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Historic England Research Records

Pengersick Castle

Hob Uid: 424575
Location :
Cornwall
Breage
Grid Ref : SW5817628409
Summary : The remains of a fortified manor house built circa 1510. The manor house incorporates earlier remains, and there is documentary evidence for a house on the site from the 13th century. The manor house was granted licences to crenellate in 1391 and 1400. It was probably built for William Worth and improved by the Milliton family. However, on the death of William Milliton in 1556 the estate was divided up and the castle began to decline. An annexe was added to house in 1927-8 and it was repaired and altered in 1968. All that remains standing of the original fortified manor house is a fine four storey tower, which is now a private residence.The fortified manor house is built of snecked granite rubble with granite dressings and quoins. It comprised of two rectangular courtyards and the surviving tower (with crenellated parapet) is located at the external angle between the two courtyards. It was positioned here to defend the house from the south-west. On the right was the hall range and beyond was the domestic courtyard. Nothing is known of the rest of the castle as the north range was pulled down and the stone reused to build nearby farm buildings. This is illustrated in a print of 1743. A fine Tudor doorway from the manor house was built into the front of the farmhouse circa 1870 and apart from the tower the only surviving features are sections of walls of the east and south ranges and of the north curtain wall of the west court.The tower has been interpreted as a self-contained refuge, the equivalent to a castle keep. There is no parallel to Pengersick Castle in South-west England and it was most likely constructed as a short term defence at a time of constant threat from the French and Spanish. Pengersick Castle is famous for the large number of folk tales and legends that are associated with it.
More information : (SW 58132843) Pengersick Castle (NR) (remains of) (NAT) (1)

Pengersick Castle is a 3 storey tower, the remains of an E 16th c castellated mansion. It stands on the site of an older medieval mansion, mentioned in licences of 1391 and 1400 (2).

The lower range of buildings on the N side became ruinous and was pulled down, some stones being used in the building of farm cottages and walls. (see illustration 4). (3-4)

The early 16th century tower has recently been renovated and is now a private residence. It is in superb condition and is now listed as Grade 1 on the MHLG lists.

The small building on the side of the tower was added 40 to 50 years ago.

A print of 1743 at Pengersick Farm shows the ruined castellated mansion, but all that now remains are numerous pieces of cut stone and tracery in the grounds and farm buildings. A fine Tudor doorway from the mansion was built into the front of the farmhouse circa 1870. (5)

A fortified Manor house constructed c. 1510 with earlier remains incorporated. An annexe was added in 1927-8. There is documentary evidence of a house on this site since the 13th century with the present rebuilt c.1510. This has no parallels in the south west and was constructed in response to the threat of French and Spanish raids along the coast. See SW 52 NE 28 for associated buildings. (6)

Six early 16th century gunports have been noted. (7)

Listed by Cathcart King. (8)

A fortified manor house built c 1510 with earlier remains. An annex was built in 1927-28 and it was repaired in 1968. The manor house was probably built for William Worth of Worth in Devon and improved by the Milliton family. It was in decline from the second half of the 16th C.

The castle is built of snecked granite rubble with granite dressings and quoins. The parapet has battlements. The roof of the tower has an asphalt roof, the turret a lead roof and the annex dry slate.
There is documentary evidence for a house here from at least the 13th century but the surviving building was almost entirely built in circa 1510. There were two rectangular courtyards, one for stabling and ancillary buildings to the east and a smaller domestic one adjoining to the west. The existing tower is located at the external angle between the 2 courtyards, defending the house from the south-west. Next to it on the right was the hall range and an open hall was just near the northern curtain wall. The tower and hall made up the front of the house. Beyond it was the domestic courtyard and there was a small block (possibly a tower) at the north-west corner.
Nothing is known of the rest of the castle, but the kitchen and service could have formed part of the far west range with accommodation.
The only surviving features are: the tower and part of the west end of the south range, sections of the west wall of the east range, fragments of walling from the north side and the base of the north-west block and parts of the north curtain of the west court.

The tower has been interpreted as a self-contained refuge, the equivalent to a castle keep. There is no parallel to Pengersick castle in the south-west and it was obviously constructed to meet the needs for short term defence on a very vulnerable site, at a time of constant threat from French and Spanish.
On the death of William Milliton in 1556 the estate was divided among his 7 daughters and the castle soon declined into ruin.
For a detailed description of the castle please refer to the Listed Buildings System. (9)

A fine C15 tower which all that remains of a large medieval house. The site is now occupied by various farm buildings. The floors of the tower have gone but a newel staircase and fireplaces have survived. The tower is of special interest due to the folk tales and legends which are centred on it. The castle was possibly owned by Job Milliton, owner of St. Michael's Mount in the time of Edward VI. (10)

A fortified Tudor Manor was built on the site probably about 1500. All that remains today is its tower with a newel staircase.
The families that lived here were among the most celebrated in Cornwall and their lives have given rise to numerous legends and tales about Pengersick. (11)

Scheduled notification. (12)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1963
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Source Number : 2
Source : Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall
Source details : (C Henderson)
Page(s) : 36
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2, 1955
Source Number : 11
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : Heritage Trails. 2009. Pengersick Castle, [Accessed 04-AUG-2009]
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Source Number : 12
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 04-Jan-10
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Source Number : 3
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : MHLG (Prov HHR) Kerrier RD April 1969 3
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Castles 1926 123 (C Oman)
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 MJF 19-NOV-71
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Source Number : 6
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE (HHR) Kerrier Aug 1987 62-3
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Source Number : 7
Source : Fort : the international journal of fortification and military architecture
Source details :
Page(s) : 83
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Source Number : 8
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 75
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Source Number : 9
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : District Kerrier, 26-MAR-1981
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Source Number : 10
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 26-Mar-81
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Documented from C13
Monument End Date : 1300
Monument Start Date : 1201
Monument Type : Fortified Manor House
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built c1510
Monument End Date : 1520
Monument Start Date : 1500
Monument Type : Fortified Manor House, Courtyard, Open Hall House, Stable, Kitchen, Service Wing, Curtain Wall, Loopholed Wall
Evidence : Extant Building, Demolished Building, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Extended 1927-8
Monument End Date : 1928
Monument Start Date : 1927
Monument Type : House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Repaired/altered 1968
Monument End Date : 1968
Monument Start Date : 1968
Monument Type : House
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : CO20
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 65781
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 36039
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SW 52 NE 7
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 889933
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SW 52 NE 7
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1971-11-19
End Date : 1971-11-19
Associated Activities : Primary, PENGERSICK FARM
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, PENGERSICK CASTLE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, PENGERSICK FARM, BREAGE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, PENGERSICK CASTLE
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2001-01-01
End Date : 2001-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE SHIPPON, PENGERSICK FARM
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2003-01-01
End Date : 2003-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT PENGERSICK CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2003-01-01
End Date : 2003-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE PIGGERY & GARAGE COMPLEX, PENGERSICK FARM
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2004-01-01
End Date : 2004-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, PENGERSICK CASTLE, PRAA SANDS
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2011-01-01
End Date : 2012-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, PENGERSICK CASTLE, PRAA SANDS
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2012-01-01
End Date : 2012-12-31