direct railway transport, of some importance as the centre of a rich dairy country. The situation at the bottom of a wooded amphitheatre is delightful: -

  "Sweet Be'mi'ster that bist abound 
  By green and woody hills all round, 
  Wi' hedges reachen up between 
  A thousan' vields o' zummer green 
  Where clems lofty heads do show 
  Their sheades vor hay-meakers below 
  An' wild hedge-flowers do charm the souls 
  O' maidens in their evenin' strolls."


The Perpendicular church has a remarkably handsome tower of yellow-brown stone with sculptured figures showing the chief events in the life of our Lord. Part of the interior is Early English. Monuments of the Strodes, a great local family, will be noticed, and also some good stained glass. The church, and the old "Mort House" attached to it, were fortunately spared in the several disasters by fire that, as in Dorchester, have removed almost everything ancient. The present smart and modern appearance of the main street is the consequence of the last conflagration in 1781, though this was not so serious as two others in the seventeenth century. The first of these started during the fighting between the forces of King and Parliament.

Charles II stayed at the "George" in his groom's disguise during the flight after Worcester. This inn was rebuilt during the last century. About a quarter of a mile out of the town to the south-west is the Tudor Manor of the Strodes, standing in Parnham Park. Certain portions of the house are older than the sixteenth century, and a window bears the name and date "John Strode 1449." Mapperton House is another fine old mansion. It stands two miles to the southeast in a secluded dingle lined with closely-growing trees and the beautiful colour of the early sixteenth-century stone building is a delightful contrast to the greenery around. The finely designed entrance gateway is surmounted by two eagles in the act of rising from the posts. The old house forms two sides of a picturesque quadrangle, Mapperton church being on the third.

Three miles north-westwards of Beaminster is Broadwindsor, amidst scenery pleasant enough from the farmers' point of view, for these are "fat lands," but more tame than that seen between Toller and the former town. Not far away, however, are the finely-shaped summits of Pilsdon Pen and Lewsdon Hill, nearly of the same height and remarkable alike from certain aspects. "Pilsdon Pen," says an old writer, "is no less than 909 feet above the sea, and therefore 91 feet short of being a mountain!" Who gave the 1,000 feet contour line that arbitrary nomenclature is unknown. Usually in Britain double that height is taken as the limit, but it is perhaps more fair to allow each countryside its own standard. Pilsdon is much more imposing than some of the "lumps" that are double its altitude on the table-land of central Wales, where the bed of the Upper Wye is not many feet below the height of the "Pen." That, by the way, is a Celtic suffix; it would be interesting to know if the word has continued in constant use since British times.

The chief claim to fame on the part of Broadwindsor is that the famous Thomas Fuller, witty writer and wise divine, was its royalist parson and that he preached from the old Jacobean pulpit in the parish church. This building has been well restored by the son of a former vicar. The usual Perpendicular tower surmounts a medley of Norman and Early English in the body of the church.

But this is a long way from the Tollers, and the road must now be taken by Mapperton, back to the train that provokingly burrows through cuttings, with an occasional flying glimpse of lovely wooded dell and tree-crowned hill, on the way to Powerstock or, according to Dorset - " Poor stock."

The well-restored church here is interesting. There is a very early Norman arch in the chancel with beautifully sculptured pillars and capitals. Upon the hill top above the village is the site of Powerstock Castle that was built within the ramparts of an ancient earthwork by King Athelstan. A short distance to the south-east is Eggardon Hill (820 feet) with a great series of entrenchments upon its summit which deserve to rank with those of Maiden Castle and Old Sarum. The fortifications have a strong resemblance, on a smaller scale, to the first-named stronghold.

Our present goal - Bridport - is one of those pleasant old English towns, cheerful and bright, and to outward seeming entirely prosperous, which make the average Londoner who has to earn his living long for the chance to try his fortune there. For the traveller on his first visit a great surprise is in store; with a name such as this one pictures in advance a place of quays on a sluggish river, fairly wide and very muddy, opening to the sea, with the conventional loungers, tarry and fishy scents and a fringe of lodging houses. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Here is no evidence of the sea at all, and although West Bay, the real "quay" of Bridport, is less than two miles from the High Street, the town seems to be surrounded by hills and to be solely concerned with the neighbouring farmers and their interests. The only direct relation with marine affairs is the important manufacture of fishing nets and "lines" for which Bridport has been noted for many years. To say "he was stabbed with a Bridport Dagger" was a polite way of breaking the news that your acquaintance had been hung! Leland was quite deceived by this old joke, probably ancient in his time - the sixteenth century, and refers to the dagger industry in perfect good faith. The arms of the town are three spinning hooks behind a castle; this proves that the industry is no modern one and until lately hemp was one of the staple products of the country immediately around.

