The Guildhall

Looe Guildhall, situated prominently on Fore Street in Looe, Cornwall, England, stands as a testament to the town’s rich heritage and civic life. Recognized as a Grade II listed structure, it presently serves as a hub for community gatherings and weddings.

WEDDING VENUE

Looe is a great place to hold a wedding ceremony and the East Looe Town Trust is proud to offer you the wonderful and historic setting of the New Guildhall, in the heart of the town, for your special day. Built in the 19th Century, the Council Chamber situated within the Grade II listed Guildhall is licensed to perform civil marriage/partnerships ceremonies. This provides a unique and historic setting for such an important day.

For further information please contact the office 01503 263709 or info@eastlooetowntrust.co.uk

History of the New Guildhall

Originally conceived to supplant the antiquated Old Guildhall located on High Market Street, which traces its origins back to circa 1450, the Guildhall’s architectural vision was realized through the expertise of John Ford Gould of Barnstaple. Constructed under the skilled hands of Samuel Honey of West Looe in 1877, boasting a Gothic Revival aesthetic that captivates to this day.

Its exterior facade presents an asymmetrical profile, with the leftward prominence dominated by a commanding clock tower, soaring to a height of 90 feet. Adorned with architectural embellishments including arched doorways, mullioned windows, and lancet windows, crowned by a machicolated cornice and a distinctive pyramid-shaped roof, the tower stands as a hallmark of local craftsmanship.

Internally, the Guildhall features a spacious drill hall on its ground floor, historically utilized by the 1st Cornwall (Duke of Cornwall’s) Artillery Volunteers for training purposes. Ascending to the first floor reveals the grandeur of the great hall, distinguished by its exquisite stained glass windows crafted by Fouracre and Watson of Stonehouse, Plymouth. This opulent space, measuring 45 feet in length and 20 feet in width, served dual functions as a courtroom and a venue for civic assemblies.

Over the course of its existence, Looe Guildhall has undergone various transitions in governance and utility. Following the dissolution of the East Looe Borough Council in 1883, governance of the building was transferred to the East Looe Town Trust, subsequently accommodating the Looe Urban District Council upon its formation in 1898. Although its status as a seat of local government ceased with the establishment of the Caradon District Council in 1974, the Guildhall retained its significance as a communal focal point.

Renewed interest in its preservation and upkeep has seen restoration efforts undertaken, notably in the refurbishment of its esteemed stained glass windows in 2018. 

Furthermore, its presence was exploited by its selection as a filming location for the popular BBC series “Beyond Paradise”.

Within its walls, Looe Guildhall also hosts a collection of notable artworks, including a captivating depiction of a smuggler’s arrest by John Robertson Reid, and an evocative portrayal of Oliver Cromwell’s inaugural parliamentary appearance by David Wilkie Wynfield. These artistic treasures add depth to the Guildhall’s narrative, enriching its status as a cherished landmark within the community