The historic Bodmin Moor inn that inspired a best-selling literary classic is set to unveil a Cornish farm shop this Sunday.
The renowned Jamaica Inn was sold two years ago to Allen Jackson for over £2 million after the sale sparked interest from as far afield as America, Canada and Australia. Would-be buyers were inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s 19th Century bodice-ripper; a favourite with film-makers including Alfred Hitchcock.
Built in 1750 as a coaching inn for travellers journeying between Launceston and Bodmin, it is said that smugglers also used the Inn to hide their contraband. It is estimated half the brandy and a quarter of all tea once smuggled into the UK was landed along the Cornish and Devon coasts. Despite popular belief that the Inn got its name from a considerable trade in smuggled rum, this new shop will only be stocking local produce!
Allen Jackson comments; “The shop was inspired by local demand as the nearest supermarkets are over 11 miles away in Bodmin, Launceston and Liskeard. So we decided to breathe further life into this historic location and obtained planning permission in December 2015. The shop has been tastefully designed using local labour and locally sourced materials. The walls are built with local stone and the low wooden beams and timber clad surfaces have been crafted only a few miles away. Furthermore, my key assistant for the whole project, Sammy Wheeler, has gone to great lengths to stock the very best local produce with over 90% from Cornwall.’’
Allen has invested over £1 million in the Jamaica Inn to-date including last year building a huge new kitchen big enough for a planned 250-person function suite. Since buying the Inn the turnover has shot up 54%, staff numbers have doubled from around 20 to 40 and 7 more jobs for locals will be created in the Farm Shop.
The shop, which took 7 months to build, will launch this Sunday 17th July at 1pm when North Cornwall MP Scott Mann will open it at a reception party with some special reductions and many local suppliers providing tasters.
It is expected the Farm Shop will become a favourite with both locals and visitors alike. Locals will no longer have to travel over 11 miles to a supermarket and many visitors who stop at the Inn are on their way to their rented cottage, caravan etc and can stock up with numerous Cornish goodies. The Shop will also be able to supply local hotels and holiday homes with quality Cornish produce.
The next stage of Allen Jackson’s plans for the Inn is next winter to start building 16 more bedrooms and a large circular function suite with amazing views over the wild and beautiful Bodmin Moor. It will be perfect for weddings, corporate and live music events and as it will accommodate up to 250 people it will become one of the largest venues in Cornwall.