History of our house

Old Lyme Guest House is built of local blue lias limestone and dates back to the 17th century. In the mid-18th century, this house was the home of the Norman family when this part of Coombe Street was called Horse Street (it was the main pack horse route out of town). In August 1799 John Norman was appointed Postmaster and this building became Lyme’s first Post Office. It remained a Post Office for 54 years until 1853 when it moved to a site in Broad Street.

The wooden posting box still to be seen in its original place in the front of our building is reputed to be one of the oldest in England. Also, this is where Jane Austen posted the letter to her sister Cassandra dated 14 September 1804.


Lyme’s famous 19th century fossil hunter Mary Anning stayed with us recently. No! Not a ghost but actress Miriam Cooper, who plays the part of Mary Anning for London’s Natural History Museum.


This cannon ball was recently found during building excavations in our back garden. It weighs 9lbs and was fired from a cannon called a demi-culvern which has a range of up to 1800 yards. It was one of many that bombarded the houses and defences of the old town by the gunners of Prince Maurice’s Royalist Army.