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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.
Updated Jan 21, 2012
Address: Tower Street/Church Street
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.
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.
Written Jan 21, 2012
Amazing, I've never seen a church or indeed a building like this one. Covered in carving on its granite facade.
The church was built between 1511 and 1524 by Henry Trecarrell and its outside has hardly changed since then, however, the interior has, which is more Victorian than anything else.
There are a number of memorials inside from remembering people who died in the Civil war to the Second World War.
The pews have lovely carving on the ends, dating from the late 19th Century.
The pulpit is said to be the oldest thing inside the church dating from the Reformation (c.1530's).
The triptych on the altar is a copy of the painting by Hans Memling representing the Nativity, the Adoration of the Magi and the Presentation in the Temple.
Written Feb 8, 2007
Perfect place to stop to enjoy the view (off the A30, before you enter Bodmin Moor) and step back in time.
You imagine you're the lord of the castle as you enjoy the view from a room in the tower, and then ascend the steps up the tower wall.
Updated Sep 19, 2003
Address: In Launceston (OS Map 201; ref SX 330846)
Phone: 01566 772365
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.
We were in Cornwall, so what do you think we had for lunch? Yes, of course, we had a Cornish pasty!
Written Mar 1, 2008
Phone: +44 (0) 1566 86250
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.
Written Feb 8, 2007
Address: 28 Church Street
Phone: 01566 777188
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
Updated Nov 12, 2003
Favorite thing: Access to the Castle itself is obtained through the Keeper's Lodge where historical information is available
Written Dec 16, 2002