The Mary Anning Connection

Dinosaurland Fossil Museum is housed in a Grade 1 listed building which used to be the Congregational Church.

Mary Anning

Mary Anning was baptised in this church in 1799 and worshipped here until she defected to the Church of England shortly before she died. This building is very much her spiritual home.

Mary Anning discovered the first Ichthyosaur in Lyme Regis in 1811. Most Lyme Regis Ichthyo-saurs are the ‘small ones’ at about 2 metres long. Mary Anning’s discovery was one of the much rarer, ‘big platyodon’ types which are four to five times bigger. She sold her find and it eventually made its way to London.

The Langdon Ichthyosaur is displayed in the museum and is another of the ‘big platyodon’ types. It was discovered in Lyme Regis in 1972 and is the biggest to be found here since the first find. I have kept this in the same condition as when it was discovered. So it gives a perfect illustration of what Mary Anning’s find would have looked like when she made her pioneering discovery.