When I reached high school I made friends with a girl called, Thelma. She was a history buff like me and during the next 60 years although we lived on different continents we would get together and fulfill our dreams of travelling through British History with trips together.
On one such trip we visited Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor in the south of England.
It was an inn built in 1750 as a coaching station, a place where weary travelers could rest after crossing the wild and treacherous moor. It was named, some would say, because it was used to store rum smuggled in from Jamaica, but others said it was derived from the important local landowning Trelawny family, two of whose members served as Governors of Jamaica, in the eighteenth century.
Because of its isolated location it was ideal for the locals to use as a hide away for their smuggled contraband. It was estimated that half the brandy & a quarter of all tea smuggled into the U.K. landed along the Cornish coast. The ships were tricked into heading for this part of the coast by beacon lights deliberately set on the shore. Once the ships floundered on the rocks they were set upon by the wreckers and Jamaica Inn became a ” haven of smuggler’s “ to which they could stash their loot.
This Inn became a setting for a book written by Dorothy Du Maurier and published in 1936. She was inspired to write the novel in 1930 after she and her friend became lost in the fog while riding on the moors and were led back by their horses to the safety of the inn. During the time spent recovering from her ordeal the local rector entertained her with ghost stories and tales of smuggling.
After years of paranormal activity the British Paranormal Association made an in depth investigation and awarded Jamaica Inn an official stamp of approval for being a genuine haunted establishment.
Today the inn not only provides accommodation with four-poster beds and a bottle of wine for 125.00 sterling pounds per.night but it also hosts a Murder Mystery once a month. So you can solve the case over a delicious 3-course meal for 30.00 pounds each. There are also the Ghost Haunts these are not for the feint at heart and sell out quickly. Haunted Happening Weekends at 65.00 pounds are also popular.
The Smugglers Museum attached to the inn is open 8am to 9pm and costs only 3.95 pounds for adults, 2.95 pounds for children and seniors.
We crossed the desolate moors and then spent a lovely evening in the pub.
A great highlight of the trip.
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