Coordinates: 50°08′38″N 5°29′42″W / 50.144°N 5.495°W / 50.144; -5.495

Ludgvan (/ˈlʌən/ LUJ-ən; Cornish: Lujuan)[1] is a civil parish and village in Cornwall, England, UK, 2 12 miles (4.0 km) northeast of Penzance. Ludgvan village is split between Churchtown, on the hill, and Lower Quarter to the east, adjoining Crowlas.[2] For the purposes of local government, Ludgvan elects a parish council every four years; the local authority is Cornwall Council.

Ludgvan Parish Church
Vegetable crop south of Ludgvan


Like many communities in Cornwall the legendary origins of Ludgvan are attributed to the arrival of its patron saint, in this case Saint Ludowanus. However, the place-name appears to derive from the Cornish for place of ashes or burnt place.[3] 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.[4]

Ludgvan was mentioned in the Domesday Book (under the name "Luduhan")[3] as falling within the manor of Ludgvan Lese, which at the time of record covered more of what is now the Penwith district including some parts of the modern parish of St Ives.[5] 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.[6]

On 12 January 1319, probate records indicate that the Church of St. Ludevon was in the town of Treguwal.[7] Perhaps Treguwal (etymology: Tre = farm, place; Guwal, gweal = arable land) is either the nearby village of Gulval or a medieval name of Ludgvan's lower quarter.

Parish churchEdit

The church is dedicated to Saint Ludowanus and later jointly with Saint 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.[8] 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.[9][10] The last church services conducted in Cornish were in Ludgvan in the late 17th century (this claim is also made for Towednack).

There are four Cornish crosses in the parish; one is at Crowlas, another at White Cross (this has a cross on one side of the head and a crude crucifixus figure on the other) and two are in the churchyard.[11]


There was once a number of 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 4.5 fathoms (8.2 m) 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 2 12 feet (0.76 m) to 3 feet (0.91 m). 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.[12]


Ludgvan elects a parish council every four years and the principal local authority is Cornwall Council. The civil parish population at the 2011 census (including Brunnion) was 3,261,[13] whereas the electoral ward population which also covers the above plus the surroundings up to the North Cornish Coast at Zennor was 4,145 at the same census.[14]


A group of walkers near Lower Tremenheere

At Tremenheere is the Tremenheere Sculpture Garden.[15] 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.[16] The family of Tremenheere derive their name from the estate they held at Tremenheere from medieval times.[17] Their coat of arms is "Sable three Doric columns palewise Azure" with the Cornish motto: "Thrugscryssough ne Deu a nef".[18]

Culture and sportEdit

A St Michael's Way waymark on a public footpath within Ludgvan civil parish

The St Michael’s Way pilgrim trail, established in 1994,[19] has more than half of its 12.5 miles (20 km) length on public footpaths and minor roads within Ludgvan civil parish.[20] The trail enters the civil parish from St Ives on a footpath just north of Bowl Rock. The route then splits at Ludgvan parish church. The longer variant heads west out through Tremenheere, leaving the civil parish to Penzance CP on Long Lane near Gulval, then re-enters Ludgvan CP from the west, coinciding with the South West Coast Path until it leaves to Marazion CP at the new bridge over the Red River. The shorter route strikes out to the south-east from Ludgvan church, crossing the A30 south of Ludgvan Leaze and then the A394 near Bog Farm; the trail then crosses the Penzance-to-St Erth railway line at a pedestrian level crossing at Marazion Marsh before leaving the civil parish to Marazion CP at the old bridge over the Red River.

The village has an Old Cornwall Society.

Ludgvan Football Club currently play in the St Piran Football League West at their home ground of Fairfield.[21] Ludgvan Cricket Club are in County Division 1 of the Cornwall Cricket League and also play at Fairfield. Ludgvan Cycling Club generally meets at the Community Centre on Sunday mornings.

The local community radio station is Coast FM (formerly Penwith Radio), which broadcasts on 96.5 and 97.2 FM.[22]


It has been claimed that Ludgvan was the home of the last native wolf in Great Britain.[23] This cannot be confirmed by available historical sources.