Ten pounds only were spent on the defences during the Civil War and the inhabitants seem to have made as half-hearted an attempt in opposing the Royalist besiegers as in the preliminaries of warfare. Charles II arrived here in his flight towards Sussex and rested at the George Inn, but the identity of this hostelry seems in doubt. There is a "George" at West Bay that claims the honour of sheltering Charles. The one in High Street has been pulled down save a small portion incorporated in a chemist's shop. When leaving, the party of fugitive Royalists turned northwards down Lee Lane, their pursuers continuing along the Dorchester road. A memorial stone by the wayside records the escape of the King, who was in his groom's dress with Mrs. Coningsby riding pillion behind.

A skirmish in which the Duke of Monmouth's officers, with the exception of Colonel Wade, emerged with but small credit to themselves took place on the morning of June 14, 1685. After marching through the night from Lyme the unfortunate yokels who made up the Duke's "army" displayed much coolness and bravery in the fight recorded on a memorial in the church to "Edward Coker Gent, second son of Robert Coker of Mapowder, Slayne at the Bull Inn at Bridpurt, June the 14th An. Do. 1685, by one Venner, who was a Officer under the late Duke of Monmouth in that Rebellion."

Bridport is first known to history in the year preceding the Conquest when it had a priory (St. Leonard's) and a mint. These have entirely disappeared and almost all the medieval structures except the church - a good Perpendicular building with Early English transepts. The only monument of interest, except that of Edward Coker, is a cross-legged effigy of one of the de Chideocks in the north transept. The handsome pulpit and reredos are modern. An old house in South Street called "Dungeness" was contemporary with the Priory, and near by is a fine old Tudor house, once the Castle Inn, but now used as a club.

The picturesque Town Hall with its clock turret is the best known feature of Bridport and lends quite a distinctive air to the broad High Street which has the vista of its west end filled by the cone-shaped Colmers Hill. South Street leads to West Bay, at the mouth of the diminutive Bride or Brit. The little town of late, mainly through the exertions of the Great Western Railway, has made an attempt to transform itself into a watering place. The coast is attractive and possibly at some future date the railway and the local landowner will have their way, but at present West Bay is in a state of transition. Many who knew the primitive aspect of the tiny port before the paved front and its shelters came to keep company with the hideous row of lodging houses that stand parallel with the Bride, will deplore the change, or hope for the time when that change will be complete and nothing is left to remind them of the lost picturesqueness of Bridport Quay.

Burton Cliff is the name of the odd rounded hill on the east that has been cut neatly in half by the slow wearing of the waves. On the other side of it is Burton Bradstock, nearly two miles from West Bay station. This place is unremarkable in itself but must be mentioned for its beautiful and picturesque situation. It has been found by the holiday-maker, and houses of the red brick villa type are likely to increase in number unless the local builder can be prevailed upon to use local material. The restored cruciform church, Perpendicular in style, has a modern addition in its clock, a relic of the old building of Christ's Hospital in the City of London.

Away to the north beyond the small village of Skipton Gorge, is Skipton Beacon, a hill with a striking and imposing outline. Equally fine, though on a much smaller scale, is Puncknoll, away to the east of Swyre. The hill or knoll is usually called Puncknoll Knob by the country people and, very absurdly, Puncknoll Knoll by some of the guide books. It commands a perfectly gorgeous view of the sea and shore as far as Abbotsbury and over West Bay to the hills around Lyme. The village that takes its name from the hill is behind it to the north. In the small church is an old Norman font covered with carvings of interlaced ropes and heads; also some memorials of a local family, the Napiers, one of which is a refreshing change in regard to its inscription, which runs:


  SR. R.N. (Robert Napier).

