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On a Bleak Night.........
Jamaica Inn & Museums (Launceston)
Member Name: wulise
Jamaica Inn & Museums (Launceston)
Date: 21/10/01, updated on 14/11/01 (195 review reads)
Advantages: Friendly and inviting., Has Ghosts!
Disadvantages: A little commericalised!
Travelling the A30 one can hardly miss the signs for Jamaica Inn. It is on the bleak Bodmin Moor and has been a Coaching House for over four centuries, welcoming travellers into Cornwall. Today sees a very different Jamaica Inn to those of yesteryear. Jamaica Inn was built in the mid-eighteenth century, on Bodmin Moor and served travellers using the new main road between Launceston and Bodmin, now the A30. Jamaica Inn has played host to millions of weary travellers, and also to less wholesome patrons.
The bleakness of the surrounding area and the isolation allows the mind to wonder. It is easy to imagine smugglers and ghosts, mixing and plotting their next adventure. Men who came by stealth at night, by torchlight, silently their unloading wagons in the courtyard, to hoard the contraband smuggled furtively ashore from the north and south coasts. The Inn on the Moor by Rose Mullins contains more history of the Inn and the surrounding Moor. An 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'.
today, alas some would say, those days gone, the Inn, no longer shelters any smugglers, it still extends a warm welcome to thousands of visitors. There can be found comfortably refurbished bedrooms; Mr Potter's Museum of Curiosity, and the recreation of Daphne du Maurier's study Daphne du Maurier immortalised the Jamaica Inn, originally known as the New Inn in novel of the same name.
During the early 1900s Jamaica Inn was used as a temperance house, but there have always been spirits of a different kind at Jamaica Inn. On a moonlit night, when all is still, the sound of horses' hooves and the metal rims of wheels turning on the rough cobbles of the courtyard can be heard!
Stage coaches and coaches of all sizes are always welcome at Jamaica Inn, as there is plenty of free parking. To book a visit or find out about special coach parties rates, telephone the Reservation Manager.
**Pedlars Food Bar**
In days gone by, John Burton and his brother ran the Inn but there was little comfort or food to be had! This is a bar which offers a wide selection of Cornish food from delicious Traditional Pasties to Cornish Cream Teas. The food that will warm any hungry belly! There is also wide choice of accommodation, food and drink on offer, as well as good service.
**du Maurier Restaurant**
For the more leisurely meal, dine in romantic candlelit. However advanced booking in the summer months is advised to avoid disappointment.
End the romantic evening with a stay in one of the Inn's romantic four-poster en suite bedrooms. Your mind can wonder to the bygone years, of smugglers and pirates, heroes and heroines?.. I will leave this to your own imagination! You may even see one of the Inn?s spectral residents.
Daphne du Maurier's death in 1989 was a great loss to both the world of literature, with some of her books being turned into successful films. Plus to
Cornwall in general, (her home can be found in Fowey). A memorial room has now been created at the Jamaica Inn, which is full of memorabilia, including her Sheraton writing desk on top of which is a packet of du Maurier cigarettes named after her father, Sir Gerald and a dish of Glacier Mints, her favourite sweets
The novel Jamaica Inn was her first big commercial success. During her career she wrote a total of thirty-eight books, but it is her Cornish-based books that remain the most popular with her readers.
**Mr. Potter's Museum of Curiosity**
Kittens enjoying a cup of tea, guinea pigs playing cricket and rabbits learning to read and write are just some of the extraordinary exhibits found in Mr. Potter's Museum of Curiosity. This is a unique Victorian Museum, which was originally opened in 1861, by its founder Walter Potter, in the West Sussex village of Bramber. Born in 1835, Walter Potter first began to show an interest in taxidermy as a teenage hobby. He began with his own pet canary when it died, this is displayed in the Museum and progressed from there. Taxidermy was originally the means by which collectors and explorers could preserve the birds, insects and animals they had discovered from all over the world. Taxidermy in the Victorian era began to be a popular method by which people could keep their pets after death. Most Victorian homes would hold their share of stuffed animals. (I really cannot understand the attraction).
The collection was purchased by the owners of Jamaica Inn in the1980's and has grown considerably. People will people donate and loan artefacts to the museum. It now includes dolls' houses, smoking memorabilia, Victorian toys and weaponry. There are many curious oddities from across the globe, including a gruesome collection of 'freaks of nature'. The Museum is set on two floors and laid out in true Victorian fashion, cluttered!
en, OAPs, Students £2.00
The ghost Society has made an in-depth investigation during the past year, at Jamaica Inn. It has compiled a report based on its findings. The areas of substantial interest to the investigation were, The Smuggler's Bar, Stable Bar, The du Maurier Restaurant, and upstairs in the bedrooms, in particular Bedroom 4.
The timeless character of Jamaica Inn still remains unchanged. So for an experience, next time you are in Cornwall, visit Jamaica Inn. You never know what you may find there.
**For Further Information**
Tel: 01566 86250
Fax: 01566 86177
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