Launceston Travel Guide

  • Launceston castle
    Launceston castle
    by leics
  • Exterior carvings.
    Exterior carvings.
    by leics
  • Market square
    Market square
    by leics

Launceston Things to Do

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    Visit St Mary Magdalene

    by leics Updated Jan 21, 2012

    Even if you do not go inside, make sure you have a look at the exterior.

    It is almost completed covered in decorated slabs of granite, wonderfully carved.

    The south porch is the most elaborate, with scenes such as St George slaying the dragon, pomegranates, flowers and fruit heads.

    On the east side there is a figure of St Mary Magdalene, lying down with a vase of ointment beside her. You may see small stones on her back: there is is a local tradition that if you manage to get your stone to stay on the sculpture you will soon get new clothes!

    Inside there is an interesting and elaborate memorial to two men who were the greatest of friends in life and wanted to be buried together. Ironically, they are not actually buried in the church, nor even in Launceston itself!

    There are a few other interesting memorials, including one to a traveller who fell ill and died of cholera in the town in 1849. Much concern ensued, but an epidemic did not occur and the vicar at the time raised funds from the local people for both a plaque in memory of the traveller and restoration of the church in thanksgiving.

    St Mary Magdalene South porch St Mary Magdalene with stones St George and the dragon Church interior
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

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    Look at the architecture

    by leics Written Jan 21, 2012

    Launceston town centre does have some interesting buildings and architectural interest.

    Look up at the rooflines. Notice how narrow some of the streets are (a clue to their age) and how little alleyways runbetween some of them...especially into the market square, which would always have been the heart of the town.

    Find the Norman South Gate, once part of the town walls.

    I was surprised to see several buildings with shingling, of either slate or wood. This is not common in England (or Devon and Cornwall) so I assume it must be a local building style.

    Varying rooflines 1600s overhanging top story (and subsidence!) South Gate Wooden shingling Narrow alleyway and slate shingling
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Photography
    • Historical Travel

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    Visit the castle

    by leics Written Jan 21, 2012

    Launceston Castle is a classic Norman motte-and-bailey castle built around 1070 . At first it would have been a wooden keep (tower) set on its motte, in this case a natural hill reinforced by further massive earthworks. The tone structure was built slightly later.

    It is unusual because the stone keep is round...usually they are square. It is likely that the natural shape o the existing hill dictated the shape of the keep.

    The castle has superb views over the surrounding countryside and dominates the town sitting below.

    If the keep is not open you can still wander the 'bailey' (courtyard area), which also has wonderful views. The foundations of some buildings can be seen.

    The castle was used as a prison for many centuries, as late as 1645.

    There is an exhibition of finds from excavations and a shop.

    Worth a visit if you are in the area. Check the website for opening times.

    Castle entrance View from the bailey Dominating the town
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Architecture

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Launceston Restaurants

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    The Jamaica Inn

    by Elodie_Caroline Written Mar 1, 2008

    Mary, Anne, Geoff, Chris and I came here for lunch, as we had only driven past this very famous pub on our last trip to Cornwall in 1994. Mary wanted to drive us there, in her Range Rover, she wanted to show it off and she is quite a boy racer too, definitely not one of your normal women drivers. I think that Jeremy Clarkson should have her on 'Top Gear'!
    I'm not used to getting in and out of very high cars and I ripped the crotch of my trousers as I got out of the car to go to the pub. I always tell people that it was Geoff who made me rip my trousers though hehehe.

    There were quite a crowd of people here, even though it was nearly the end of September, so well past the holiday season. The five of us had a good old chin wag and a laugh. I was telling Geoff about the novel I was writing, which is now finished and so is the sequel! It has a nice ambiance about the place and I would gladly come here again. After lunch, we had a few photos done outside.

    Favorite Dish:
    We were in Cornwall, so what do you think we had for lunch? Yes, of course, we had a Cornish pasty!

    Jamaica Inn Geoff coming out of the pub An anchor outside of Jamaica Inn Me squashing poor old Geoff
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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    Mad Hatters Tea Shop

    by northeast80 Written Feb 8, 2007

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    Jam packed full of tea pots.
    We had a lovely tea cake with a pot of tea and sat near the window watching the people pass by.
    They serve a variety of teas, real coffee, cakes, sandwiches and hot food such as jacket potatos.
    Just a nice little tea shop really.

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  • Launceston Hotels

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Launceston Transportation

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    by Carmela71 Updated Nov 12, 2003

    I loved this parking...

    We used the one to stay only two hours.. (not sure but they have an specific name... I have to find it lol

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Launceston Favorites

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    Castle Dyke

    by Carmela71 Written Dec 16, 2002

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    Favorite thing: Access to the Castle itself is obtained through the Keeper's Lodge where historical information is available

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