Sir James Tillie, who served as land agent to the nearby estate of Sir John Coryton, built Pentillie in 1698. When Sir John died in mysterious circumstances aged only 42, Tillie married his widow, joining the two estates and considerably improving his wealth. He had grandiose ideas of himself and commissioned a statue of his likeness to stand outside the Castle.
When Tillie himself died he asked to be interred in a purpose-built mausoleum at Pentillie so he would be ready for his resurrection. A statue of him still remains in the mausoleum. In 1809, William Wilkins remodelled Pentillie into a commanding castle fit for its location over the Tamar Valley.
Today, the estate is managed by the latest generation of the Coryton family who are keen to preserve the magic of Pentillie for centuries to come, ensuring it remains one of the best Cornwall castles to visit. During the recent restoration of the mausoleum that took place between Nov 2012-May 2013, the Coryton’s uncovered even more of the fascinating history of Sir James Tillie.
For more on our colourful history, buy Stephen Tyrrell’s fascinating history of Pentillie Castle, from us, for the reduced price of £8 inc P&P.