Bude, Cornwall was the inspiration for the fictional coastal village depicted in The Tutor’s Daughter. My husband and I had the pleasure of visiting Bude during our second trip to England—a serendipitous, unplanned stop in our whirlwind tour of Devon and Cornwall. From our hotel on the north side of the harbor, I spied a large red-stone manor high on the cliff opposite and instantly thought, “I want to set a book there.” When we asked a local woman, she told us the place was called “Efford.” Further research revealed that the house was Efford Down House, and built by the same family who once owned Ebbingford Manor, an even older manor house nearby. I based fictional Ebbington Manor on a combination of these two historic houses. My husband and I enjoyed walking up the cliff and along the scenic coast path. Atop this headland stands an octagonal tower which inspired my Chapel of the Rock. It is actually a former coastguard lookout, known as Compass Point. There is something thought-provoking and soul-stirring about looking out its narrow slit windows toward the endless sea beyond. If you ever have the opportunity to travel to Cornwall, I hope you will visit it.
Photos of Bude, Cornwall, inspiration for Ebbington Manor and the Chapel of the Rock