Loe Bar is associated with some of the earliest wrecks known in detail. On 20 February 1492 a wine laden ship came ashore there. A "John Beull of Ambell" and a gang seized eight butts of wine from the powerful Arundel family of Winnianton, whose seizures of wrecked ships were already famous.
In 1723 a case involved salvage of cable and anchor of a ship which sank at Mullion Island. In 1730, two large anchors were salvaged. In 1744, William Johns of Penzance recovered timber, anchors, guns, pewter, iron and copper at Meres, near Mullion. In 1755 the complete bottom of a ship was landed, including a yard and part of a mast at Porthleven. Debris came ashore including barrels of butter and wine, pitch, hides, and timber.
In December 1779 a wine laden Dutch ship Slando Welvern was wrecked in Gunwalloe. In 1782 the brig Maria Elizabeth bound for Hamburg with wine and fruit was lost below Predannack Head and the ship, Torrington, with wines, was lost on Loe Bar during a winter gale. The Pola came ashore at Gunwalloe in January 1792 with hemp and cider. On 11 November 1799 a foreign vessel was wrecked at Mullion and all perished. An unusual wreck occurred on 18 May 1802 on Loe Bar when a French mackerel boat drove ashore in a gale. Eight were lost but six survived and were fed and clothed by John Rogers of Penrose.
In the space of several weeks in the winter of 1807, there were two disastrous shipwrecks within two miles of each other. The government transport ship James and Rebecca was returning with a squadron of an ill–fated Buenos Aires expedition struck the Halsferran cliffs just east of Gunwalloe shortly before midnight on 6 November. Half of her 200 on board were taken off by a rope chair, but eighty were aboard, including the captain, when the ship broke up at eleven the next morning. Ten sailors, twenty–eight troopers, and three children were drowned and buried in a common grave on the cliff top with a recitation of the Lord's Prayer by a local man.
(Larn and Carter, Cornish Shipwrecks, pages 138–144.)