Hotel Where Bram Stoker Started Writing Dracula to Be Awarded Plaque

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), October 29, 2018 | Go to article overview

Hotel Where Bram Stoker Started Writing Dracula to Be Awarded Plaque


The hotel where Bram Stoker began writing Dracula is to be recognised with a special plaque celebrating the link.

Mr Stoker first discovered Cruden Bay, then known as Port Erroll, on a walking holiday to Aberdeenshire in 1893.

He returned in 1894, booking into the Kilmarnock Arms Hotel and writing in the guest book: "Second visit to Port Erroll. Delighted with everything & everybody & hope to come again to the Kilmarnock Arms."

The following year he checked in again to write the early chapters of Dracula and returned to Aberdeenshire in 1896 to complete the later chapters, though it is not known if he stayed in Cruden Bay on that visit.

Nearby New Slains Castle, with its dramatic cliff-top location, is believed to have acted as a "visual palette", inspiring some of the scenes in the book.

The listed castle contains a room that has a look-alike in the novel - the octagonal hall used as a reception room for visitors.

Mike Shepherd, a member of the Port Erroll Heritage Group, nominated Stoker for a plaque to bring attention to the Kilmarnock Arms Hotel's role in the early days of the novel's creation.

He said: "Bram's special place is our special place. The new plaque is the first-ever celebration of the link between Bram Stoker and Cruden Bay.

"As such, it will provide a focus for that pride."

Born near Dublin in 1847, Bram Stoker was a part-time writer for most of his life.

Later in his career, for 11 months out of every year, he worked as the business manager at the Lyceum Theatre in London and as the personal manager for the famous English stage actor Henry Irving.

After 1894 he spent the other month on holiday in Cruden Bay where he wrote his books. …

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