Archaeologists working on the mausoleum at Pentillie Castle, near Saltash, have made an exciting discovery - remains that could belong to its 18th century owner and builder Sir James Tillie. His location has long been a mystery, and his story is a rather gruesome one.
Sir James had ordered that on his death he should be buried upright, fully clothed and facing out of a window in the mausoleum. He servants were to carry on bringing him food and wine. That way he would be well prepared for a resurrection, which he felt would be imminent.
His servants faithfully followed his grisly orders for two years after his death. But the rotting body showed no signs of resurrection and the servants eventually lost the will to carry on. So Sir James Tillie was removed from his perch and reburied. Until now, no one knew where, as no records were made. It was assumed he was in a nearby churchyard.
But archaeologists now think they have found its erstwhile owner, exactly 300 years after his death in 1713. They have discovered a brick vault with human remains and what looks like Sir James' chair.
It echoes the discovery in Leicester last year of King RIchard III, who had been missing for 500 years and was found under a car park. Like Richard, Sir James Tillie had a murky reputation. He inherited Pentillie from the owner Sir James Coryton, who many think died rather too quickly. Sir James Tillie wasted no time in taking over his land and marrying his widow.
But unlike Richard, Sir James will not be subject to DNA tests. The castle's owner, Ted Coryton, said there is 'no doubt' as to who the remains belong to, and Sir James will be left in peace. He was toasted with sloe gin and the vault was closed up again.