Behind the church is a beautiful old manor house, and the village has some delightful examples of the unspoilt and typical thatched stone cottage of Dorset.

A lane to the north leads down to the valley of the Bride and the direct road back to West Bay. A mile to the east is Litton Cheyney and, a mile farther, Long Bredy up among the hills where the Bride rises. Turning west from the lane end, the road descends the valley toward the sea amid beautiful surroundings, and reaches Burton Bradstock in a short three miles.

Bradpole village is a mile north of Bridport Town station. The rebuilt church is hardly worth the short journey, but mention must be made of the monument in the churchyard wall to W.E. Forster, who was born in a cottage not far away. Another tablet commemorates the flight of Charles II through the village. Loders, a mile farther, and Uploders, a continuation on the other side of the Dorchester railway, are worth a visit. The former was once the seat of a Benedictine priory founded in the reign of Henry I. The church has a hagioscope and a square Norman font. A doorway and window of this period in the chancel were uncovered during restorations. The winding stairway to the chamber over the porch will be noticed and a representation of the Crucifixion on the lower stage of the tower.

The road from Bridport to Lyme Regis has been described as the best and the worst in the south of England. For the occupant of a touring car the way is a succession of changing views as charming as they are varied. For a loaded horse the eight and a half miles of switchback must be a long-drawn-out agony in which the descent of the last hill into Lyme is worse than the terrible pull to its summit. The writer knows this road only from the point of view - and pace - of the pedestrian, and he knows of few more lovely or more tiring. Fanny Burney described the drive as "the most beautiful to which my wandering feet have sent me; diversified with all that can compose luxuriant scenery, and with just as much approach to the sublime as is in the province of unterrific beauty." The long ascent of "Chiddick" Hill commences soon after leaving the mill pool just outside Bridport. To the right, a turning leads to Symondsbury, where there is an old cruciform church with a central tower and, in the chancel, the tomb of Bishop Gulston, uncle of Addison. Away to the left and near the sea is Eype in a delightful combe that ends in the sea at Eype Mouth. On Eype Down is an ancient earthwork of much interest to archaeologists. It was from this hill that Powell, the aeronaut, was blown out to sea in a balloon nearly forty years ago.

After a long wind round the side of Chideock Hill the high road descends towards the village of that name. A stile on the left gives access to a footpath to the "Seatown" of Chideock. The pedestrian should enter the meadow to rest and admire the perfect view down the V-shaped combe to the sea. Away to the left Thurncombe Beacon lifts its dark summit. The answering height to the right is lordly Golden Cap. Its well-named crown is more than 600 feet above the waves that dash against Wear Cliffs below.

Chideock is a clean pleasant street of houses most of whose occupants let lodgings or cater for the passing traveller in one way or another. The Perpendicular church was restored in a rather drastic manner about forty years ago; this brought to light a crude wall painting. At the east end of the south aisle will be seen a black marble effigy of a knight in plate armour. This is Sir John Arundell, an ancestor of the Lords Arundell of Wardour in Wiltshire. The de Chideocks were the original owners of the countryside and in a field beyond the church to the north-east is the moat which once surrounded their castle, dismantled soon after the close of the Civil War as a punishment for the annoyance it caused the army of the Parliament in interfering with the communications of Lyme. It changed hands several times during the war, but while held by the Royalists it seriously compromised their opponents on the west.

The Manor House is a seat of the Welds, a Roman Catholic family. In the grounds of the manor is a very ornate church belonging to that communion and a cemetery that has an interesting chapel, the walls of which are covered with paintings.

The scenery is now becoming Devonian in character, of the softly pleasant aspect of the south, lines of hill occasionally rising into picturesque hummocky outline; wide troughed valleys richly timbered, with mellow old farmhouses here and there about their slopes, connected by deep narrow flowery lanes extraordinarily erratic in direction, or want of it. The cider country is still far off, however; for Dorset, though the soil and climate are well suited to it, has not yet looked upon the culture of the apple as an important item in farming, and orchards of any sort are few and small in size.

