The iconic Jamaica Inn, immortalised in Daphne du Maurier’s eponymous best-selling novel, has gone up for sale.

The inn, once owned by the thriller-writer Alistair MacLean, nestles in the centre of Bodmin Moor on the A30, and is offered for sale by John and Wendy Watts, the owners for the last 40 years, wh plan to retire.

Cornwall’s most famous 17-bedroom smuggling inn, close to Daphne du Maurier’s former homes, Menabilly and Ferryside, is being sold along with its sister hotel, the White Hart in Okehampton, by specialist property adviser Christie + Co.

Jamaica Inn was built in 1750 as a coaching inn called on by weary 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, creating the L-shaped main part of the building as it is today.

The Inn, which sits on a six-and-a-half acre site on Bodmin Moor, also includes a smuggling museum, with a genuine collection of smuggling artefacts and features the original writing desk used by Daphne du Maurier and a number of other items owned by her.

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.