The parish includes the villages of Ludgvan, Crowlas, Canon's Town and Long Rock. It is bounded by the parishes of Towednack and Lelant to the north, Madron and Penzance to the west, by St Erth, St Hilary and Marazion to the east and by the sea to the south.
Ludgvan village is physically split between the area known as Churchtown, situated upon the hill, and Lower Quarter to the east, adjoining Crowlas.
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. Ludgvan was mentioned in the Domesday Book (under the name of Luduhan) 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. 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.
On 12 January 1319, probate records indicate that the Church of St. Ludevon was in the town of Treguwal. 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.
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 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 January 22. The last church services conducted in Cornish were in Ludgvan in the late 17th century (however this claim is also made for Towednack).
At Tremenheere is the Tremenheere Sculpture Garden. 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. The family of Tremenheere derive their name from the estate they held at Tremenheere from medieval times. Their coat of arms is "Sable three Doric columns palewise Azure" with the Cornish motto: "Thrugscryssough ne Deu a nef".
- William Borlase the antiquary and naturalist, was Rector of Ludgvan from 1722 to 1772.
- Revd. 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.
- 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 who visited the United States in 1811 and wrote an account of his experiences.
- Dr Oliver (William Oliver), FRS, inventor of the Bath Oliver biscuit, and founder of the Royal Mineral Water Hospital, Bath was born here.
- Robert Trewhella (1830-1909), railway engineer and contractor, was born here.
- It has been claimed that Ludgvan was the home of the last native wolf in Great Britain; however, this cannot be confirmed by available historical sources.
- Place-names in the Standard Written Form (SWF) : List of place-names agreed by the MAGA Signage Panel. Cornish Language Partnership.
- Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 203 Land's End ISBN 978-0-319-23148-7
- 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.
- Thorn, C. et al. (eds.) (1979) Cornwall. (Domesday Book; 10) Chichester: Phillimore
- Thorn, C. et al. (eds.) (1979) Cornwall. (Domesday Book; 10) Chichester: Phillimore; entry 5,3,27
- Cornish Church Guide (1925) Truro: Blackford; p. 10
- "Tremenheere Sculpture Garden". Retrieved 2 September 2010.
- "Tremenheere". Cornwall's archaeological heritage. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
- "Tremenheere". House of Names. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
- Pascoe, W. H. (1979) A Cornish Armory. Padstow: Lodenek Press; p. 109
- Dudgeon, Piers (1991) The English Vicarage Garden
- 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)
- 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 2008-01-07.
- Re: Robert Trewhella, b 1836 - Zennor; GenForum
- Robert Hunt in Popular Romances of the West of England see "Wolves in Great Britain".
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