town ("parish"), West Dorset district, administrative and historic county of Dorset, England. It is built on a steep-sided hill above a small harbour and shingle beach. The harbour is flanked by a jetty to the east and a massive curved wall, known as the Cobb, to the west. Three manors of Lyme are mentioned in Domesday Book (1086). Edward I granted a charter in 1284 making the community a free borough with a merchant guild. At that time it was engaged in trade with France, and by 1311 it had become an important English port. Further charters were granted by later English monarchs. The picturesque town contains many Georgian houses, and the chief industry is tourism. Pop. (2001) 3,513.
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