Pets Accepted in Bar Area, shortly will be allowed overnight.
Welcome to the world famous Jamaica Inn, Cornwall’s most famous smugglers inn.
Immortalised in Daphne du Maurier`s eponymous tale of smugglers, rogues and pirates, this historic coaching house has welcomed travellers crossing Bodmin Moor for nearly 300 years. Full of legend, mystery, romance and even, according to folklore, the odd friendly spirit, Jamaica Inn is set in one of the most evocative moorland locations in Britain.
The Inn is more than just a stop-off for weary travellers, it’s an ideal base for visiting anywhere in Cornwall or Devon in a day and be back in time for dinner. It is also home to an award-winning restaurant and hotel, great ales in its ‘olde worlde’ bars, souvenir shop and the fascinating Smugglers’ Museum where tales of wreckers, murderers and villains are brought wonderfully to life!
The Inn is now under the new ownership of Allen Jackson, who is already making improvements to Jamaica Inn including providing Sky Sports in a side bar and from Easter Wi-Fi and Sky television including sports and movie channels in all rooms.
Jamaica Inn provides a relaxing and comfortable night’s sleep in both the original atmospheric Inn or in the newer wing of the hotel.
All rooms are en-suite and, for that romantic break, some feature glorious four-poster beds. A stay in the old part of the coaching house is a magical, romantic and mysterious experience. Just make sure you don`t sit in our resident ghost’s favourite chair though!
Drop in to sample a local Cornish brew, warm up in front of the fire, relax with a pint after a walk on the moors or cool down in the summer months with a refreshing, ice-cold drink in the garden while enjoying the stunning panoramic views. Jamaica Inn has a fantastic range of real ales, ciders and superb wines for you to sample - chat with our friendly bar staff who will be happy to recommend one for you.
Open for food from 7.30am to 9.30pm, we use only the freshest and finest local ingredients where possible. The menu includes delights such as delicious steak pies, succulent gammon steaks, fillets of salmon, vegetarian choices and on most weekends, a hearty Sunday roast. The menu options are being further increased and supplemented with a daily ‘specials board’.
Whether you just want to pop in for a warming coffee, a pint after a walk on the moors, or are planning a visit with friends for an evening meal, you will find our friendly staff will give you a warm welcome.
Pre-packed picnics and snacks are also available to pre-order - perfect if you wish to take a bite to eat on your travels or on a leisurely wander on the moors.
The Smugglers Museum houses one of the finest collections of smuggling artefacts in the country. Featuring `The History of Jamaica Inn`, an educational and historical theatre show, the Museum brings alive many of the myths and legends associated with Jamaica Inn and Cornwall, including tales of wreckers and smugglers over the past 300 years.
Smuggling evolved when customs dues were first introduced in the thirteenth century, but there was no form of law and order until the fifteenth century and even then it was negligible. Goods such as silks, tea, tobacco and brandy were more frequently smuggled into Cornwall than anywhere else in England.
Cornish smugglers were not a violent breed, but very cunning. A famous eighteenth century economist defined a smuggler as: "A person who, though no doubt highly blameable for violating those of natural justice and who would have been in every respect an excellent citizen, had not the laws of his country made that a crime which nature never meant to be so".
So, smuggling became accepted and most took part in the proceedings - even the revenue men were quite amenable to the odd bribe! Smuggling around the Cornish coast was comparatively simple as there were few men to enforce the law and even when a smuggler was caught, he was usually dealt with leniently by the presiding magistrates, most of whom were willing recipients of the smuggled goods.
Polperro on the south coast and Boscastle, Trebarwith and Tintagel on the North coast were the most used landing coves for bringing ashore contraband. Talland and Lanreath were regularly used by Polperro smugglers to hide their cargo. Jamaica Inn, in its isolation, provided the ideal premises for storing this contraband on its way up country.
Jamaica Inn was built in 1750 as a coaching inn – a modern day service station for weary travellers. Using the turnpike between Launceston and Bodmin, they would stay at the Inn after having crossed 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 of 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 onward. 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 theatre show that recounts many of the myths and legends associated with the Inn, including tales of wreckers and smugglers over the past 300 years.
It is commonly thought that the Inn takes its name from the smugglers who smuggled rum into the country from Jamaica and stored it at the Inn. However, the name is actually said to derive from the important local landowning Trelawney family. The name arises from the fact that two of its members served as Governors of Jamaica in the 18th century.
According to stories, gangs of wreckers operated on the coast of Cornwall during the early 19th century and were described as the “haven of smugglers”. The wreckers ensnared ships to this coastline by tricking them with use of beacon lights, which they purposefully installed on the shores of the coast. Once the ships foundered on the rocky coast they were looted by the wreckers.
The Inn became a smugglers inn or stopping point, using approximately 100 secret routes to move around their contraband, storing it at the inn before selling it or moving it on. Originally, the half-way house was alone on this part of the moor, but later Mr. Kodd, the proprietor of the land added a church, parsonage, and school, satisfying the area`s residents.
Well-known as the setting for Daphne du Maurier`s novel of the same name, published in 1936. The young author was inspired to write her novel in 1930 after she became lost in thick fog whilst out horse riding on the moors, and sought refuge at the Inn. During the time spent recovering from her ordeal, the local rector is said to have entertained her with ghost stories and tales of smuggling; he would later become the inspiration for the enigmatic character of the Vicar of Altarnun.
Before her shelter at the Inn, she resided in Fowey estuary, known earlier as Foreside, a house in Bodinnick and subsequently in Menabilly. She described the nocturnal activities of a smuggling ring based at the now celebrated inn, "portraying a hidden world as a place of tense excitement and claustrophobia of real peril and thrill.” Later du Maurier went on to spend a long period at the Inn, furthering her love of the location.
The novel was made into the film `Jamaica Inn` in 1939 by Alfred Hitchcock and in 1983; Jane Seymour starred in a TV series. `Jamaica Inn` will again be dramatised by the BBC in a major 3-part series coming this April.