THIS castellated building--for it does not now admit of being called a castle, notwithstanding its embattled turrets and its machicolated gate--is situated in a hollow running down to Pengerswick Cove, in the Mount's Bay, where there never could have been anything to defend; and certainly there is nothing to induce any one to incur the cost of such a building.
Mr Milliton, in the reign of Henry VIII., slew in the streets of London a man in a drunken brawl. He fled, and went to sea. It is not known to what part of the world he went, but we are told that he became excessively rich; so rich, indeed, that "when he loaded his ass with his gold, the weight was so great as to break the poor animal's back." Returning to his country, and not daring to appear in any of the large towns, he bought the manor of Pengerswick, and built this castle, to defend himself; in the event of his being approached by any of the officers of the law.
A miserable man, Milliton is said to have lived in a secret chamber in this tower, and to have been visited only by his most trusted friends. Deeply deploring the crime that had condemned him to seclusion from the world, he spent his dreary hours in ornamenting his dwelling. His own story is supposed to be told in the painting of an overladen ass in one room, with a black-letter legend, importing that a miser is like an ass loaded with riches, who, without attending to his golden burden, feeds on thistles. There is also a carving of water wearing a hollow in a stone, and under it the word "Perseverance." Of the death of Milliton we have no account.
There is very little doubt but that Pengerswick Castle is very much older than the time of Milliton; indeed tradition informs us that he purchased the place. The legends previously given, and others in my possession, refer to a much earlier period. The castle was, it is said, surrounded by trees; but John Hals, who inherited the property, had all the timber cut down and sold.