The Lyme road climbs up from Chideock round the steep face of Langdon Hill and reaches its summit level, over 400 feet, about a mile out of the village. In front, to the right, is Hardown Hill and to the left, Chardown. Out of sight for the present, but soon to come into view again, is Golden Cap which may be reached by one of the roundabout lanes going seawards, with a short stiff climb at the last. The view from the summit is as glorious as it is wide. In clear weather the extremities of the great bay - Portland Bill and Start Point - can be seen, and most of the beautiful coast between them. Passing between Hardown and Chardown the road drops to Morecombelake, an uninteresting village in a charming situation. The lane to the right goes down to Whitchurch Canonicorum in Marshwood Vale. Here is the interesting church of St. Wita (or St. Candida), Virgin and Martyr. The chancel, part of the nave and south door are Transitional, about 1175, the transepts being built about twenty-five and the tower two hundred years later. The chief interest in the church is the so-called shrine of St. Candida opened twenty years ago during repairs to the church wall. Within a stone coffin was found a leaden casket containing a number of bones declared to be those of a small sized female. Upon one side of the box was the following inscription:

  Hic . Reqesct . Relique . sce . Wite

The bones were placed in a new reliquary and again deposited within the restored shrine. The three openings in the front were made to receive the offerings of the faithful and pilgrims from afar. There are several monuments here to the De Mandevilles; John Wadham, Recorder of Lyme (1584); Sir John Geoffry of Catherstone (1611) and others. The terrific name of this small village simply indicates that the canons of Salisbury and Wells claimed the parish tithes. Across the valley from Whitchurch rise the outstanding eminences - "Coney" (Conic or King's) Castle and Lambert's Castle, the latter crowned with a fine clump of trees. The name of the valley seems to have deceived some old writers into thinking it a region of chills and agues and of cold sour soil. It has always been famous for its oaks, but perhaps it may claim a greater fame as a minor Wordsworth country, for on the north side of the vale is Racedown Farm, the home of the poet for about two years. Dorothy Wordsworth said it was "the place dearest to my recollections" and "the first home I had." Perhaps the most striking view in this part of Dorset is that one from the Axminster road at the point on Raymond's Hill called Red Cross. At dusk, when the intervening fields and woods are shrouded in gloom, Golden Cap takes on a startling shape against the evening sky. The huge truncated cone and the separate bays on either side - mostly differing entirely in colour - make the centre of as fine a prospect as any in the south. This road, Roman for the most part, has the rare feature of a tunnel, cut to make the steep ascent to Hunter's Lodge Inn practicable for modern traffic.

The Marshwood Vale ends at Charmouth, to which the road from Morecombelake now descends round the northern slopes of Stonebarrow; on the far side of this hill is the derelict parish of Stanton St. Gabriel, with a ruined church and two or three cottages in a superb situation under the shadow of Golden Cap. Charmouth is one long street running up the hill on the Lyme side of the Char. It is one of those pleasantly drowsy places that even the advent of the public motor from Bridport fails to excite. That its restfulness is appreciated is evidenced by the number of houses that let apartments. The distance from the railway at Lyme and Bridport will effectually bar any "development." Jane Austen's description still holds good: - "Its high grounds and extensive sweeps of country, and, still more, its sweet retired bay, backed by dark cliffs where fragments of low rock among the sands make it the happiest spot for watching the flow of the tide; for sitting in unwearied contemplation." (Persuasion.)

The picturesque old George Inn on the right-hand side of the street is sometimes pointed out as the lodging occupied by Charles II, but this was at the "Queen's Arms" nearly opposite; it is now a Congregational Manse. "Everything was in readiness for the departure at midnight, but Captain Limbry, master of the ship, came ashore just after dark for his luggage. Questioned by his wife he foolishly admitted that he was concerned with the safety of a dark gentleman from Worcester. Without more ado the good woman pushed him into his bedroom and turned the key upon him." Charles and his friends waited in vain at the inn, the "dark gentleman" as insouciant as ever, the rest of the party greatly perturbed. Urgently advised by Ellesdon (organizer of the escape) to wait no longer, the party took to the Bridport road, and so in the early morning the fugitives rode up and down the hills these pages have just traversed, in an endeavour to find sanctuary in a ship, the only inviolable one, that they were not to gain until far distant Brighthelmstone was reached.

