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Mary Anning – Lyme Regis Fossil Hunter

23 March 2021

Mary Anning is the world’s most famous fossil hunter. She was born in Lyme Regis in 1799 which is now known as the famous Jurassic Coast. When guests stay at our Charmouth holiday park the theme of fossils is an integral part of visiting the area. It all started with one formidable scientist who is considered one of the unsung heroes of her time. Mary Anning's pioneering work with fossil hunting and her extraordinary life is now very much in the limelight. Her life is being celebrated with plans for a bronze statue in Lyme Regis and a brand new film starring Kate Winslet.

About Mary Anning


Mary Anning is a fascinating character. She grew up in humble beginnings within a very poor family. Her father died when she was just 11 and fossil hunting became a way for Mary to earn a little extra money. This was just the start and her unrelenting curiosity and desire to learn led to a much greater involvelemnt with fossil hunting. She found the first ichthyosaur at a young age and shocked the world - the obsession grew more widely from this point. She was a skilled scientist who would tirelessly search for fossils after storms. Her passion is an inspiration for people today – a true role model.


Mary Anning blue plaque

Photo credit: Bradley Howard on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Lyme Regis Museum


The Lyme Regis Museum holds a permanent exhibition to celebrate the life, work and discoveries of Mary Anning. It is the site of her former home where she had her first fossil shop. Special walks are run by professional guides around Lyme Regis to retrace the town as she knew it. The walk lasts for approximately one and a half hours.


Lyme Regis museum

Photo credit: Scott Heath on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Mary Anning Rocks Statue


Mary Anning Rocks is a crowdfunded campaign to erect a long overdue statue as a legacy to the famous Palaeontologist. The outcome will be the creation of a beautiful bronze statue that would make Mary proud in Lyme Regis. In doing so, restore her to her rightful place in the history of science. It will mean that everyone who visits Lyme Regis will know about the important woman and the significance of her work in the early days of paleontology. This is a chance for everyone to involved and keep the legacy of Mary Anning alive in Lyme Regis. The campaign group behind the statue hopes that the statue will be unveiled in spring 2022. Find out more and support Mary Anning Rocks here.




With her achievements being overlooked for many years, Anning is beginning to receive some well-earned recognition. The most widespread notoriety comes on the big screen as the subject of Ammonite, a feature film starring Kate Winslet. The film is loosely based on the story of the palaeontologist whose work was a key part in Charles Darwin's discoveries of dinosaurs and evolution. The movie was shot in Lyme Regis in March 2019 and directed by Francis Lee. Watch a trailer for the film which is available to stream online later this week!


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