Local History and Heritage
The history of Looe and South East Cornwall can be traced back over 6,000 years to burial chambers and hillforts on Bodmin Moor. The whole area is rich in prehistoric remains, including the Duloe stone circle just outside Looe. Many of the villages feature medieval farmhouses and cottages, whilst the countryside is full of churches, many dating back to the 14th century. Looe itself has many old cottages in and around the back streets, old fisherman’s homes, several of which are now let out for self catering holidays..
In 2006 the mining landscape of Cornwall and West Devon was given World Heritage Status. The renewed popularity of Poldark on tv has also reignited an interested in our industrial past. On Bodmin Moor and in the Tamar Valley many of these mining remains can still be seen, whilst the Looe Valley line which started off as a railway to serve the mines is now a popular branch line bringing visitors to the town.
With the sea never far away, the maritime heritage of the area is rich. Fishing and trade has taken place in the waters off the Cornish coast for many years. In Looe the old fishing boats known as luggers can still be seen in the bay on special occasions. The next Lugger Regatta, when boats arrive from as far away as Brittany, will hopefully take place in 2017. And of course you are never far from a tale of smuggling; Polperro even has a Museum of Smuggling.
Looe’s museum can be found in the old guildhall and gaol. It’s the place to go if you are researching family history, looking for old pictures of Looe, or just want to know what that building is on the way up to Hannafore.
So don’t just think South East Cornwall is a place to visit for its beaches, there is much, much more…