Charmouth Church is as ugly as one would expect of an erection of the last year of the Sailor King. Within are preserved some of the monuments from the old building. It is said that a Roman station was established somewhere on this hill, and that after fierce fighting in the bay the Danes captured and held the Char valley for some years. It is possible that many of the country people have a strain of the wild northern blood in their veins. Close to the church and the Coach and Horses Hotel, the unpretentious but comfortable hostelry on the left of the street, a lane leads to the coastguard station and beach.

The shore can be followed to Lyme, but only at low water. By far the best way is to keep to the high road, passing through the cutting made in the hill for the better passage of the coaches, and named by the more proper "Windy Gap," and by the rest "The Devil's Bellows." In a storm the wayfarer is likely to be blown back to Charmouth. At the top of the hill a path turns leftwards to the open cliff and affords the traveller the most exquisite views of Lyme, the bay and the surrounding hills. This path eventually rejoins the main road near the cemetery. Within is a fine Celtic cross erected to commemorate those who perished in the Formidable in 1915.

It is only during the last twenty years that Lyme has found itself as a popular resort. It must have been a tragic business to the select few, that opening of the light railway from Axminster in 1903. Before that time enthusiasts, among them Whistler and several other famous artists, braved the six miles of rough road from the nearest station to reach the picturesque old town on the Buddle, and possibly formed some sort of league to keep their "find" dark. Happily the place is still unspoilt and the hand of Jerry has not descended. The visitor who arrives by the South Western after a delightful trip, all too short, on the miniature Alpine line that burrows through hillsides and swerves across valleys, over the last by a highly spectacular viaduct, is agreeably surprised to find himself at a terminus while apparently still in the wilds. If the little motor train went down to the seaside it could never pant back again. But the eye is unoffended in the long walk down the steep road to the shore, and in these days when the canons of good taste seem to have some weight with property owners and builders it is probable that the growth of Lyme will be effected with circumspection. As it is, the snug little town is almost unaltered, except for a slight and necessary clearance at the river mouth, from the days when Louisa Musgrove lived at Captain Harville's house. Every one who stays at Lyme must buy or borrow a copy of Persuasion. It is wonderful how an old-fashioned tale such as this novel of Jane Austen will delight and interest the most blase of readers when he or she can identify the scenes depicted in its pages, and how the early Victorian atmosphere of the book will seem to descend on the quaint streets that have altered so little since it was written.

Lyme seems to have started life in the salt boiling line, and to distinguish it from Uplyme was called Netherlyme-supra-mare. The first patrons of the industry were the monks of Sherborne Abbey. This was in the days of Cynwulf of Wessex. Five hundred years later it became "Regis," a haven and chartered borough under Edward I, and from this far-off time dates the unique stone pier called the "Cobb," restored many times since. The town suffered much from French attacks and revenged itself by sending ships to harry the commerce of the then arch-enemy. The Cobb had been allowed to fall into such a state of disrepair in the reign of Elizabeth that that irate lady refused to renew the borough charter until the townsfolk made good the damage. This was done and Lyme soon redoubled its importance in the eyes of the Government, so much so that on the outbreak of the Civil War it was looked upon as an almost indispensable possession both by Royalists and Parliamentarians. Its vigorous resistance to the King is one of the outstanding incidents of the war; Blake, afterwards Admiral, conducting the marine defence. The beseiged were successful after two months of the most desperate fighting, and the women of Lyme proved Amazonian in the help they gave their menfolk. In 1672 the Dutch gave the English fleet a trouncing within sight of the town.

The most famous event connected with the Cobb was the landing of Monmouth thereon in June, 1685. The ill-starred prince knelt on the stones and thanked God "for having preserved the friends of liberty and pure religion from the perils of the sea." Not many days passed before some enthusiasts from Lyme who had followed the gallant lad were brought back to the Cobb and hanged there in sight of their neighbours. John Tutchin, author of the Observator, was sentenced by Jeffreys to be whipped through Lyme and every other town in the county, to be imprisoned seven years, and pay a fine of one hundred marks. He petitioned to be hanged, and was pardoned. But these poor men were avenged three years later when William of Orange landed a number of his troops on the same spot. A few days afterwards that narrow, dull, conscientious, well-intentioned and wholly religious Roman Catholic, James II, fled from his throne and country.

