Set about a mile inland from the town of Looe, stands the parish church of St Martin-By-Looe
(North East of Looe). There has been a church on this site since Celtic times in
the 6th – 7th centuries, and is believed to have been the place where St. Keyne,
the daughter of a Welsh prince, first set up a Christian altar. The church is dedicted
to St Martin of Tours
The present church is largely was built in the 14th and 15th centuries, but still
bears traces of the original Norman building. It is built of local stone.
In the sleepy churchyard, lie side by side, the dear departed of Looe, both rich
and poor. Indeed many members of the Shapcott family of Looe attended this parish
church and were baptised, married and buried here.
Here also lie the mortal remains of the local historian, Thomas Bond, as well as
numerous aldermen, fishermen, sailors, masons, shipbuilders, farmers … many of whose
descendants still live in these parts.
The Parish of St Nicholas in West Looe
This church is dedicated to St Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors, and the church
dates back to 1336. It was originally a Chapel of Ease to Talland. However for a
long time this chapel was used as the Guildhall of West Looe, complete with magistrates
court and tiny prison, and a cage for wayward women.
Later as a school room. Considerable remains of this chapel existed in 1815. Around
1852, the building after being partially repaired, was restored to its original use.
The whole building was refitted and rebuilt in 1862. It is situated near the quay.
The Wesleyan Methodists and the United Methodist Free Church
also had chapels at East Looe.
The Parish Church
of St Mary’s in East Looe
East Looe Church is situated in Higher Chapel Street. It is dedicated to St Mary,
and dates back to 1259.
By 1805, the old chapel at East Looe was in a very decayed state, so the Corporation
decided to rebuild it. The foundation stone was laid on 7th April 1805 by Vice-Admiral
Sir E Buller, Bart. The old tower was not taken down; it contains one bell and a
It used to be whitewashed and was used as a landmark by sailors out at sea.