1832 Never a lighthouse, this is a very large, historic daybeacon: a 25 m (84 ft) square stone tower painted with red and white horizontal bands. Located on the headland, about 75 m (250 ft) above the sea about 2 km (1.2 mi) southwest of Fowey. Accessible by walking the South West Coast Trail. Site open, tower status unknown. Owner/site manager: National Trust.
Gribbin Head, familiarly known as the Gribbin, is an elegant headland lying to the west of Fowey. Clearly marked by the red and white striped daymark, the Gribbin is well worth a circular walk from Fowey or Coombe.
A coastal elm wood
Formerly part of the Menabilly Estate, the Rashleigh family planted two small broadleaf woodlands on the headland. Planted for aesthetics they were also used as game coverts.
The seaward wood or east wood is a rare example of a coastal elm wood, ash and sycamore are now more prevalent in the woodland but some beautiful stunted elm trees run down to the rocky shore.
Covered in lichen, sea and windblown they have grown into glorious shapes. The woods become a carpet of ramsons (wild garlic) and other wild flowers in the spring.
Restoration of the headland
From 1988 the National Trust began removing dense scrub which had enclosed the daymark following the removal of cliff grazing in 1967.
The headland is now grazed by a tenant farmer, this restoration has created a brilliant diversity of wild flowers in spring and summer, including early purple orchids.
The removal of the scrub has enabled the true profile of Gribbin Head to be revealed.
Take a closer look
Have a look around and you will notice the remains of a signal station, and various earth works including a Bronze Age barrow, banks and ditches of long disused cliff gardens and other enclosures.