Thursday, 7 April 2011


A-Z Challenge – ‘F’

I went to Fowey in Cornwall for the first time after my son moved there to live. In May 2007, not only was it my 70th birthday but it was also the time of the Daphne du Maurier Festival which celebrated the centenary of her birth.

I had read several of her books, including Rebecca and Jamaica Inn, but otherwise was fairly ignorant about her connection with Fowey. I finished up writing an article on her life as an assignment on a creative writing course.


At Fowey I could see first hand the house Ferryside where Daphne wrote her first novel, The Loving Spirit. Daphne was inspired to write the book after discovering the wreck of the schooner Jane Slade in Pont Creek. The Slade family were shipbuilders in the village of Polruan which lies across the estuary from Fowey. The figurehead from the schooner was added to the house later.

The opening of Rebecca, “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again,” is world famous. The fictional Manderley was based on a house near Peterborough and what Daphne called her ‘house of secrets’, Menabilly, the home of the Rashleigh family just outside Fowey. Daphne was to move into Menabilly and wrote many of her books there, but not Rebecca. 


In 1943 Daphne lived at Readymoney in Fowey after Ferryside had been requisitioned as a naval HQ. The gardens of the cottage at Readymoney Cove are open to the public on occasions. The house carries a plaque recording Daphne’s time there.


St Catherine’s Castle stands on the point to the seaward side of Readymoney Cove and used to guard the entry to the estuary. The Fowey estuary was one of the deepwater harbours from which American troops departed for the D-Day landings in 1944. 

 St Catherine's Castle

Container ships and large cruise ships now visit Fowey and it’s a haven for boating enthusiasts; if you wish you can have a trip in a little steamboat.


Carole Anne Carr said...

Amazing, must be something to do with coming from the same area. Yes, I have holidays in Fowey, and yes, I just love the area. Shall be down there in June, thanks for the photographic reminder of such a lovely place.

Siv Maria said...

Thank you for the lovely guided tour.

Bish Denham said...

Loving these tours!

Misha said...

Interesting. She lived in some beautiful places. I have to admit that I've never read any of her books.

I better change that. :-)

Karen S. said...

What a lovely place Bob, great information, although I think I'd skip the ride on the little what appears to be quite a squeeze steamboat...for a larger vessel! Cool post!

Brianna said...

I love how coming to your blog makes me feel like a tourist! You are showing and telling me about so many places I will probably never get to visit.
Thank you.

Ann said...

I love Daphne du Maurier's books. I am reading, "The Kings General" at the moment. I didn't know there was a festival in her honour or was it only for the centenary of her birth?

Robyn Campbell said...

I love coming here, because I can see these wonderful places through your eyes. Thank you Bob.

I will look for her books next week. They sound like books I would love to read. :-)

Alison Miller said...

Beautiful pictures!!!

New follower from A-Z. Nice to meet you!

Jeffrey Beesler said...

Thanks for the pictures and the backstory behind Fowey. Like others have said, it's like getting a guided tour without having to pay through the nose for it.

Bob Scotney said...

Ann, there's an annual Du Maurier festival in Fowey each May. It was pure luck that I was there for the centenary.