Launceston Castle


Launceston Castle is a stunning motte and bailey castle originally built of timber in 1068 after the Norman Conquest and then in Stone by Richard of Cornwall in 1227, complete with a high tower so that the very boundaries of the estate could be seen. It was for centuries the capital of Cornwall. In 1546 28 people including William Body were executed here for removing and destroying statues!

The Castle is strategically situated between Bodmin Moor and Dartmoor controlling access over Polson Ford into and out of Cornwall and was fought over many times. Even in 1539 it was considered ‘the strongest, though not the biggest castle’ in England.

Unusually it had a watermill at the south-west, and a league of deer, which is three miles of deer park.

Famous owners include Prince John; the Black Prince (first Duke of Cornwall); and the Royalist general Sir Thomas Fairfax (briefly!) in the Civil War.

In 1834 the Western Road, the main route to London, was built upon the southern edge of the castle.

It is now owned by HRH Prince Charles, Duke of Cornwall, through the Duchy of Cornwall.

Launceston Castle
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