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About Launceston  |  Weather


Launceston, (Pronounced locally as Lanson) the Ancient Capital of and acknowledged gateway to Cornwall sits astride the A30 one mile from the Devon/ Cornwall border, in an area of considerable beauty and charm with easy access to both North and South Coasts as well as to the cities of Exeter, Plymouth and Truro.

Dating back to Celtic times the whole of Launceston is steeped in history and is dominated by its Castle built by Brian de Bretagne the first Norman Earl of Cornwall in the 11th Century. Once the site of the Royal Mint and the only walled town in Cornwall the Launceston of today has much to offer and to reward both business and leisure interests.

There is a town trail for visitors to follow which highlights the ancient architecture and historical features including the 16th Century Church of St. Mary Magdalene which has one of the most lavishly carved exteriors of any Church in England. There are three other churches as well as a Methodist Chapel and Kingdom Hall, three Primary Schools, one private school and Launceston College, so both spiritual and secular needs are well served.

Other places of interest include Lawrence House which has on display an astonishing variety of historical artefacts and is recognised as one of the finest museums in the South West, the Northgate and Prison where the Quaker George Fox was imprisoned, Southgate arch which now incorporates an Art Gallery, the Town Hall with its fine clock and quarter jacks to chime hours and quarters and of course the Town Square and surrounding narrow streets where Georgian houses stand in splendid array.

Lying below and to the North of the Town is the Parish Church of St. Thomas which stands close to the ruins of Launceston Priory founded in 1126 by the then Bishop of Exeter and alongside the River Kensey over which pedestrians can still cross by means of the ancient Clapper Bridge.

Launceston Priory was at one time the wealthiest in Cornwall and after its consecration it was dedicated to St. Stephen the Proto-Martyr and the Monks who were placed in the Priory professed to the rule of St. Augustine. By the 14th Century the Priory had become a stately monastic building and by the 16th Century had achieved its peak in both influence and wealth but following the dissolution of the Monasteries it was razed to the ground and never re-erected. The site was rediscovered in the late 19th Century during the construction of the railways and enough of the foundations were revealed to enable its size and layout of the building to be determined.

The Town Council, District Council and Local Archivists are at present time actively engaged in securing the site, and preserving the remains thus ensuring that the site will continue to be a place of important historic interest. Launceston is a busy Market Town with numerous shops and businesses located in and around the Town Square.

The population is in the region of 7000 and there are outline planning permissions in place to enable some 200 new homes to be built. Sites and grants are available for commercial enterprises relocating to one or other of the Towns two industrial estates and bearing in mind Launceston's excellent road access and close proximity to airports at Exeter, Plymouth, and Newquay, the surrounding beautiful moorland areas of Bodmin and Dartmoor and the nearness of beaches on both North and South Coasts it would be difficult to find a more pleasant place in which to establish a business enterprise. Local facilities include hotel and pubs, a sports centre, two 18 hole golf courses, 2 bowls clubs, football, rugby and cricket teams, salmon and trout fishing, squash, tennis, keep fit, etc. and there is a cottage hospital and medical centre to serve the local population.






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