The real Jamaica Inn

A smugglers hiatus

A couple of weeks ago Mr Whisperer and I rented a big bad motorhome and spent the week touring round and exploring Cornwall and Devon.

On our way north we stopped on Bodmin Moor for a little refreshment at the famous Jamaica Inn –  inspiration for Daphne du Maurier’s novel of the same name.

The building itself was built as a coaching house in 1750 and as a post for changing horses during stagecoach runs over the moor and became infamous for hiding and trading contraband that had been smuggled ashore in Cornwall. The place was so remote and had so much history that du Maurier must have thought it was the perfect setting for her bleak and dramatic book.

Of course I was over the moon when I discovered that there was a little museum there with a whole section dedicated to du Maurier herself with some first edition and some signed books.

Some of the books had such lovely dramatic covers that it made me want to pick them right out of the display and tuck in.

A signed copy of Jamaica Inn from du Maurier to the hotel itself

A set up of du Mauriers writing space

Stop a while...

 I have only ever read two Daphne du Maurier books and they are Rebecca and Jamaica Inn (that’s why I wanted to go here on our trip) and I know I should read more.

Have you read any du Maurier? Which are your favourites?


11 thoughts on “The real Jamaica Inn

  1. What a fun place to visit! I’d love to go there sometime. Cornwall is beautiful anyway, so… 🙂

    I’ve read the books you mentioned as well as The House on the Strand, which I enjoyed. But Jamaica Inn is probably the best, just for being so mysterious and dark.


  2. I loved the museum at Jamaica Inn! The house that inspired Manderley and the one that inspired Rebecca’s cottage are pretty close to there as well. 🙂

    Rebecca is probably my favourite book-I’ve read Jamaica Inn, Frenchman’s Creek, The Glassblowers, The King’s General and some short stories.
    Ha, I like Daphne du Maurier!


  3. I absolutely love “Rebecca” and “Frenchman’s Creek” ! I have a whole section dedicated to Daphne du Maurieron my bookshelves at home (almost all of her books as well as many books about her, including “Daphne du Maurier’s Cornwall” which I love so much, beautiful pictures in there !).


  4. Because I was such a huge du Maurier fan, my husband and I went to see Jamaica Inn on our honeymoon, back in the 70s. At that time the Inn was still remote and not easy to find – no motorway in the backyard as there is now – and wasn’t even open the day we were there. (I think it was only a pub then.) It seemed like time had stood still there, and I can assure you, it was VERY atmospheric! So I was disappointed when we went there again in the 90s only to find that the place had become a wayside stop for motorway traffic with hundreds of people swarming about. It’s not so spooky now.

    Anyway, I read all of du Maurier’s books and many of her short stories. My favourites are Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, Frenchman’s Creek, My Cousin Rachel, The House on the Strand, and the long short story, The Birds. Thanks to Daphne, I’m a big fan of Cornwall, too!


  5. I love Daphne du Maurier! Rebecca is one of my all-time favourite books, but I would also recommend The Scapegoat, My Cousin Rachel and The House on the Strand.

    I’ve never been to Jamaica Inn but will definitely remember to go there if I’m ever in Cornwall!


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