From the atmospheric Whitby Abbey in Dracula to Stonehenge in Tess of the D'Urbervilles, our abbeys, castles and historic sites have inspired many an author over the centuries - here are just a few of our favourites.
1. Dracula at Whitby Abbey
The moody and magnificent ruins of Whitby Abbey have drawn generations to the headland location as a site of settlement, religious devotion and literary inspiration. Bram Stoker immortalised the ruins as the backdrop to Count Dracula's arrival on British shores in the gothic classic that spawned a whole generation of vampire stories. The Victorian writer of Cranford, Elizabeth Gaskell, also wrote about the Abbey ruins.
2. Tennyson at Tintagel Castle
The birthplace of the legend of King Arthur, the magical Tintagel on the wild Cornish coast has inspired myths and legends through the centuries. Alfred Lord Tennyson featured the romantic castle in his poem 'Guinevere' as well as 'Idylls of the King' and the castle also features in the tale of Tristan and Isolde.
3. Thomas Hardy at Stonehenge
The enduring mystery of Stonehenge has inspired those who visit it for centuries. Thomas Hardy's tragic heroine Tess of the d'Urbervilles finds sanctuary within the stone circle with true love Angel Clare after stabbing the dastardly Alec to death. Described by Angel as "A very Temple of the Winds" Stonehenge provides the couple with shelter and solitude. But the romantic scene is all too short - after just a few days Tess is caught.
4. Charles Darwin at Down House
One of the most influential scientists of the 19th century, Charles Darwin lived at Down House in Kent for over 40 years. Visitors to the property today can see the study where he wrote 'On the Origin of Species', and wander through the gardens that so inspired him.
5. Dickens and Brodsworth Hall
The case of Jarndyce v Jarndyce described in Charles Dickens' Bleak House is thought to be inspired by a similar incident which took place at Brodsworth Hall. The Brodsworth inheritance incident eventually led to Parliament passing the Accumulations Act in 1800, often called the Thellusson Act (after Peter Thellusson, who owned Brodsworth at the time), which limited the length of time that property could be left to accumulate.
6. Sir Walter Scott in the Midlands
Sir Walter Scott was inspired by three properties in the Midlands - Kenilworth, Ashby de la Zouch and Peveril Castle. His novel 'Kenilworth' was based on the story of Elizabeth I, Robert Dudley and his wife Amy Robsart and takes place at the castle, though many of the details are fictional!
The grand medieval castle at Ashby de la Zouch featured in Ivanhoe, and Peveril Castle in Derbyshire was glamorised in his longest novel, 'Peveril of the Peak'.
7. Wordsworth at Furness Abbey
The romantic ruins of Furness Abbey lie in the 'vale of nightshade', a beautiful wooded valley in Cumbria. The extensive and ornate remains inspired Wordsworth, who visited the abbey several times and were celebrated in his famous Prelude of 1805.
8. Chaucer at Dartmouth Castle
In the 14th century, the picturesque waterfront Dartmouth Castle was ideally positioned to protect the homes and warehouses of the town's wealthy merchants. John Hawley, who began constructing the castle in 1338, was the inspiration for the flamboyant 'Shipman' in Chaucer's 'A Shipman's Tale'.
9. The First Recorded Poet at Whitby Abbey
England's first recorded poet, Caedmon, was a monk at Whitby Abbey shortly after its foundation in the seventh century. Caedmon turned his hand to poetry after being inspired by a dream.
10. Shakespeare and Warkworth Castle
Towering above the River Coquet, Warkworth Castle was home to Harry Hotspur, the famous warrior immortalised in Shakespeare's Henry IV.