Legendary smuggler's inn where Du Maurier wrote her bestselling novel goes on the market as BBC announces new adaptation with former Downton star Jessica Brown Findlay.
/ Source: The Guardian
You can stay in cottages on the estate surrounding Chatsworth, probable model for Pemberley in Pride and Prejudice, or in the grounds of Menabilly, the house on which Daphne du Maurier based Manderley, the fictional estate in her novel Rebecca. Much more unusual, though, is the kind of opportunity that presented itself this week with the news that Jamaica Inn is up for sale – a chance to own a property that inspired a celebrated book, assuming you have £2m to spare. Du Maurier wrote her period tale of Cornish smugglers after staying at the former coaching inn on Bodmin Moor in 1930, and – unlike in Rebecca – used the place's real name.
Making much of its murky past, as well as its literary and film connections (the author's writing desk is one of the exhibits in the adjacent smuggling-themed museum), Jamaica Inn remains a functioning pub and B&B. The owners have put the inn and 3 hectare (6.5 acre) site up for sale because they are retiring, but their timing may also have been influenced by a forthcoming BBC adaptation of the novel, starring Downton Abbey's Jessica Brown Findlay and expected to be screened at Easter.
Besides enabling you to immerse yourself in the novel's atmosphere – the 17 bedrooms are named after its characters – it would be a handy base for visiting the Eden Project, Tate St Ives or Padstow (Rick Stein's kingdom). And, on the double-bluff principle, it might prove ideal for, say, an exiled oligarch looking to store contraband: hi-tech goods or looted information rather than, as in Jamaica Inn, rum or tea looted from ships lured on to rocks by "wreckers".