In Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula, Carfax Abbey (House) is the location in London secured by solicitor Jonathan Harker. Unbeknownst to Harker, Dracula purchases the property so that he might store his coffins containing the precious earth of Transylvania. Dracula must sleep in these coffins filled with dirt in order to preserve his strength.
A real Carfax Abbey does not exist, but there is quite a bit of discussion among Dracula scholars about Stoker’s inspiration for the estate. Some say Carfax House/Abbey was inspired by St. Mary’s Cathedral in Whitby, Yorkshire. Others say the setting was inspired by Purfleet House, located east of London in Essex. Although the house no longer exists, a part of the wall remains, and a plaque marks its whereabouts. St. Stephens Church now occupies that ground, and much of the demolished Purfleet House material was used to build it.
If you’re interested in catching a glimpse of the church or the wall with its plaque, check out the London History Group site HERE.
Carfax Abbey has inspired the imaginations of many artists over the years, and even the creation of a band with same name (HERE performing “Cry Little Sister” at the Endless Night Vampire Ball in New Orleans, 2013).
I’ve always loved the creepy, gothic setting suggested by the novel and the movie adaptations.
What’s your favorite setting for a novel or a movie?