|Launceston, pop 6500,is the ancient Capital
of Cornwall and holder of several Royal Charters. It lies
on the Cornwall Devon border, in the far south West of
England. To the West lies Bodmin Moor, to the north the
rugged Atlantic Coast,with its great beaches. To the East
Dartmoor, and the tranquil River Tamar, which runs all the
way to the English Channel on the South Coast.|
Standing guard over the once walled Town is the Norman Castle, with its stunning views for many miles in all directions. Originally there were three arches or gateways to the Town. One of these, the Southgate Arch remains to this day.
Beginning in the Square one only needs to take a short
stroll through the Town's narrow streets to see buildings
of all styles and ages; from Tutor to Georgian to Gothic
Victorian. Castle Street has many Georgian Town Houses,
one; Lawrence House is a Museum, containing the history of the Town from prehistoric times to the present day.
Full of charming exhibits, including an display of Victorian Costume.
Another, the Eagle House, is a fine Hotel.
The imposing White Hart Hotel in the Square is also
Many of the properties have interesting frontages, forming an eye catching street scene on every turn. Little details like the town clock, or the boot above a former shoe shop delight, the eye.
The Parish Church
,St Mary Magdalene, dates from the 16th Century, though
its Tower is earlier. The Church has a most intricately
carved granite exterior.
|To the west lies Bodmin Moor , with its wind swept granite tors, its isolated farmsteads, and sheltered villages .Also to the west are Dozmary Pool where King Arthur tossed his sword Excaliber, and the Jamaica Inn, an Old smugglers' haunt, made famous by the novel of the same name.|
Head South into the Tamar Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,
and the country lanes become narrower,
the hedgebanks higher. Dotted all along the Valley are Ivy covered Engine Houses,
all that remains of a 18th Century mining heyday when the Area was
the Copper Capital of the World.
|Providing the only crossing points of the River Tamar for many centuries are several impressive arch bridges, all of which date back to the 15th century or earlier. These were financed from 40 day indulgences granted by the Abbot of Tavistock Abbey, such as the beautiful Greystones Bridge; 3 miles out of the town , and Horsebridge, 2 miles furthur downstream, both completed in 1437. When the monasteries were dissolved in 1520, the local inhabitants had to then maintain the highway themselves, and the era of fine masonry bridge building came to a close.|
Finally one more image of the delightful Town Centre
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