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Ferne Arfin

Explore Britain's Smuggling Past at the Jamaica Inn

By January 5, 2013

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Fans of Daphne du Maurier and Alfred Hitchcock will be familiar with the mysterious goings on and conspiracies hatched at The Jamaica Inn in Cornwall. But did you know that the Jamaica Inn is a real - and really haunted - inn high on Cornwall's atmospheric Bodmin Moor?

The inn was once a crossroads for smugglers. During the 18th and 19th centuries, all sorts of dark deeds took place in this isolated and windswept place.  Daphne du Maurier drew on the  inn's romantic past for her novel of the same name.  And Alfred Hitchcock's 1939 movie Jamaica Inn is a classic.

Today the inn is a moderately priced hotel with romantic four poster rooms. It's said to be haunted by hapless victims murdered on the Moor and is the location of Britain's only Museum of Smuggling. It's also a highly rated place to stop for a meal or a snack after a wild and windy walk on the moors.

According to managing director Kevin Moore, "Smuggling played a large part in the British economy in year's gone past. And, as tradition holds, it was all very exciting stuff with boats arriving in the dead of night and men with horses transporting goods over secret paths across the misty moors. There was great support from the public who saw many of the taxes as unjust and smuggling developed into a culture of the time."

Said Moore, "While smuggling, like pirates, is a popular story theme for the young there is also a serious side involving the economy of Britain at the time, its trade and its law makers and enforcers. The more we find out, the more we realize smuggling played a huge role in the history of this country."

The Jamaica Inn is always interested in smuggling artefacts and unusual information about smuggling from the public to add to its unusual museum. If you have memorabilia and would like to share it, contact the Jamaica Inn by email or telephone +44 (0)1566 86250.

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Courtesy of Jamaica Inn

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