The Jamaica Inn hotel, the Cornish smugglers' inn made famous by the Daphne du Maurier novel of the same name, has been sold just six weeks after it came to market for over £2m.
The inn, in Bolventor near Launceton, also once owned by the thriller writer Alistair MacLean, has been acquired by first-time buyer Allen Jackson (pictured), having been marketed by Christie + Co.
The deal came after previous owners, John and Wendy Watts, the owners for the last 40 years, decided to retire. They said: "We feel privileged to have had the opportunity of owning the inn, and have enjoyed many happy and successful years in the business. It is a very special property, steeped in history and legend, but it is now time to yield it to younger hands, who will inject new life and progress it further, for generations to come. We wish Mr Allen Jackson and team great success in the future."
Jackson, said: "Within an hour of viewing the Jamaica Inn, I had made an offer. I saw it as a fantastic opportunity to acquire Cornwall's most iconic, historic and famous inn. This amazing place has so much potential. And, of course with the BBC adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's novel airing around Easter, I believe that it's a very timely acquisition."
"Within days of launching it was quite clear the business would sell for in excess of the guide price due to the demand we received. Allen Jackson was very decisive and agreed terms just seven days after we launched, exchanging contracts some nine days after that. The sale of Jamaica Inn is a great result for both buyer and seller - John and Wendy Watts can now enjoy their retirement, whilst it's clear Mr Jackson has the vision and understanding to move the business onto the next level, which is exciting for anyone connected with Jamaica Inn."
Jamaica Inn was built in 1750 as a coaching inn for travellers using the turnpike between Launceston and Bodmin. It is said that smugglers used the inn to hide their contraband, and 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. It is also thought that the inn may have got its name because it did a considerable trade in rum.
In 1788 the inn was extended to include a coach house, stables and a tack room. The inn also houses the Smuggling Museum - a collection of smuggling artefacts. The museum also features the original writing desk used by Daphne du Maurier.
The inn is set to return to the national limelight again with the BBC recently announcing that a new, three-part adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's Jamaica Inn is to be shown on TV around Easter 2014.