Pentillie Castle: Body found in knight’s grave hunt

Posted: February 12, 2013 by phaedrap1 in Monuments, News

Human remains, found at a stately home in Cornwall, are thought to be those of the man who built it.

Sir James Tillie, who built Pentillie Castle in 1698, instructed his staff to place him in a chair with his pipe when he died.

The instructions were followed before he was removed, but no burial information has ever been found.

Archaeologists who examined a mausoleum built in 1713, upon his death, said a body had been found in a vault.

In his will, Sir James demanded that he should not be buried, but dressed in his best clothes, bound to a stout chair and placed with his books, wine and pipe on Mount Ararat on the estate.

‘Resurrection’ plan

Archaeologist Oliver Jessop said: “It would appear that potentially we do have real evidence that the story or the myth actually was true.

“In the early 19th Century it has been suggested that the bones were removed to the local churchyard.

“I can confirm that that’s not the case and there is a body actually still inside the vault.”

Mr Jessop said the vault was found after archaeologists dug an exploratory hole in the internal floor of the mausoleum and discovered a brick-built roof.

Inside it a structure with leather studs and woodwork with handles on it was found, which are thought to be either a chair or coffin.

Ted Coryton, the owner of Pentillie Castle, said: “It’s an extraordinary legacy really, 300 years after his death and we’re all talking about it, it doesn’t happen to many people so maybe he decided to be resurrected, then maybe this is his resurrection.”

The team had also hoped to find out if Sir James’ wife, Elizabeth, was buried with him, but this is yet to be discovered.

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