Launceston Castle

School Visits

Cover a range of topics and learn more about life in a castle over several key historical periods, with a visit to Launceston Castle. Begun soon after the Norman Conquest, a stone keep was later added on top of a large natural mound, with stunning views over the surrounding landscape. The castle was also used as a prison during the 17th century, a Cornish Royalist base in the Civil War and later, a US field hospital during the First and Second World Wars.

Curriculum links

Visit Launceston Castle to support your teaching in a fun and engaging way, and cover multiple topics across the curriculum.

  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places within the locality
  • KS2 History: Local history study. Study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS2 Geography: Use geographical skills and fieldwork. Understand the strategic significance of the castle’s position
  • KS3 History: Local history study. Development of Church, state and society in Britain 1066-1509 and 1509-1750
  • GCSE History: Study of the historic environment

Free Self-led Visits

Book a free self-led visit to organise your day to meet your curriculum objectives. Explore Launceston Castle to learn about what life was really like in a medieval castle: walk through the south gatehouse into the bailey which enclosed the main medieval buildings, before climbing up to the keep. At the top of the tower, look out over the surrounding town and countryside, and imagine what it would have been like to defend this castle from attack. Visit the exhibition room to learn more about the history of the castle or explore the medieval replica objects in our Loan Box.

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Plan Your Trip

We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. You can find all our site-specific information and tools below, and further information on our what to expect page.

Download our free resources to help you make the most out of your visit and create unique learning experiences before, during and after your trip. We also offer free planning visits once you have made a booking, plus a 20% discount on the official English Heritage guidebook for your place of choice.

Once you book your visit you’ll be sent a visit permit, which you’ll need to bring with you on the day.

Visit our bookings page to start planning your trip!

  • Facilities
    • PARKING: There are a number of nearby pay and display car parks which can be used by visitors to the castle, including a multi-storey car park (managed by NCP) opposite the castle and long and short stay council owned car parks within a 10-15 minute walk. Disabled parking is available by prior arrangement, please call the castle.
    • TOILETS: Unfortunately there are no toilets available at the site.
    • LUNCH: Students are welcome to bring packed lunches and picnic on the grass, and there are some picnic benches available. 
    • SHOP: There is a shop selling a selection of English Heritage gifts and themed souvenirs. We recommend bringing your students in small groups at a time.
    • ACCESSIBILITY: The outer bailey, exhibition and shop are accessible to wheelchair users. There are 64 steps leading up to the keep, with a number of resting places on the way up, and handrails are provided.
  • Hazard Information

    A useful tool to help with your risk assessments.


    You must meet the following ratios for leaders to students on the day of your visit when booking, and if your group is forming smaller groups while at the site:

    • Ages 4-5 (UK Reception) 1 leader for every 4 students (1:4)
    • Ages 5-7 (UK Key Stage 1) 1 leader for every 6 students (1:6)
    • Ages 7-11 (UK Key Stage 2) 1 leader for every 10 students (1:10) and
    • Ages 11-18 (UK Key Stages 3, 4, and 5) 1 leader for every 15 students (1:15)
    • For an adult learning group, consisting of individuals all over the age of 18, there are no ratios but there must be an appointed group leader
    • All ratios outlined above apply to home education groups
    • If your group consists of children aged 3 and/or 4, you must also refer to the Early Years and Foundation Stage Statutory Framework which sets out specific legal requirements for minimum ratios for this age group, to include requirements about the qualifications of the leaders
    • SEND groups must meet the minimum ratios above but may bring any additional leaders as required to adequately support their group
  • Education Site Opening Times

    We offer free self-led education visits during school term time*

    *Free education visits are not offered on UK public holidays or during the operation of additional fee paying public events at English Heritage sites.

    • April-September: Monday-Sunday 10-5pm
    • October: Monday-Sunday 10-4pm
    • November-March: No bookings can be taken at the current time

Learning Resources

  • Launceston Castle Handling Collection Kit (KS1-KS2)

    Our Handling Collection Kit features historical information and activity suggestions for group leaders of various subjects and key stages.

  • Teaching Medieval History

    Use historical information, learning activities and tips from our historians, curators and educational experts to support your teaching of medieval history.

  • A Mini Guide to Castles

    ​Discover how castles developed over time with this short introduction.

  • How to Take a Medieval Castle

    Watch our short animation to learn more about how to take a medieval castle. 

  • Local Learning: Launceston Castle

    Discover the unique historic environment around Launceston Castle with our suggested reading, activities and video resources. 

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