Leland was chaplain and librarian to Henry VIII and made a journey around England from 1533 with a commission to investigate the antiquities. The resulting manuscripts are now in the Bodleian Library and the British Museum. The following transcript is lifted directly from the supplementary papers at the end of [Polsue 1868] (Other extracts are available online). There are two distinct parts describing West Penwith giving the impression that he made more than one journey.
Ludewin, alias Ludevaulles [Ludgvan], wher, as sum suppose, was a castel, a mile by west from Markesju [Marazion]; it longid to the Lord Brooke.
Pensandes [Penzance], 2 miles of by west; there is a little peere.
Newlin, a mile lower on the shore; there is a peere. Newlin is an hamlet to Mousehole. Mousehole a mile lower. There is a peer. Mousehole in Cornish Port-enis (Portus insulæ). A bay from Newlin to Mousehole, caullid Gnaverslak [Gwavas Lake]. A litle beyond Mousehole, an islet and a chapel of S. Clementes in it. There hath bene much land devowrid of the sea betwixt Pensandes and Mousehole. An old legend of St. Michael speaketh of a tounelet in this part now defaced, and lying under the water.
King Ethelstane, founder of S. Burien’s College, and giver of the privileges and sanctuarie to it. S. Buriana, an holy woman of Ireland, sumtyme dwellid in this place, and there made an oratory. King Ethelstane goyng hens, as it is said, onto Sylley, and returning, made ex voto a College wher the Oratorie was.
Tredine Castel ruines at the south-west point of Penwith; manifesta adhue extant vestiga. I hard say that one Myendu was lord of it. Myendu signifieth blak mouth or chimme.
[Now there is a diversion up to Hayle, Phillack, Gwinear, Redruth and over to the Scilly Isles before continuing with…]
Thomas Levelis about S. Burianes [St. Buryan].
Kiwartun at Newlin by Mousehole.
John Godolean at Mousehole.
From Mr. Godolean to Lanante a 4 miles. Passage at ebbe over a great strond, and then over Heyle river.
The toune of Lannant [now Lelant] is praty. The church thereof is of S. Unine.
S. Fës [St. Ive’s] a 2 miles or more from Lannant. The place that the chief of the toun hath and partely dooth stonde yn, is a very peninsula, and is extendid into the se of Severn as a cape. This peninsula, to compace it by the rote, lakkith litle of a mile. Most part of the houses in the peninsula be sore oppressid or overcoverid with sandes, that the stormy windes and rages castith up there. This calamite hath continued ther litle above 20 yeres. The best part of the toun now standith in the south part of the peninsula, up toward another hille, for defence from the sandes. There is a blok house and a fair pere in the est side of the peninsula; but the pere is sore chokid with sande. The paroch chirch is of Iva, a nobleman’s daughter of Ireland, and disciple of S. Barricus. Iva and Elwine, with many other, cam into Cornewaul, and landid at Pendinas. This Pendinas is the peninsula and stony rock wher now the toun of S. Ive’s stondith. One Dinan, a great lord in Cornewaul, made a chirch at Pendinas, at the requist of Iva, as it is written yn S. Ive’s legende.
Ther is now at the very point of Pendinas a chapel of S. Nicolas, and a pharos for lighte for shippes sailing by night in those quarters. The towm of S. Ive’s is servid with fresch water of brokettes that rise in the hilles thereby. The late Lord Brook was lord of S. Ive’s, now Blunt lord Monjoy, and young Poulet.
S. Piranes in the Sandes [Perranzabuloe], is an xviij. miles from S. Ive’s upward on Severne; and S. Carantokes [Crantock] is a 2 miles above that on the shore. Els litle or no notable thing on the shore for so farre. The shore from S. Ive’s is sore plagued to S. Carantokes with sandes. There dwellith a gentilman of a 50 markes land by yere, caullid Glynne, yn S. Ive’s.
From Mr. Godalean’s to Trowedenek [Towednack?], about a 4 miles, wher Thomas Godalean [yonger] sun to Sir Willyam, buildeth a praty house, and hath made an exeeding fair blo-house mille in the rokky valley thereby.
From S. Just to Newlin eastward the grownd ys sumwhat hilly and fertyle of gresse, with tynne werkes both weete and dry, without havyn or creeke, savyng yn dyvers places ther remayne capstaynes, lyke engins as shyppes doth way ther ancres by, wherwith they draw ther bootes up to dry land, and fisch but yn fayr wether.
Also yn the sowth-west poynt betwyxt S. Just and Newlyn ys a poynt or promontory almost envyronid with the se, wheryn ys nothyng but as yt were a hil enclustered with rokkes as yt had bene yn tymes past a castel, (Castel Treuyne) and for the declaration therof there remayne yet toward the land ii. wardes clene fawllen downe, but the stones of them remayne ther very fayre and well, quadrated. The ruine of the fortelet yn the poynt ys at thys day a hold irrecuperable for the fox.
Ther lyith betwixt the sowth west and Newlyn a myle or more off the se, S. Buryens, a sanctuary, wherby, as nere to the chyrch, be not above viii. dwellyng howses. Ther longeth to S. Buryens a deane and a few prebendarys, that almost be nether [never ?] ther. And S. Buryens ys a iiii. myles fro the very sowth-west poynt.
Newlyn ys a poore fischar towne, and hath alonly a key for shippes ad bootes with a lytle socur of land water. Within a arow shoot of the sayd key or pere, lyith directly a lytle low island, with a chapel yn yt. And this lytle islet bereth gresse.
Mousehole ys a praty fyschar town yn the west part of Montes-bay, lying hard by the shoore, and hath no savegarde for shyppes, but a forced pere. Also yn the bay be est the same towne ys a good roode for shyppes, cawled Gnaves Lake.
Pensants, abowt a myle fro Mowsehole, stonding fast in the shore of Mont-bay, ys the westest market towne of al Cornwayle and no socur for botes or shyppes, but a forsed pere or key. Ther is but a chapel yn the sayd towne as ys yn Newlyn. For theyr paroche chyrches be more then a myle off.
More about Penwith