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Launceston Castle, Cornwall f.174

Launceston Castle, Cornwall f.174

Artist: Buckler, John Chessell

Medium: Pencil on paper

Date: 1821

Shelfmark: Additional MS 36360

Item number: f.174

Length: 12.7

Width: 19.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Drawing

Launceston Castle was built originally as an earthwork by the Normans on a site strategically placed to control the river crossing in and out of the county. The Earls of Cornwall rebuilt the castle in stone during the 12th and 13th centuries and enclosed the town below at the same time, making Launceston the administrative centre of Cornwall.

By the end of the 13th century, the Cornish Earls decided to move their capital to Lostwithiel. The castle still played an active role in regional government, it housed the local Assizes and the prison but the fabric of the building was allowed to fall into disrepair. One famous inhabitant of the jail was George Fox, founder of the Quaker movement, who was imprisoned here for eight months in 1656.

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