Surrey businessman snaps up Cornish smugglers’ hangout

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One of the South West’s most famous landmarks on Bodmin Moor has just been sold for the first time in 40 years.

Jamaica Inn, the location of Daphne du Maurier’s famous novel, has been bought by Surrey business man Allen Jackson for more than £2 million after he made an offer within an hour of his first visit.

Jackson says; “I saw it as a great opportunity to acquire Cornwall’s most iconic, historic and famous inn”. 

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Immortalised in Daphne du Maurier’s bestselling novel and once owned by the thriller writer Alistair McLean, Jamaica Inn was built in 1750.

Jackson decided to venture into the hospitality world after visiting Jamaica Inn and falling for its rural charm and considerable potential. He now plans to divide his time between Surrey and Cornwall.

The 18th Century, 17-bedroom, smuggling inn was put on the market in early January 2014 by Christie & Co, on behalf of former owners John and Wendy Watts, who bought the Inn for £176,000 in 1976.

Christie & Co Exeter branch director Matthew Smith said the sale received an extraordinary amount of interest as a result of the Inn’s historic and literary status.

Interest was received from as far afield as America, Canada and Australia from both operators and high-net-worth individuals, according to the company.

Smith confirmed that time between launching instruction and exchanging contracts was the quickest that he had witnessed in his 12 years at Christie and Co.

Jackson said: “I am delighted to have acquired Jamaica Inn and intend to breathe new life into this fantastic and historic location. Providing traditional and high levels of service are core to what I will be offering in the future. And, of course with the BBC adaption of du Maurier’s novel airing around Easter, I believe it is a very timely acquisition”.

One change that has been made is to now welcome dogs, which Jackson expects will be a popular move with locals and visitors alike.

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