Drumtarlie was built in the late 1930s by Mr and Mrs Greenshield, who owned several acres of land to the east of Fishing Cove Field and had previously built Beniguet slightly further away from the cliff top. They had been apple farmers in Somerset. When the Greenshields moved to Scotland (where they built another house also named Drumtarlie) the house was sold in 1948 to Peggy and Sebastian Gilbey. He was a descendant of the Gilbey dynasty, wine merchants since 1857 and then distillers – the firm founded by Walter and Alfred Gilbey on their return from the Crimean War.
As a Director of W&A Gilbey, Sebastian used to be chauffeured down to Trebetherick on Friday evenings with his wife. They were well known for their bridge parties at Drumtarlie, and were also keen surfers. Local children who had trouble with their names called them ‘Basty’ and ‘Pasty’.
W&A Gilbey flourished when prime minister Gladstone permitted the sale of alcohol in so-called ‘off licences’ in the 1880s. The firm purchased a Bordeaux vineyard in 1875, Chateau Loudenne, from where they imported to England their claret purchases from all over the region. By total coincidence the current owner of Doom Bar House was responsible for Chateau Loudenne in the 1980s when it had passed to the ownership of IDV.
Following the death of Sebastian Gilbey in Bodmin in 1971, Drumtarlie was sold and since 1972 has belonged to the Dundas family. They had previously owned a smaller house, Treleven, above Greenaway so did not have to move far. Sadly, one of the family was drowned off the rocks below this house in 1964. The Gilbey family still own a house at Booby’s Bay – so the lure of Cornwall still calls …