Featured image of Pengersick Castle

Cornwall’s Most Haunted Castle-Pengersick Castle

Pengersick Castle is a fortified manor house situated between the villages of Germoe and Praa Sands in Cornwall, England. This beautiful tower house, which is in the parish of Breage, is a Grade I listed building. It seems as if a forlorn aura hangs over this hauntingly beautiful castle.

The history of Pengersick Castle

Pengersick Castle, also known as Cornwall’s most haunted castle, is a picturesque and magical place. However, there is a certain feeling surrounding it of immense hopelessness, terror, and tragedy. It can be very overwhelming to visit which is why it is no surprise that it is one of the most haunted places in not only Cornwall, but the whole of England.

Despite its brutal history, Pengersick Castle often hosts beautiful weddings, private parties, and events. However, it isn’t a visit for the faint of heart.

The early history

In 1510, Pengersick Castle was built by William Worth. The Worth family originated at the manor of Worth in the parish of Washfield in Devon. Elizabeth Worth, who was a daughter of Thomas Worth, married John Militon of Meavy in Devon.

The Militon family, who originated in Devon, inherited the castle and went forth and enlarged the building. John Militon of Pengersick Castle soon after became High Sheriff of Cornwall. Sabine Baring-Gould wrote the following information:

“Near Germoe, but nearer the sea is a very fine remnant of a castle, Pengersick. It was erected in the time of Henry VIII by a man named Millaton, probably of Millaton in Bridestow, Devon. 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 a 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 Millaton 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 governor 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”.

The later history

The castle was once again improved in 1530 as a fortified manor house. This was done using the proceeds of the wreck of a valuable Portuguese ship. When William Milliton died in 1556 the estate was divided between the family and the castle fell into disuse. It eventually became part of the estates of the Godolphin family.

The current day

After being abandoned, the castle became the subject of many famous ghost stories. Tales are often told of demon dogs, devil worship, and black magic. In the late 20th century, the castle came into the possession of Angela Evans. Before she passed away, she set up the Pengersick Historic & Education Trust to manage and restore the castle.

Nowadays, Pengersick Castle is listed as a Grade I listed building on the site of a Scheduled Ancient Monument looked after by the trust. The castle is regularly the site of ghost tours, educational visits, weddings, private parties, events, and castle & garden tours.

Image of Pengersick Castle.
Pengersick Castle“, by Ken Ballinger, is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The hauntings

Often known as the castle of secrets, hauntings at Pengersick Castle haven’t gone unnoticed. The most common apparition is the ghostly woman. In the early hours of most mornings, guests have been startled by the sudden appearance of a ghostly woman who appears at the window.

After she spends a few moments gazing pensively out into the night, she turns away, walks to the Jacobean style bed, and lies down. However, soon after lying down, she clutches her stomach and begins writhing in agony. Nobody knows the story behind this.

There is no doubt that Pengersick Castle often merits a visit from those looking for ghostly encounters. Many who visit do not leave disappointed. Whether they see Alexander, the fearless black cat who is always chasing rats around the grounds, white orbs and weird shapes, a demon dog with red eyes, or the eerie mist that surrounds the visitors, this old castle has plenty of secrets.

Pengersick Castle, the remaining buildings date from 1500. Reputed to be the most haunted castle in Britain.
Pengersick Castle“, by Rod Allday, is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Pengersick Castle Timeline

  • 1510- Pengersick Castle is built by William Worth
  • 1530- Pengersick Castle is once again improved as a fortified manor house
  • 1547- Job Milton of Pengersick Castle is made Governor of Saint Michael’s Mount, Cornwall
  • 1556- William Milliton dies and the estate is divided between the family and the castle falls into disuse
  • Late 20th century- The castle comes into the possession of Angela Evans

Pengersick Castle facts

  • The tower house is of late medieval date and features one of the few towers of its type preserved in Britain
  • Pengersick Castle is a Grade I listed Building
  • Pengersick Castle was improved in 1530 using the proceeds of the wreck of a valuable Portuguese ship
  • The castle is known as Cornwall’s most haunted building
  • Before Angela Evans passed away, she set up the Pengersick Historic & Education Trust to manage and restore the castle
  • Most Haunted- Pengersick Castle (2003)

Books on Pengersick Castle

  • Pengersick Castle by William Bentinck Forfar (1962)
  • Pengersick Castle Cornwall by Brian Tuck (1984)
  • Upon Godolphin House and Pengersick Castle by Thomas Albert Fox (2005)

Who owns Pengersick Castle?

Before the previous owner of Pengersick Castle, Angela Evans, passed away, she founded the Pengersick Historic & Education Trust to fund the restoration of the castle when she passed. The castle is now owned by the trust that she set up and work on restoring this beautiful castle continues to this day.

Tourism

Pengersick Castle offers a beautiful space for private parties, weddings, corporate functions, open days, and a location for television shoots, film, and photography. It is often described as a magical and unique licensed venue. It is set among the beautiful scenery of western Cornwall. Pengersick Castle is easy to get to even though it is hidden away. Nearby, you can visit Eden Project, Saint Michael’s Mount, The Lost Gardens Heligan, Tintagel Castle, The Minack Theatre, and Trematon Castle.

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