Charlotte arrived by stage coach which stopped at the George Inn. Local historians are keen to point out how she used her visit to great effect in collecting impressions for her famously passionate novel, published a couple of years later. In Chapter 11 we find Jane newly arrived and waiting nervously in The George to meet her new employer; the dashing Mr. R.
" A new chapter in a novel is something like a new scene in a play; and when I draw up the curtain this time, reader, you must fancy you see a room in the George Inn at Millcote, with such large figured papering on the walls as inn rooms have; such a carpet, such furniture, such ornaments on the mantelpiece, such prints, including a portrait of George the Third, and another of the Prince of Wales, and a representation of the death of Wolfe. All this is visible to you by the light of an oil lamp hanging from the ceiling, and by that of an excellent fire, near which I sit in my cloak and bonnet; my muff and umbrella lie on the table, and I am warming away the numbness and chill contracted by sixteen hours’ exposure to the rawness of an October day… ":
It was on one of the tombstones in the graveyard of St. Michael’s Church that Charlotte saw the local family name ’Eyre’ which she chose to adopt for her heroine. During her stay she took the opportunity to explore, walking on the moors and visiting many of the houses scattered around the area. One of these houses, the crenellated North Lees, is said to be the model for Thorn Field Hall, home of Mr. Rochester and the place where he and Jane fell in love. The George Inn which still stands on the main street has been welcoming travellers for over 500 years, first as an alehouse, and, since 1770, as an inn. homesteadbb.free-online.co.uk/derbys