Following our adventure in Britain, our plan was to relocate to Tasmania and rent a house in Launceston while we searched for a property of our own. Little did we know, in the early 19th century, Launceston had been given the name of the town in Cornwall (although there it is pronounced ‘lawn-sten’). Known as the Gateway to Cornwall, Launceston is just across the border from Devon and so, to control the river crossing, a castle was built soon after the Norman Conquest of 1066.
Originally a wooden structure, the castle is set high on a grassy mound and was replaced with a circular stone keep in the 12th century.
We wandered around the castle, marvelling at the stonework from so long ago.
The views across the town and the Tamar Valley were breathtaking.
From the top, the remains of the moat are evident.
By the middle of the 17th century, after the Civil War, the castle was virtually in ruins
and large parts of the wall are now missing.
In the 19th century, the castle area was landscaped and turned into a public park.
We ended our perfect day with a pint at the Bell Inn, a three storey 15th century Inn reputed to be the oldest public house in Launceston.
It doesn’t get much better than that.