There is a local legend that suggests John Lucas was a smuggler and pirate, who used Salthouse and nearby Culver Hole to store contraband (illegal or smuggled goods). It is claimed that John created a secret passage between the two as a means of escape. The later fortification of the Salthouse added to the intrigue about John’s illegal behaviour.
Archaeological studies, however, revealed the true history: Salthouse was developed during the mid 16th century into a three unit industrial structure that processed salt water until the late 17th century. No evidence of a secret passage was found and the more likely explanation for the fortification of the building is to protect the salt, a highly valuable commodity in those days!