Launceston Castle - English Heritage

An exterior view of Launceston Castle

Set on a large natural mound, Launceston Castle dominates the surrounding landscape. Begun soon after the Norman Conquest, its focus is an unusual keep consisting of a 13th-century round tower built by Richard Earl of Cornwall, inside an earlier circular shell-keep. The tower top is now reached via a dark internal staircase.

The castle long remained a prison and George Fox, founder of the Quakers, suffered harsh confinement here in 1656. A display traces 1,000 years of history, with finds from site excavations.

Venue Type:

Castle or defences

Opening hours

1-30 Sep 10am-5pm daily / 1Oct - 1 Nov 10am-4pm daily / Closed 2 Nov-31 Mar

Admission charges



  • English Heritage
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Did Dragons Live in Castles? Discovery Visit

Explore the castle's kitchen, keep and guard's tower to discover what it would have been like to live here in the past. Through simple role-play and artefact handling find out if dragons really did live in castles or if knights chased them all away.
Duration: 1 hour
Key Stage: 1, History, Drama, Literacy

How to obtain

Call 0117 975 0720 to arrange a 1 hour session, held every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during term time. Price £60 per group of up to 30 pupils until April 2009, £75 per group after April 2009. Visit for more information.

Launceston Castle - English Heritage
PL15 7DR



01566 772365

All information is supplied by the venues or providers themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.

Related teaching activities

Key Stage 2 English, 1-2 lessons

En3 Writing

Write a short story set at Launceston Castle.

Key Stage 2 Geography, 1-2 lessons

Geographical enquiry and skills

Carry out research into Launceston Castle, looking at location and other geographical issues. Share your findings with the whole class on an interactive whiteboard.

Key Stage 2 History, 1-2 lessons

Organisation and communication

Work in small groups to script and present a short improvised sketch set in Launceston Castle at any time during its history.

Key Stage 2 Maths, 1 lesson

Ma3 Shape, space and measure

What measurements can be taken of the site and the circular shell keep so that we can draw a scale drawing and map of Launceston Castle?

Key Stage 3 Design and Technology, Small project

1.1 Designing and making

Make a 3D model based on the shapes observed at Launceston Castle