This photo, taken in August 2006, shows the main harbour, with the Jurassic Coastline in the distance, and the old fishermen's cottages on Victoria Pier. The viewpoint is the start of the famous Cobb or harbour wall, which featured in the film The French Lieutenant's Woman and also in the television production of Jane Austen's 'Persuasion'
For more 360° panoramas of Lyme Regis please visit www.lymepanoramas.eu.
Lyme Regis Harbour from the Cobb - Lyme Regis visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Lyme Regis Harbour from the Cobb' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Dorset.
Lyme Regis has a long history with the sea. The success of the port depended on The Cobb, a small artificial harbour that has existed here from the time of King Edward I in the late 13C. This was first made of oak piles driven into the seabed between which stones were placed to make a wall. This version of the Cobb was washed away by a storm in 1377, which also destroyed 80 houses and 50 boats.
Subsequent versions of the Cobb were made primarily of large boulders dropped onto the sea floor to build a new defensive wall. In 1820 the Cobb was totally rebuilt using Portland Admiralty Roach stone, rich in fossil remains and very resistant to seawater weathering, quarried from Portland by Albion Stone.
The Cobb also played a crucial role in the development of life-boats. After the great storm of 1824, Captain Sir Richard Spencer RN carried out his pioneering lifeboat design work in the Cobb. This eventually led to the formation of the RNLI who have their headquarters also along the South Coast in Poole Harbour. There is still a Lifeboat Station at Lyme Regis today.
For many years, Lyme Regis port played a crucial economic role as Lyme Regis was a major port, especially in the 16th-18th centuries, until ocean-going vessels grew too large for the small port to handle. During this time of prosperity, merchants and sea captains traded across the world, particularly with the Mediterranean, West Indies and Americas. In the 18C the port began to decline as ships moved to larger ports such as Liverpool.
The town and port have seen a revitalization of fortunes with the advent of modern tourism. As can be seen in this panoramic photograph, which was taken at low tide, the port is still very busy, being used by both local fishermen and holiday makers alike. The port offers numerous moorings for sailing and other pleasure boats. The best way to see the Cobb is from the air, you can select the satellite view and zoom in on the Google map.
In June 1685, James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth landed at Monmouth Beach in Lyme Regis from Holland with three small ships, four light field guns, 1500 muskets and 82 men in a bid to take the crown. This became the Monmouth Rebellion, also called the Pitchfork Rebellion due to the weapons used by the local farmers who joined Monmouth. After unsuccessful attempts to capture Birstol and Bath, the rebellion was crushed at the Battle of Sedgemoor on the 6th July.