Between Perranuthnoe and Prussia Cove is a rugged headland jutting out into the sea. This is Cudden Point.
I often enjoy a walk here because of the quiet, the dramatic views of St. Michael’s Mount and the chance of seeing the choughs that nest near by. But there is a bizarre legend associated with this place that tells a very different story. A story of dark deeds and sunken treasure.
In the 19th century it is said that children came here from miles around to search the sands below the headland. Only at spring tides was the seabed exposed enough to offer the chance of finding the treasure meant to be buried there. The children would dig through the sands, between the rocks and amongst the seaweed in the hope of finding riches beyond their wildest dreams.
“Off Cudden Point there lies buried in the sea treasure. Enough to make anyone who finds it one of the wealthiest person in the whole County”
Mabel Quiller Couch
The writers who have recorded this story before me tell of a wonderous bounty lying on the seabed. Just waiting to be discovered.
But they say that beside the gold coins, jewellery and silver goblets said to have been found off Cudden Point there is one object in particular that all the treasure hunters seek. A huge table made of solid silver!
But how did all this treasure find its way to the bottom of the sea off Cudden Point? In a land full of strange legends the story of the Silver Table is an odd one.
The Tale of the Silver Table
“Many many years ago there lived in those parts a very wealthy man. He was also a very wicked one. Indeed it was said that he was no other than the Lord of Pengerswick. . . It is rather difficult to say for certain for the wicked old man being an Enchanter could go about in all kinds of disguises. So that only those that had the gift of second sight could discover him.”
Pengerswick Castle is just a couple of miles from the headland and the castle is said to be one of the most haunted places in Cornwall. The Pengerswick family seem to have had a rather dark history starting with Henry Pengerswick who was excommunicated for murdering a monk, was said to worship the devil and drove his poor wife to madness. Which Lord the legend refers to however isn’t clear.
So according to the story, one hot summer’s day this wicked and wildly wealthy man invited a party of his equally wicked and thoughtless friends to sail with him on his elegant ship around Mounts Bay. As the afternoon lengthened they dropped anchor near Cudden Point. And as they feasted on all kinds of delights, drank and made merry, the boat lolled lazily on the tide. Suddenly, and for no discernible reason, the boat sank into the calm and transparent waters. Sucked down into the depths, the lord and his guests and all the opulent treasures that they had on board disappeared.
For a long time after the strange event local fishermen would tell of strange sounds coming from beneath the sea at Cudden Point. The sound of laughter and the clinking of glasses coming up from the watery depths. And some have even said that when the sea was calm enough they could see the unfortunate guests still seated around that silver table on the seabed, continuing their party, amongst the fishes.