During early Hanoverian days Lyme seems to have languished. Privateering; the trade with France and Spain; the industries of the town, weaving and lace making; all dwindled to vanishing point. Half the houses became ruinous, and the population had decreased to an alarming extent when that saviour of half the old coastwise towns of England - the valetudinarian - came upon the scene about 1770, and by the commencement of the Victorian era Lyme had embarked upon a time of modest but steady prosperity which still continues. Its fine air and superb situation would, if the town were fifty miles nearer London, result in "developments" that would soon ruin its character.

Lyme church is Perpendicular, though the tower is far older, the vestry room being part of the ancient church. Of much interest is the tapestry on the west wall representing the marriage of Henry VII. On the front of the gallery (1611) and on the Jacobean pulpit (1613) are inscriptions setting forth the names of their donors and the dates. The rood-screen is modern but the old double lectern is interesting; chained to it is a "Breeches" Bible and Erasmus' "Paraphrase." One of the stained-glass windows is a memorial to that celebrated daughter of Lyme - Mary Anning, who with the enthusiasm of a greybeard hammered and chipped at the cliffs around in a most ungirlish style, but to such good purpose that she unearthed the Ichthyosaurus that now astonishes the visitor to the Natural History Museum in Kensington.

In Pound Street is an auxiliary church that in 1884 was converted out of a stable into the present beautiful and uncommon little building. Of particular merit are the fine tapestries and the altarpiece of Venetian mosaics. In Church Street stands an old house once belonging to the Tuckers, merchants and benefactors of the town. It is now named Tudor House and is really of that date, although its exterior hardly looks its age. The Assembly Rooms at the end of Broad Street mark the time when Lyme was starting upon a career of fashion. In the new Town Hall erected on the old site to commemorate the first Victorian Jubilee is an ancient door from the men's prison, and a grating from the women's quarters, let into the wall; in the Old Market stands an ancient fire engine and the stocks, removed here from the church. Near by is the "Old Fossil Shop" devoted to the sale of fossils and fish, as quaint a combination of trades as one could imagine. The old houses around the Buddle are of dark and mysterious aspect. This part of the town has always had a romantic air, here and there slightly flavoured with squalor, though of late, especially about the course of the river, improvements have effected a change. Curious customs of great antiquity such as the Saxon Court Leet and the Court of Hustings, a copy of a London civic institution dating from the first charter of the town, have continued to present times.

The other famous girl of Lyme, besides Mary Anning, was Jane Austen, who lived with her parents at Bay Cottage, the white house near the harbour. Here it is supposed that Persuasion was written. Captain Coram, the bluff seaman and tender-hearted philanthropist who spent his small fortune on the Foundling Hospital, and. Sir George Somers, who colonized the Bermudas, were both local worthies. The latter died in the West Indies, but his body was brought home to Dorset and buried at Whitchurch Canonicorum.

The beautiful coast west of the Cobb is described in the next chapter, but mention must be made of the Landslip Walk. Several falls of the cliff, here resting on a precarious foundation of sand and blue has clay, have from time to time occurred and have produced this wide tract of broken and tumbled ground, only to be equalled in its picturesque confusion by the better known Undercliff in the Isle of Wight. The greatest "slip" took place in 1839 on Christmas Day and the country people were awakened during the night by loud and continuous noises like the rumble of distant artillery. It was found the next morning that a chasm nearly a mile long and about 400 feet wide had been formed parallel with the shore. This subsidence continued for a couple of days and took with it, without loss of life, several cottages. The wildly erratic disorder has been covered with a lovely profusion of flowers and plants in the sheltered valleys and ravines of this miniature Switzerland, and the whole undercliff as far as Rousdon and beyond is a wonderland of beauty.

Uplyme, three-quarters of a mile beyond the station, is in Devon. This may have been one of the pleas put forward a few years ago when strenuous efforts were made to get Lyme Regis transferred to the western county. The pretty village is about a mile and a half from Lyme Esplanade on the Axminster road. The church has been judiciously restored, but there is nothing of great interest to be seen apart from the old yew tree in the churchyard. Not far away is a beautiful old manor house called the "Court Hall"; it is now a farm house. The fine porch and queer old chimneys make a picture worth turning aside to see.