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Ludgvan Parish Church - - 98615.jpg
Ludgvan Parish Church
Location: 50°8’38"N, 5°29’42"W
Local Government
Council: Cornwall

Ludgvan is a village in western Cornwall, two and a half miles north-east of Penzance. The village is physically split between the area known as Churchtown, on the hill, and Lower Quarter to the east, adjoining Crowlas.

Parish church

The church is dedicated to St Ludowanus and later jointly with St Paul the Apostle. It is probable that the original idea of a Saint Ludgvan began in the eleventh century. In 1316 it was referred to in probate records as the Church of St. Ludevon.[1] The church was rededicated in 1336. Early spellings of the place-name vary between forms with and without 'Saint' referencing and differentiating the church and its surrounding churchtown.

The building was originally cruciform and Norman but was rebuilt in the 15th-century with a tower. In 1840 a south aisle replaced the previous transept and porch. The feast traditionally celebrated in the parish is the Sunday nearest to 22 January, in observation of the Conversion of St Paul.[2][3] The last church services conducted in Cornish were in Ludgvan in the late 17th century (though this claim is also made for Towednack).


As with many Cornish villages, Ludgyan's legendary origin is attributed to the arrival of its patron saint, in this case St Ludowanus. However, the academic consideration is that the place-name derives not from a founding saint but from the Cornish for place of ashes or burnt place.[4] Evidence for it being a saint's name includes documents in which it is named St Ludgvan and records of its name as Lewdegran and Ludewon. In recent times Ludgvan feast has celebrated St Lewdegran.[5]

Ludgvan was mentioned in the Domesday Book (under the name of Luduhan)[4] as falling within the manor of Ludgvan Lese, which at the time of record covered more of the Penwith peninsula.[6] The Lords of the manor of Ludgvan Lese kept certain shipping rights within the port of St Ives up to and possibly beyond the 19th-century. Ludgvan Lease now exists as a hamlet within the parish.

At the time of Domesday Book the manor had 3 hides of land and land for 15 or 30 ploughs. It was held by Richard from Robert, Count of Mortain; there were 12 ploughs, 8 serfs, 14 villeins and 40 smallholders. There were 300 acres of pasture, 27 unbroken mares, 22 cattle, 17 pigs and 140 sheep. The value of the manor was £3 sterling though it had formerly been worth £5.[7]

On 12 January 1319, probate records indicate that the Church of St. Ludevon was in the town of Treguwal.[8] Perhaps Treguwal (etymology: Tre=farm, place; Guwal, gweal=arable land) is either the nearby village of Gulval or a mediæval name of Ludgvan's lower quarter.


There were once mines within the parish. Rospeath mine closed (in circa) 1856 and made large returns for the investors. There was no adit and the mine only worked to four and a half fathoms' depth. The mine was reopened in December 1879 with an adit being cut, machinery erected to pump out the water and to sink a shaft. The width of the lode in the shaft is from 2½ feet to 3 feet. The mine is bounded by Wheal Bolton on the west, Wheal Fortune on the east and to the south Wheal Darlington, Wheal Virgin and others known at the Marazion Mines.[9]


Walkers near Lower Tremenheere

At Tremenheere is the Tremenheere Sculpture Garden.[10] The meaning of Tremenheere is "Standing Stone Farm" (Tre=place/farm, Menhir=standing stone) and there is another place of the same name in St Keverne.[11]

The Tremenheere family derive their name from the estate they held at Tremenheere from mediæval times.[12] Their coat of arms is "Sable three Doric columns palewise Azure" with the Cornish motto: "Thrugscryssough ne Deu a nef".[13]

Culture and sport

The village has an Old Cornwall Society.

  • Football: Ludgvan AFC
Farmland south of Ludgvan


It has been claimed that Ludgvan was the home of the last native wolf in Great Britain.[14] This cannot be confirmed by available historical sources.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Ludgvan)


  1. "Full text of "Calendar of inquisitions post mortem and other analogous documents preserved in the Public Record Office"". 
  2. Cornish Church Guide (1925) Truro: Blackford; p. 10
  3. Ellis (1992), p. 18.--The Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle is a feast celebrated during the liturgical year on January 25.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Mills, A. D. (1996). The Popular Dictionary of English Place-Names. Parragon Book Service Ltd and Magpie Books. p. 217. ISBN 0-7525-1851-8. 
  5. Ellis, P. B. (1992) The Cornish Saints. Penryn: Tor Mark Press; p. 18
  6. Thorn, C. et al. (eds.) (1979) Cornwall. (Domesday Book; 10) Chichester: Phillimore
  7. Thorn, C. et al. (eds.) (1979) Cornwall. (Domesday Book; 10) Chichester: Phillimore; entry 5,3,27
  8. Great Britain. Public Record Office (1 January 1904). "Calendar of inquisitions post mortem and other analogous documents preserved in the Public Record Office". London, Printed for H. M. Stationery Off. by Mackie and to be purchased by Eyre and Spottiswoode. 
  9. "Rospeath Mine, Ludgvan". The Cornishman (94): p. 5. 29 April 1880. 
  10. "Tremenheere Sculpture Garden". Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  11. "Tremenheere". Cornwall's archaeological heritage. Retrieved 3 September 2010. 
  12. "Tremenheere". House of Names. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  13. Pascoe, W. H. (1979) A Cornish Armory. Padstow: Lodenek Press; p. 109
  14. Robert Hunt in Popular Romances of the West of England see "Wolves in Great Britain".