Pengersick Castle : Praa Sands
On the 21st January we (Sue and Alan) visited Pengersick Castle to speak to two of the Trustees (Jay and Ian) and two ‘Friends’ (Sarah and Louise) `of the Pengersick Historic and Educational Trust. After being welcomed by Jay and ‘Sparkle’ the dog we were taken on a bit of a night time tour of the ‘tower’, the remaining, intact structure of what was once the large Tudor Manor house known as Pengersick Castle.
The Castle existed on this site since the Middle Ages. It was rebuilt as a fortified Tudor Manor probably about 1500. It is the surviving tower of this extensive dwelling which remains intact today. The spacious newel stair is one of the best examples to be found anywhere.
The Pengersick family lived here since the 12th Century when it was built. However, there is evidence that the site dates back to the Bronze age, some 5000 years ago. The Pengersick family where amongst the most notorious in all Cornwall, with many legends associated with them throughout the years. The Pengersick’s suffered in numbers during the plague in the 1400′s, and the remaining heiress then entered a dynastic marriage which then resulted in the creation of the Tudor Towers which you see at the castle today.
John Milliton of Pengersick Castle became High Sheriff of Cornwall and Pengersick Castle was also improved around 1530 as a fortified manor house after the wreck of a valuable Portuguese ship. Rumors of ghosts, and alchemical dabblings surround the castle however some historical research has suggested that many of these stories are false: no monks were murdered there (although one was assaulted by Henry Pengersick), the supposed plague pits featured in the television programme Most Haunted were located in another part of the castle and the Black Dog is reported to be a myth created by 19th century smugglers to frighten people away.
During the past 35 years the castle had been under the ownership of the late Angela Evans. Mrs Evans founded the Pengersick Historic & Education Trust in order to fund the restoration of the castle after she had passed away. The castle is now owned by the trust in which she set up, and work on restoring the castle to its former glories continues to this day. On our visit we were shown just how much restoration work has been undertaken already and, how, the Castle hopes to be ready to receive visitors later this year.
The Most Haunted TV prorgamme can be seen here : PART 1 : PART 2 : PART 3 : PART 4 however it is well worth reading the commentary on this programme by local paranormal investigator and trustee Ian Addicoat
After our brief tour we say and had tea and crumpets prepared by our hosts in a log fire which had only been used twice in the last fifty years. The Castle is said to be one of the most haunted castles in the UK and it certainly has a charm and mystique about it. The vision of the Trustees, acting on behalf of the Education Trust, is exciting. They are seeking to return the castle tower to it’s original glory with paneled walls and original Tudor furniture.
The Castle is set in four and a half acres of land, which like the Castle itself, holds many stories..There is a wonderful story of a tunnel which runs from the grounds to a cottage on the beach which is said to have belonged to the “King of Prussia” (Harry Carter)
The Carters of Prussia Cove are among the most famous of all the Cornish smugglers. From their protected haven on the south Cornish coast they held sway over the smuggling trade from 1770 to 1807. Of this celebrated gang, brothers John and Harry Carter emerge as the principal characters, with John as the self-styled “King of Prussia” in boyhood games, a title he retained as an adult, and the name subsequently given to his “kingdom”, Prussia Cove. Apparently this tunnel HAS been located even though it is long since capped.
I love the tale of John Millerton, however who was believed to practice magick and even claimed he was an alchemist. It is believed that he practiced his magical arts in the tower bedroom. He is has been told that a ‘something’ was captured in the fireplace and still remains there today.
Milliton, probably of Millaton in Bridestow, Devon . His will showed that he owned 3 manors in Devon, one of which was not far from Bridestow. It is suggested that he had committed murder, and to escape justice he fled his native country and hid himself in the dip of land facing the sea at Pengersick, where he constructed at tower amply protected with means of defence.
The basement is furnished with loops for firing upon anyone approaching, and above the door is a shoot for melted lead. The entire building is beautifully constructed. Here Millaion remained in concealment until he died, never leaving his tower for more than a brief stroll. The land had not been purchased in his own name, but in that of his son Job. Job was made govenor of Saint Michael’s Mount and his son, William, was made sheriff of Cornwall in 1565 and married Honor Godolphin, daughter of Sir William Godolphin. (source)
A Magical Collaboration
During our crumpet eating and tea drinking conversation turned to how our differing projects had a deep connection. We all became excited by the fact that The Cornwall School of Mystery and Magick could host some of its courses there within the castle and, for all intents and purposes, the Castle could become our ‘headquarters’ for workshops, get-togethers and celebrations.
Also it was proposed that we could present evenings of Tudor Themed psychic events, readings and spooky distractions, In part such evenings would
complement the ‘paranormal evenings’ which already run from the Castle and, whilst be fun and entertaining, would have a historical basis. What better focus, then, for “evenings of conjurations and divinations’ based around the works of the Elizabethan Astrologer, Mystic and Renaissance man Dr Jon Dee….
we have already booked the 5th of April as the first of these nights (details to follow) and our Wicca Course will start at the Castle on November the 1st and 2nd (see our course outlines)…
See what tea and crumpets can inspire..
Alan 22nd Jan 2014