East and West Looe is an Ecclesiastical Parish and a market town in the county of Cornwall, created in 1845 from East Looe in St Martin by Looe Ancient Parish and West Looe in Talland Ancient Parish. 

Alternative names: East and West Looe, East Looe, Looe, Portbighan, Portbyan

Other places in the parish include: West Looe. 

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1709
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: None – see St Martin by Looe

Nonconformists include: Bible Christian Methodist, Independent/Congregational, Protestant Dissenters, Society of Friends/Quaker, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

Historical Descriptions

East Looe

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

LOOE (EAST), a small sea-port town and a chapelry in St. Martin’s parish, Cornwall. The town stand’s on the E side of the mouth of the river Looe, 9 miles SW by W of St. Germans r. station, and 8 S by E of Liskeard; was made a market-town so early as the time of Henry II.; sent 20 ships, with 315 seamen, to the siege of Calais, in the time of Edward III.; was then the only sea-port of any consequence in Cornwall, except Fowey; claims to be a borough by proscription; received a charter from Elizabeth; returned two members to parliament from Elizabeth’s time till disfranchised by the act of 1832; is still nominally governed by a mayor, a recorder, and 12 burgesses or aldermen; carried on, for some time, a considerable trade with France, Spain, and the Mediterranean; was long noted also for a prosperous pilchard fishery; shows high indications of a reviving trade, after long and great decay; conducts a coasting business, in the import of coal, culm, and limestone, and in the export of fish, bark, granite, and tin, copper, and lead ores; has an excellent harbour and quay, defended by a small battery and breast-work; enjoys railway communication up to Liskeard, and to the great Cheesewring granite quarries; has a post office under Liskeard, two good inns, a weekly market on Wednesday, and fairs on 13 Feb., 10 July, 4 Sept., and 10 Oct.; is a seat of borough courts on every third Monday from Michaelmas day, and of two courts-leet annually; was long noted for a picturesque fifteen-arched bridge built in 1400, and 423 feet long, now replaced by a less interesting but more commodious structure; contains a church of the 14th century, greatly altered in the 16th century, and mainly rebuilt in 1806, yet possessing a few ancient features and an old low castellated tower; contains also two dissenting chapels; partakes in the benefits of an endowed school in West Looe; occupies a romantic site, in a deep recess, overhung by garden-clad acclivities; was, before the formation of a new road to it along the water-side, approached from the E by a path so steep that strangers, in descending, felt as if they would be precipitated on the roofs of the houses; and presents a strange jumble of curious houses massed irregularly in short narrow streets or alleys. “Such houses !” exclaims an intelligent visitor to it in 1859. “Never, certainly, except in some mediæval town abroad, have we encountered such startling illustrations of the ideas of the old house-builders. Gables, quaint and ragged as Mr. Ruskin could wish, or Turner could have painted; staircases of wood and of masonry outside of the houses, instead of inside; quaint and picturesque porches; hanging gardens on the sides of the hills; and a general arrangement of the several tenements, or rather want of arrangement, singularly fitted for the pencil, but as directly opposed to all our modern notions to order, and as inconvenient for all purposes of drainage, as possibly could be.” The view of the town and its environs from the sea-side is very striking; and several views in the vicinity, particularly one in the inlet of Trelawney mill, opening into the Looe river immediately above the bridge, is exquisitely beautiful. The chapelry politically is conterminate with the town or borough. Real property, £1,820. Pop. in 1851, 970; in 1861, 1,15 4. Houses, 205. But the chapelry ecclesiastically includes also most of West Looe, bears the name of East and West Looe, and was constituted in 1842. Pop., 1,860.Houses, 366. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter. Value, £75. Patron, the Bishop of Exeter..

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

West Looe

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

LOOE (WEST), a small town in Talland parish, Cornwall; on the W bank of the river Looe, opposite East Looe. It is practically one town with East Looe; communicates immediately with it by the bridge across the river; has the same kind of character, as to both site and structure; and shares in its business. It once had a weekly market, and still has a fair on 6 May. It also was made a borough by charter of Elizabeth; sent two members to parliament, till disfranchised by the reform bill; and is still nominally governed by a mayor and burgesses. It has a lately restored old church, an Independent chapel, and an endowed school with £45 a year. Real property, £1,013. Pop., 770. Houses, 161.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].


People who were declared bankrupt and the date of bankruptcy.

Buckthought John, East Looe, Cornwall, currier, Dec. 23, 1843.

Tregenna Henry, East Looe, Cornwall, draper, May 11, 1830.

The London Gazette 1851

MONTAGUE BAKER BERE Esq Her Majesty’s Commissioner of the Exeter District Court of Bankruptcy being the Commissioner authorized to act under a Petition for adjudication of Bankruptcy filed the 7th of August 1850 against Samuel Parnall of East Looe in the county of Cornwall Grocer and Draper Dealer and Chapman, will sit on the 16th day of April instant at one of the clock in the afternoon precisely at the Court of Bankruptcy for the Exeter District in Queen street in the city of Exeter to Audit the Accounts of the Assignees of the estate and effects of the said bankrupt under the said Petition pursuant to the Acts of Parliament made and now in force relating to bankrupts when and where the creditors who have not already proved their debts are to come prepared to prove the same. 

Declaration of Dividend under a Petition for adjudication of Bankruptcy filed on the 7th day of August 1850 against Samuel Parnall of East Looe in the county of Cornwall Grocer and Draper Dealer and Chapman. NOTICE is hereby given that a First Dividend at the rate of 2s 6d in the pound is now payable and that warrants for the same may be received by those legally entitled at my office Queen street Exeter on any Tuesday or Friday after the 31st of January instant between the hours of eleven and three o clock. No warrants can be delivered unless the securities exhibited at the proof of the debt be produced without the special direction of a Commissioner. Executors and administrators of deceased creditors will be required to produce the probate of will and letters of administration. January 25 1851. F HERNAMAN Official Assignee.

Parish Records


England, Cornwall Parish Registers, 1538-2010

Cornwall Online Parish Clerks

Cornwall Parish Register Index


Cornwall Burials A-Z index of surnames of people buried in Cornwall

Records for England

Births and Baptism Records

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975

Great Britain, Births and Baptisms, 1571-1977

England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Marriage Records

England Marriages, 1538–1973

Great Britain Marriages, 1797-1988

England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Death Records

England Death Records, 1998-2015

England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991

Great Britain Deaths and Burials, 1778-1988

England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957

England and Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1640-1660

Non-Conformist Records

England and Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8), 1588-1977


England and Wales Census, 1841

England and Wales Census, 1851

England and Wales Census, 1861

England and Wales Census, 1871

England and Wales Census, 1881

England and Wales Census, 1891

England and Wales Census, 1901

England and Wales Census, 1911


United Kingdom, Merchant Navy Seamen Records, 1835-1941

War and Conflict

Great Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935

United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners’ Service Records, 1760-1913

United Kingdom, Royal Hospital Chelsea: Discharge Documents of Pensioners 1760-1887 (WO 122)

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

United Kingdom, Militia Service Records, 1806-1915

United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

United Kingdom, World War I Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920

Newspaper Archives

British Newspaper Archive, Family Notices

British Newspaper Archives, Obituaries


Vision of Britain historical maps


County: Cornwall
Civil Registration District: Liskeard
Probate Court: Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Archdeaconry of Cornwall
Diocese: Exeter
Rural Deanery: West
Poor Law Union: Liskeard
Hundred: West (Cornwall)
Province: Canterbury

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