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Looe Town

Photographs taken 2016 (with noted exceptions)

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Looe town is full of some very characterful buildings. It is a town of two halves. Bustling East Looe is the main town now, and West Looe is the more sedate of the two, with scenic views out along the harbourside road round to Hannafore, and the residential area of West Looe overlooking a pebbly beach, and a nature-loving rockpool hunter's paradise, with views out over Looe Island.

The name "Looe" is thought to have originated in connection with "loch", "lough" or lake, where a tidal pool of water formed where the two East Looe and West Looe rivers met. The name Loo (or Lo) also originally applied only to the town on the east side of the river, and West Looe as now, was formerly known as Porthbyhan, derived from "small harbour". A mixed political scene evolved, with multiple Members of Parliament sent to Westminster from separate Boroughs either side of the river, until they were disenfranchised along with other rotten boroughs in 1832. The following photographs centre on East Looe, otherwise just known as "Looe".

Old Tide Mill
The Old Mill (an old tide mill) above the bridge in Millpool
(this mill was previously a Grist Mill - or Corn Mill - and then laterly a Bone Mill for fertilizer)

Bustling Looe
Looe Town - busy even the quieter winter months
(The Golden Guinea Restaurant is so named after £10,000 worth of golden guineas were found in a cupboard after the death
of the Mayor and historian of Looe at the time, Thomas Bond, in 1837 - some have said from piracy or smuggling!)

Town View
View over the town with St Mary's Church with its short tower in the centre

St Mary's Church
St Mary's Church

Old Guildhall Museum
The Old Guildhall and Gaol, now the town Museum

Old Guildhall Museum
The Old Guildhall and Gaol (note the pillory now part of the porch!)

New Guildhall
The new Guildhall in Fore Street

The "Back Streets" and Other Places

The "Back Streets" can be found between the seafront and the town centre, bounded largely east and west by the church and the river. I have heard them referred to as "The Shambles" much as in York, but I have not been able to corroborate this. They are in fact, a delightful set of streets that are much overlooked and never seen by the casual town visitor, and in reality, they show Looe's back streets much as they have always been since over a century and more ago. If you take away the more modern trimmings and well-kept tidiness, it is not hard to imagine them as they once were - they are well worth a wander and explore for those of a socially historically minded disposition. Quite one of Looe's little gems.

The Shambles
The Back Streets looking down to the church

The Shambles
More Back Streets

The Shambles
Typical outside steps

The Shambles
Near The Bay in the Back Streets

The Shambles
There are no cars in these little streets

The Shambles
Behind the Smugglers Cott Restaurant

The town signpost

Flying House
A Flying Freehold or a bridge? A curious arrangement!

Looe Gift Shop
The delightful Looe Gift Shop on Fore Street

Hostelries, Restaurants and Fish & Chips (there are many others too!)

Ye Olde Salutation Inne
Ye Olde Salutation Inne - a favourite watering hole on a cold day!

Fisherman's Arms
Another of Looe's characterful pubs - The Fisherman's Arms

The Smugglers Cott
The Smugglers cott Restaurant

The Sail Loft
The Sail Loft Restaurant behind the Fish Quay area

The Sail Loft
Behind the Sail Loft Restaurant

Pengelly's Fish Shop
Pengelly's famouse Fish Shop - just about the freshest fish you can buy

Kellys Fish and Chips
If you are looking for traditionally battered fish, then try Looe's own Kellys Fish & Chips Restaurant (or to takeaway)...

The Catch Fish and Chips
...or try the newer Catch takeaway, to sit outside their Fish & Chips & Grill - right on the quayside!

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