Tuesday 10 September 2019

Polridmouth, Menabilly, Cornwall - Daphne du Maurier Country, Cornwall

Polridmouth, Cornwall

The author Daphne Du Maurier made her home for many years at a large house on the Cornish Menabilly estate - this was the ancestral seat of the Rashleigh family.

The first line of her book, Rebecca, reads "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive …" Manderley is Menabilly.

Her book The King’s General was inspired by the history of Menabilly during the 1600s.

Menabilly, Cornwall.

Unfortunately the house cannot be seen by the public, as it is well hidden.

The only photo I have of the Menabilly House is the black and white photo above, showing Daphne Du Maurier and her children.

 What can be seen, though, is the cottage and boathouse as shown at the top of this post. This is where Rebecca would entertain her guests and where she was supposedly murdered.
Daphne du Maurier

So many of Du Maurier's books are based in this part of Cornwall - it is often referred to as 'DuMaurier country'

The lake, as below, was made in the thirties by damming a small stream. This part of the estate can be clearly seen by walkers or people visiting the small beaches.

During World War Two lights were fixed around the lake to confuse any enemy aircraft. Nearby Fowey was a port used for the build up to the D-Day landings. Over 2,000 American troops were based in the area.

Polridmouth Lake, Daphne du Maurier country

Going back to the cottage, this is by the sea and there are small beaches nearby, notably Polridmouth (pronounced Pridmouth). There aren't normally too many people about.

Daphne du Maurier country, Cornwall

Along the coast Gribbin Head can be seen and the red and white striped beacon.

In her book,Rebecca, Du Maurier writes:
And I thought of the tide, how swift it ran and strong into the little cove. The wind blew down from the headland like a funnel. I got the boat out into the bay. I got her out there beyond the beacon …"

Polridmouth and Gribbin Head, Cornwall

And below a clearer photo of the daymark Gribbin tower.

Daymark on Gribbin Head, Cornwall

I have written before that I love this stretch of coastline. 

As for Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989) she moved away from Menabilly in 1965 following her husband's death. She remained in Cornwall, near Par, in a house called Kilmarth - which she used as a setting for her book The House on the Strand.

See more photos of Menabilly:
The Wonderful Coastline At Menabilly - Daphne du Maurier Country


  1. I do remember that you love this coastal area and it is all the richer knowing du Maurier’s engaging stories had taken place there! The books, your posts and photos make for perfect rainy day activity­čśŐ!

    1. Thank you Ann, a little slow in replying as we have been away - and left our pads, phones and computers at home, so I even had time to talk to my wife!

      We went to the Canary islands again.

    2. So glad you had a pleasant time away and free of technology! Isn’t it grand to set it aside for a break!



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