Sir John Arundell was born around 1566 at Trerice, 2 miles from Newquay in the parish of Newlyn East. He became commander of the imposing Pendennis Castle, built by King Henry VIII as a defence against the French, when he was in his seventies.
During the Civil War the castle was held for the Crown by the then 80 year old Arundell, who defended it during a six month siege. He eventually surrendered in August 1646 to Colonel Richards Townsend. The Parliamentarians were so impressed with the courage of the Royalist forces, that they allowed the officers and men to march out of Pendennis Castle still bearing weapons and with banners flying.