Dodman Point

Dodman Point

Penn Den Varow

Highest headland on Cornwall's south coast



Dodman Point

Dodman Point near Mevagissey is midway along the south Cornwall coast, and is some 374 feet high giving it extensive views up and down the coast. It is also known by its earlier names of the Deadman and Deadman's Point. It hosts the remains of an Iron Age promontory fort, and at its seaward end is a large granite cross, erected in 1896 by the Reverend George Martin of Caerhays to help protect shipping from this headland. It is mentioned in the shanty Spanish Ladies.

To its north-east and in its lee is the small anchorage and sandy beach of Gorran Haven. And to the west is Caerhays Castle and Gardens.

Some 2000 years ago, the Dodman's Iron Age residents built a promontory fort contained by an enormous double rampart, stretching from the cliffs on the west coast to those in the east and designed to defend the tip of the peninsula. The outside bank was nearly twenty feet high in places, and even the inside rampart reached five feet at the time. Almost half a mile long, the bulwark enclosed nearly fifty acres of land, and it was the longest ditch and rampart of any promontory fort anywhere in Cornwall.

In among the gorse bushes just a few yards behind the cross, Signal House was built in 1794 on an old beacon site. The 18th century watch house was part of a chain of coastal signal stations built during the Napoleonic Wars to keep a lookout for French ships in the Channel.

In 2016 the wreck of the 'Darlwyne' was discovered off Dodman Point, exactly fifty years after it disappeared in 1966 on route from Fowey to Falmouth.

Below the large stone cross, there is a way down to the bottom of the small cliffs and there is some rock climbing there on the faces mainly bouldering as it is rarely scaled so there are no fixed anchor points.

Mevagissey       The Coastal Footpath       Caerhays Castle       Portholland       Gorran Haven       Boswinger Youth Hostel

The Roseland Peninsula