Welcome to Jamaica Inn, high up on wild and beautiful Bodmin Moor and made world-famous by Daphne du Maurier’s tale of smugglers, rogues and wreckers which was immortalised in film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1939 and also turned into a succession of TV dramas, most recently by the BBC in 2014.
Jamaica Inn was built in 1750 as a coaching inn – the 18th century equivalent of a modern day service station for weary travellers. Using the turnpike between Launceston and Bodmin, they would stay at the Inn after crossing the wild and treacherous moor.
Some of the travellers were a little less respectable than most and used the Inn to hide away smuggler’s contraband that had been brought ashore. It is estimated that half the brandy and a quarter of all tea being smuggled into the UK was landed along the Cornish and Devon coasts. Jamaica Inn was remote and isolated so it was the ideal stopping place on the way to Devon and beyond. In 1778 the Inn was extended to include a coach house, stables and a tack room, creating the L-shaped main part of the building as it is today.
You can relive the smugglers’ experience at our Smugglers’ Museum – we have one of the finest and most extensive collections of smuggling artefacts in the UK – and enjoy ‘The History of Jamaica Inn’, an educational and historical film show that recounts many of the myths and legends associated with the Inn, including tales of wreckers and smugglers over the past 300 years.
The Inn continues to welcome guests to its 36 en suite bedrooms, award-winning restaurant, ‘olde worlde’ bars with great local ales and wines, its farm shop, souvenir shop as well as the museum.
The Inn is easily reached being just beside the A30 at Bolventor, midway between Launceston and Bodmin. It is the perfect base for exploring the moor and, being close to the Cornwall and Devon border, it is also a great base for visiting almost anywhere in either county and still be back in time for dinner.