Take the chance to climb the 109 steps to the top of the Gribbin Headland Daymark. At 26m tall and banded in red and white stripes it has stood out on the headland since 1832.
Erected by Trinity House ‘for the safety of commerce and the preservation of mariners’ the tower pinpoints the approach to Fowey’s narrow and rocky harbour entrance. This meant that sailors did not mistake the treacherous shallows of St Austell Bay for the deep waters of Falmouth harbour.
William Rashleigh of Menabilly who granted the land for the tower expressed his hope that they would 'make the Beacon an ornament to my grounds’; thus the tenders issued by Trinity House were for the erection of a ‘very handsome Greco Gothic Square Tower’.
In 1967 the National Trust were able to acquire the land around the Gribbin headland, partly from the successful Neptune campaign and partly by the generous gift from Mr Egbert Barnes and the St Austell Brewery Company. You can still see the daymark from the top windows of the brewery as you look over the roof tops of St Austell.
In 1998 the daymark itself was acquired from Trinity House for a nominal consideration, funded from the Fowey River and Coast Appeal and a bequest from Miss H. B. M. B Miller.
We open the tower every Sunday from July to early September*, managed by a team of hardy volunteers who'll be there to meet and greet you in all weather. The tower is quite small, so groups of twelve can climb up at a time.
*In 2020, due to Coronavirus safety concerns, we're not opening the daymark, but hope to welcome visitors back in future. Look at the what's on page for opening times.