After eight years of research and two years of restoration, work on the seaside villa, where author John Fowles lived, has been completed. In celebration, The Landmark Trust are hosting two open days there this weekend (26th and 27th September 2015).
Belmont is a Grade II* listed 18th-century villa on the corner of Pound Street and Cobb Road, with beautiful views over Lyme Regis harbour and The Cobb. The Landmark Trust have been renovating the property for the past two years, and this gallery on their Facebook page shows some of the work in progress.
One particular focus of the project was the restoration of Belmont’s Coade stones, an artificial stone-like material pioneered by Samuel Coade, who built Belmont.
In 1968, the author John Fowles, of The French Lieutenant’s Woman fame, moved in. From The Landmark Trust Website:
Towards the end of his life, he approached Landmark to help realise his wish that after his death, Belmont could be enjoyed by other writers and as many people as possible, through use as a Landmark. Above all, he wanted to prevent Belmont being turned insensitively into a hotel or boarding house. His writing room on the first floor overlooking the Cobb will play a pivotal role within the restored house and will become the main drawing room for visitors. It will include a writing desk and a large number of John Fowles books in the library, alongside other works illuminating the history of this fine house. In the attached stable block a permanent exhibition will be created, celebrating the lives of Belmont’s previous residents.
Belmont will also feature as part of a Channel 4 Features series about The Landmark Trust, following progress of its restoration. The date the series will be aired is yet to be announced.
As with all of the trust’s properties, Belmont is available to let as a holiday home. But if you fancy a stay in one of Lyme Regis’s more unusual and luxurious properties, you’ll be waiting until at least 2017. Find out more on The Landmark Trust’s website.