Gribbin Head

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Gribbin Head


National Trust

Platt and Gribbin Head - - 1239583.jpg
Grid reference: SX098495
Location: 50°19’1"N, 4°40’23"W
Website: Fowey Estuary to Pencarrow Head

Gribbin Head or The Gribbin (or Gribben Head) is a stout headland on the south coast of Cornwall, which separates St Austell Bay from the estuary of the River Fowey, ending in cliffs 245 feet tall.

Gribbin Head projects into the English Channel between Fowey and its long estuary to the east and Par Sands to the west. The headland is marked by a large tower used to aid navigation of ships approaching the local harbours.

The Western point of the headland is called Little Gribbin. The Gribbin and Little Gribben are part of the stretch of coastline hereabouts which belongs to the National Trust.

Near the head is the hamlet of Menabilly Barton and the well-known Georgian mansion named Menabilly, the inspiration for "Manderley", the house in du Maurier's novel Rebecca.

The Gribben and Polridmouth


Gribben Head is the most southerly part of the parish of Fowey. To the north, and facing west across St Austell Bay is the small village of Polkerris, beyond which is the harbour at Par. To the east is Polridmouth cove and the Fowey estuary, where the town of Fowey itself stands.

The Menabilly estate close to the head itself was built for the Rashleigh family.[1] Daphne du Maurier used the house and estate as inspiration for her novels.

The South West Coast Path passes around Gribben Head on its way from Minehead in Somerset to Poole in Dorset.

Gribben Tower

Gribben Tower stands 84 feet high on the headland. It is a square beacon tower, erected by Trinity House in 1832 to distinguish the Gribben from Dodman Point and St Anthony's Head, and thus make navigation into Fowey and the harbours of St Austell Bay safer. It was never lit, but is painted in broad red and white bands as a daymark.[2]


  1. Keast, John (1987) [1950]. The Story of Fowey. Redruth: Dyllansow Truran. ISBN 1-85022-035-2. 
  2. Ward-Jackson, C. H. (1986). Ships and Shipbuilders of a Westcountry Seaport: Fowey 1786-1939. Truro: Twelveheads Press. ISBN 0-906294-11-8.