Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:



SX25NE ST MARTIN 857-1/1/55 Church of St Martin-by-Looe 19/03/51


Parish church. Norman north doorway, and much other fabric, enlarged C13, C14 and C15, restored in 1882 and 1907. MATERIALS: slatestone rubble walls with some granite and some greenstone dressings; tower rendered (in 1882), retains render only to lower stage; dry slate roofs; rendered stack to west end (towards south) of south aisle. PLAN: C12 nave, remodelled C15; C15 chancel possibly incorporating earlier fabric; C13/C14 tower remodelled C15 and C19; C15 south aisle in 2 phases incorporating earlier fabric; C15 north and south transepts; shallow north porch 1882. EXTERIOR: embattled buttressed tower is 3 stages with strings dividing stages; stair tower to south-east corner with small original slit windows. Rare C13/C14 freestone west doorway with nook shafts; 3-light granite window over. Y-traceried windows to upper stage; original round-headed light to west end of south wall of nave, C15 windows to west and south walls of south wall: all 3-light windows with cinquefoil lights and square hoodmoulds; traceried west window and window left of transept granite, the 2 earlier C15 windows right of transpet blocked when monuments erected inside and wide buttress between and on right. C15 chamfered pointed-arched south doorway, with evidence of former porch, now partly buried by churchyard. South transept has blind west and east walk but evidence of blocked former doorway to galleried former family pew to west wall (also niche inside C15 south window with C19 restored hoodmoulds and some tracery. East gable end of south aisle mostly rebuilt C19 when 3-light window in Perpendicular style was fitted but retaining 1612 elvan 4-centred-arched doorway low down on right. East gable end of chancel has C15 five-light window. North wall of chancel shows evidence of successive refacing or repair and has possibly C13 or C17 Gothic Survival chamfered pointed-arched doorway with C19 planked door. North transept has 3-light east window dated 1872 and 3-light north window of similar date; west wall of transept with C15 outer frame but blocked. North wall of nave has a Norman doorway of 4 orders of Tarton Down stone (Church guide) with deep moulding and chevron and dog-tooth ornament. This doorway is of exceptional quality and interest and is set in a leaning north wall with buttresses concealed within freestone ashlar porch with arch-braced open gable. On either side of the porch is a C15 3-light window with 4-centred arched lights, the right-hand window with C19 square hoodmould. INTERIOR: plastered walls; C15 3-bay arcade with standard A (Pevsner) granite piers between nave and south aisle and earlier C15 2-bay arcade leaning to south and propped against west wall of transept for lateral restraint at time of survey; rood stair in soth-east corner of north transept; C15 waggon roofs with carved wall plates. FITTINGS: square Norman front, (or possibly later copy, church guide), with the Tree of Life and panelled decoration, standing on reused probable C12 arcade pier base which is on square Norman font base with stoolings for corner shafts: 1612 Gothic Survial oak screen to chancel aisle and some oak bench ends of similar date, reused as wall panels, all by father of Walter Langdon (see monuments); late C18 or early C19 octgonal Regency Gothic oak pulpit with pointed-arched panels, on granite base; remains of C14 piscina to east wall of chancel; C17 carved oak chair; oak lectern 1895; oak pews with carved ends in C16 style of 1923-48, by Miss Violet Pinwell of Plymouth; oak rood screen in late medieval style. 1934 to Mary Quiller Couch, cousin of the writer, "Q," by Miss Pinwell. MONUMENTS: resited (1907) slate grave slab to Philip Maiow, an alderman and wealthy merchant of Looe who died 1590; large polychrome marble aedicule on south wall of chancel aisle to Walter Langdon (and his wife) who died 1676, plaster and marble aedicule 1676 to north wall of chancel. (The Buildings of England: Radcliffe E and Pevsner N: Cornwall: 1970-: 187, 188).

Listing NGR: SX2599255032


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire: The Cotswolds, (1970), 187 188


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 30 Jul 2000
Reference: IOE01/01434/11
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Roger Norman. Source Historic England Archive
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