Notable residentsEdit

  • William Borlase the antiquary and naturalist, was Rector of Ludgvan from 1722 to 1772.
  • Reverend Canon Arthur Townsend Boscawen (1862–1939) rector of Ludgvan 1893 to 1939, created an anemone garden and was instrumental in founding the Cornish anemone industry. He also introduced broccoli as a commercial crop from imported German seed.[24]
  • Also within the parish of Ludgvan lies Varfell which was the ancestral home of the Davy family, including Sir Humphry Davy.
  • James Hosking (or Hoskin) was a Ludgvan farmer (of Treassowe) who visited the United States in 1811 and wrote an account of his experiences. He returned to Treassowe where he was a tenant of the Rogers family of Penrose, Sithney. This house, now Grade II listed, still exists.[25][26]
  • Claud Morris, a British newspaper owner who sought to make peace between Arabs and Israelis was born and died at Angwinnick.
  • Dr Oliver (William Oliver), FRS, inventor of the Bath Oliver biscuit, and founder of the Royal Mineral Water Hospital, Bath was born here.[27]
  • Robert Trewhella (1830–1909), railway engineer and contractor, was born here.[28]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Place-names in the Standard Written Form (SWF) Archived 15 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine : List of place-names agreed by the MAGA Signage Panel Archived 15 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Cornish Language Partnership.
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 203 Land's End ISBN 978-0-319-23148-7
  3. ^ a b 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. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |month= (help)
  4. ^ Ellis, P. B. (1992) The Cornish Saints. Penryn: Tor Mark Press; p. 18
  5. ^ Thorn, C. et al. (eds.) (1979) Cornwall. (Domesday Book; 10) Chichester: Phillimore
  6. ^ Thorn, C. et al. (eds.) (1979) Cornwall. (Domesday Book; 10) Chichester: Phillimore; entry 5,3,27
  7. ^ 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 – via Internet Archive.
  8. ^ "Full text of "Calendar of inquisitions post mortem and other analogous documents preserved in the Public Record Office"".
  9. ^ Cornish Church Guide (1925) Truro: Blackford; p. 10
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Langdon, A. G. (1896) Old Cornish Crosses. Truro: Joseph Pollard; pp. 269, 139-41, 114-15 & 207
  12. ^ "Rospeath Mine, Ludgvan". The Cornishman (94). 29 April 1880. p. 5.
  13. ^ "Civil parish population census 2011". Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  14. ^ "Ward population at 2011 census". Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  15. ^ "Tremenheere Sculpture Garden". Retrieved 2 September 2010.
  16. ^ "Tremenheere". Cornwall's archaeological heritage. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
  17. ^ "Tremenheere". House of Names. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
  18. ^ Pascoe, W. H. (1979) A Cornish Armory. Padstow: Lodenek Press; p. 109
  19. ^ "HOME - St.Michael's Way". Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  20. ^ Ordnance Survey (2019). Map of Land’s End - OS Explorer Map 102 (Penzance & St Ives) (Map). 1:25,000. Explorer. Ordnance Survey (published 17 June 2019). ISBN 9780319263648.
  21. ^ "Hurlers and Saints go safely through". The Cornishman. 29 October 2015. p. 68.
  22. ^ "Volunteer run Penwith Radio to change its name to Coast FM". Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  23. ^ Robert Hunt in Popular Romances of the West of England see "Wolves in Great Britain".
  24. ^ Dudgeon, Piers (1991) The English Vicarage Garden
  25. ^ Hosking, James (1970) To America and Back with James Hosking, 1811; ed. James M. Hosking. St Buryan: the editor (The text is reproduced in facsimile from Narrative of a Voyage from England to the United States of North America; with travels through part of eight of the states ... Penzance: pr. f. the author by T. Vigurs, 1813)
  26. ^ Treassowe manor farmhouse and adjoining barn; Historic England
  27. ^ Courtney, W. P. (1894). "Oliver, William (1695–1764), physician and philanthropist, by W. P. Courtney Published 1894". Dictionary of National Biography; Vol. XXXXII. Smith, Elder & Co. Retrieved 7 January 2008.
  28. ^ Re: Robert Trewhella, b 1836 – Zennor; GenForum

External linksEdit