Launceston Town Council
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Launceston Priory Ruins

Launceston Priory was founded in 1126 and dedicated to St Stephen, and was a source of comfort and help to many over the years, including a visit from Edward the Black Prince and also many other dignitaries.  It cared for the leper community at St Leonards, doing good in many areas until it fell under the heavy hand of Henry VIII at the time of the dissolution in 1539.

The structure is the Grade II* Listed remains of the Priory and its associated buildings, which were excavated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, exposing remnants of slatestone walls with volcanic stone dressings.  The ruins are spread over a large site and include what must be the Priory Church with steps up towards the east end with moulded abutments and jambs.  There is a newel stair which is a short distance north of the crossing and two stone chest tombs partly within the crossing.

In recent years, as a result of grant funding, the ruins of the old Priory were conserved, the grounds tidied up and interpretation board (see link at bottom of page) installed to help explain its long history to visitors.  Improved access has been created through St Thomas churchyard.

A Friends of Launceston Priory Group has been set up under the chairmanship of the Rev David Michaels of St Thomas Church.  The Friends will look after the Priory now the work has been completed, in partnership with the Town Council.  New Friends are always welcome - please contact Rev Michaels or Deputy Town Clerk, Frances Nally (at the Town Council offices) for more information.

Priory Interpretation Board

Adobe Acrobat Document (PDF) - 1.98 MB