Before Bram Stoker turned his talent to writing, he worked as a tour manager for the great English actor, Henry Irvine. They travelled the country packing out the local theatres. One of Stoker's many tasks would be to book the accomodation. As you might expect, they would often stay in the best hotels and private houses. Sometimes however, if it were a small, provincial town, they would kip at local Inns.
The Golden Lion in the village of Easenhall, a tiny, almost hidden-from-view hamlet deep in the heart of Warwickshire, is one such location. Irvine was due in Birmingham the following week. They had a few days to spare and Stoker had booked the Inn for two nights.
I lived in Brinklow a few miles down the road. I would often walk to Easenhall through the back fields and woods which surrounded both these small villages. There is a solitary bridle-path which takes you snake-like through the woods and fields. There is a lake too and a series of old buildings which have all but collapsed into dust. I never knew their purpose. If local village legend was to be believed they were follies from the early eighteenth century. It's difficult at times to seperate fact from fiction. Never-the-less, it's intersting to imagine Stoker wandering through these same ruins, perhaps thinking about his future, great works.
The Golden Lion Inn would have been a perfect spot for a budding writer to sit down and make notes too. Perhaps Stoker had even begun to outline his infamous vampire. Of course, it's impossible to know but fun to think about over a quiet pint.