Ancient capital of Cornwall
Launceston is the chief town of a wide area lying
between Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor. In Saxon times it was the site
of a Royal Mint. By the 12th century the town itself had become
walled (the only walled town in Cornwall) and for centuries the
Assizes were housed here, in the castle itself and Guildhalls
in the town.
The Prince of Wales comes to Launceston once in
his lifetime as Duke of Cornwall to receive the feudal dues which
are his right within the Duchy.
Launceston has been and still is an important market
centre; the rights to hold such markets were among the privileges
granted by Royal Charter. These Charters and other historical
papers are housed in the Archives of Launceston.
Other places of interest in Launceston, include
Lawrence House which displays a 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. The Southgate arch which incorporates an Art
Gallery; and the Town Hall with its fine clock and quarterjacks
to chime hours and quarters.
Launceston is now a busy Cornish Market Town with
many shops and businesses located in and around the Town Square.
Launceston Steam Railway - a two and a half mile
steam railway running through the glorious Kensey Valley, linking
the historic Cornish town of Launceston to the hamlet of Newmills.