View showing the town of Launceston in Cornwall from a distance. In the background is a motte (a mound) with Launceston castle, built soon after the Norman Conquest. Its location on the main northern route into Cornwall ensured it developed into an important administrative centre for the medieval Earls of Cornwall. Daniel Defoe visited Launceston in the early 18th century and commented it was 'the first town in the county....shewing little else, but marks of its antiquity; for great part of it is so old, as it may, in a manner, pass for an old ragged, decay'd place, in general. It stands at a distance, almost two miles from the river, over which, there is a very good bridge; the town is eminent, however for being, as we call it, the county town, where the assizes are always kept'. By 1799 the castle was no longer in use except as the County Gaol. This was engraved by Francis Jukes (1745-1812) a topographical engraver whose later works were mostly aquatints.