GERMOE lies in a hollow at the foot of high Tregonning Hill, and a tiny stream flows by its churchyard gate. It has a sturdy medieval tower with splendid pinnacles springing from angel corbels, the pinnacles having traceried turrets ending in a little cross. Four grotesque heads look down from the parapet.
On the 15th-century porch is a collection of monkeys, two sitting with their heads together and two which seem to be playing with another creature. The gable has also a sculptured Crucifixion. There are Norman stones in the walls with three grotesque heads, and the bowl of the font has two faces by a Norman mason.
Here is St Germoe's Chair, an odd little stone structure in a corner of the churchyard, perhaps 15th century. Two pointed archways barely six feet high open to the interior, which measures just over six feet by a little over three. At the back is a seat divided by pillars into a sort of triple sedilia, with a crown over the middle one. It is said that St Germoe here preached his first sermon in Cornwall, having come over as a missionary in the 5th century from Ireland. The saint of the next parish of Breage is supposed to have been his nurse.
Hereabouts also is all that is left of Pengersick Castle, a square tower now converted into a house. Its walls were lined with wains-cotting, decorated with paintings, and much defaced. One tale goes that it was built in Henry the Eighth's time by a fugitive from justice who here hid himself, and another legend is that of a rich merchant who landed near here, bringing his wealth on a donkey's back, and built a castle where the donkey first stopped. The far-seeing animal halted at the foot of Tregonning Hill, having no fancy to ascend its 635 feet, and so decided the site of its master's castle.
Prussia Cove and Bessie's Cove were smuggling holes, where John Carter, "King of Prussia Cove," is said to have trained guns from a battery to prevent the land approach of revenue men.
Arthur Mee's King's England, Cornwall (1937). An original copyright transcription by CuriousFox, edited for identification purposes.