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The Cornish Guide - Cornwall / Kernow

The Cornish Guide - Cornwall / Kernow

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Loe Bar / Pool

Age group: 5+

Location: WEST Cornwall


Contact: nr Helston,

TEL: n/a


Loe Pool, is actually the largest natural freshwater lake (50 ha in size but only with maximum depth of just 6 metres) in Cornwall. The earliest recorded appearance of the name was in 1337, when it was called "La Loo"..!


It is situated between Porthleven and Gunwalloe and downstream of Helston, it is separated from Mount's Bay by the shingle bank known as Loe Bar. The Loe was originally the estuary of the River Cober, a 'ria' or drowned river valley, which is now blocked by a mass of sand and shingle, which holds the fresh water lake behind it. The valley can actually be traced several kilometres out to sea!


The Loe is reputed to be the lake in which Sir Bedivere cast King Arthur's sword, Excalibur, although Dozmary Pool on Bodmin Moor also shares this legend (which is comparatively recent my birds).


A local legend also states that the giant Tregeagle was doomed to remove the sand from Gunwalloe to Porthleven, from which the sea would return it. In the course of one of his journeys he is said to have dropped a bag of sand at the entrance of Helston harbour and so to have formed the Bar.


Local superstition also warns that the Loe claims a victim every seven years, a legend shared with other waters such as the River Dart in Devon.



FACT: Loe Bar is the only site in Britain where the subspecies leechi of the Sandhill Rustic moth is found!

Helston 3 miles, Camborne 12 miles, Penzance 14 miles, Falmouth 17 miles