Fowey: The heart of Du Maurier country
Jamaica Inn was immortalised by du Maurier in her novel of the same name written in 1936. This legendary Inn is just a forty minute car ride away from us, and well worth a visit if you’re looking to follow in the authors’ literary footsteps.
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Written in 1931, The Loving Spirit was Daphne du Maurier’s first published novel. It was penned at her family home of Ferryside here in Boddinick, Fowey.
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FERRYSIDE (Bodinnick, Fowey) Daphne du Maurier lived here from 1926 to 1943. Although not born in Cornwall she made her home here and her early novels took their inspiration from her surroundings. In 1943 she moved to nearby Menabilly.
Helford Passage Beach
Written in 1941, Frenchman’s Creek will draw you away from Fowey to Helford Passage in Mawnan Smith. This is approximately one hour away from us by car, but certainly warrants an expedition. A pitstop at the Ferryboat Inn will fuel you for an excursion up Helford River to Frenchman’s Creek. Make a note of tide times, as the creek can be inaccessible during low tides.
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Tywardreath, translated from Cornish as The House on the Strand, is a village just three miles from us and inspired Daphne du Maurier’s penultimate novel of the same title written in 1969. You can follow protagonist Dick as he time travels through time to fourteenth century Tywardreath and Kilmarth House. Today, the village boasts diverse landscapes of farmland, woodland, valley and coastline, bringing into view Par Sands beach.
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Castle Dore, which inspired du Maurier’s novel of the same, is a medieval circular hill fort on the outskirts of Fowey, set amongst ancient earthworks. We recommend parking in the nearby lay-by and walking back towards the entrance to breath in panoramic views of Cornwall’s evocative landscapes.
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CASTLE DORE HILL-FORT: Castle Dore is a defended settlement of Iron Age date. William of Worcester (1415-1482) described the site as "a delapidated castle by the name of Dirford, near Golant", and Leland identified it as "Castledour".' ✫ღ⊰n
CUNOMORUS: 'a Cornish king in the early 6th century. Etymologists claim that "Cunomorus" is a latinisation of the name "Kynvawr". In the Life of St Paul Aurelian (9th century), the author says Marcus Cunomorus and King Mark of Cornwall are the same person. The Castle Dore, near Golant in Cornwall, was excavated and found to have accommodated numerous timber structures during the 5th/6th centuries, suggesting that a leader of some significance made his headquarters there.' ✫ღ⊰n
Etymologists claim that Cunomorus is a latinization of the name Kynvawr. Cunomorus was a Cornish king in the early sixth century. In life of St. Paul Aurelian (9th century) the author links someone named Marcus Cunomorus with king Mark of Cornwall, saying that they are the same person. The Castle Dore, near Golant, Cornwall, was excavated and found to have accommodated numerous timber structures during the 5-6 centuries, suggesting that a leader of some significance made his headquarters there.
Aerial photo of Castle Dore hillfort from the south
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A south west coast path from Fowey to Gribbin Head, following a wild footpath down to Polkerris beach, passes points of interest from Rebecca including Menabilly, the remains of 16th century St Catherine's Castle (free to enter), and the arcadian Readymoney Cove where du Maurier once lived, a prominent setting in Frenchman’s Creek.
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View from Gribbin Head on the south coast of Cornwall, England (also known as Gribben head so only seems right that I should visit here one day)
View from Gribbin Head on the south coast of Cornwall, England
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The Cornwall Coincidence
67 Not Out: Magical Walk With Daphne Du Maurier To The Gribbin
Polruan sits at the mouth of the river Fowey, and is just a fifteen minute boat ride away from us, the fastest route to the village. It inspired The Loving Spirit, which was renamed as the fictitious Plyn.