We are frequent visitors to Cornwall and we’ve visited Launceston many times over the years, but we’ve never visited Launceston Castle. The boy has been learning about castles at school, so whilst we were in the area we decided to pay a visit to the castle and learn a bit more about life there.
Launceston Castle is in the north Cornish town of Launceston. You can’t miss it, it’s right on the top of a hill and really dominates the surrounding landscape. It is believed there has been a castle on the site for around 1000 years. Launceston Castle was built after the Norman conquest but was redeveloped by Richard, Earl of Cornwall in the 13th century and was originally his administrative headquarters.
Launceston Castle is a motte and bailey style castle. The castle has a fairly unusual design. It has unusual keep consisting of a 13th century round tower which is set within an earlier circular shell-keep. The top of the tower is reached by an internal stone staircase and once you are up there you’ll find breathtaking views of the town and the countryside beyond.
Although Launceston Castle doesn’t have any on-site parking, you can park in nearby car parks. You access the castle through the 13th century southern gatehouse which leads you up to the bailey where the ruins of the great hall, kitchen and hall can be seen.