Click here to skip to content

Launceston Castle, Cornwall f.173

Launceston Castle, Cornwall f.173

Artist: Buckler, John Chessell

Medium: Pencil on paper

Date: 1821

Shelfmark: Additional MS 36360

Item number: f.173

Length: 12.7

Width: 19.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Drawing

The 12-century castle, perched high up on its motte, looms majestically over the town, adding a brooding menace in contrast to the quaintness of the narrow medieval streets below. Built firstly as an earthwork castle after the Norman conquest, it was strategically placed to control the river crossing in and out of the county. During the 12 and 13th centuries, as the area grew in importance, the Earls of Cornwall rebuilt the structure in stone and gradually also enclosed the town below, making Launceston the county's administrative centre and the only walled town in Cornwall.

Its authority however was short-lived, and by the end of the 13th century a new centre of administration had been established in Lostwithiel, and the castle gradually fell into disrepair.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites


Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: