Launceston Castle


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.

Information about your visit

A visit to one of our sites will inspire your students and bring your teaching to life. We'd like to reassure you that we're following Government guidance to make your trip as safe and enjoyable as possible. 

Important information to consider before you book:

  • To keep everyone safe we’ve introduced limits on visitor numbers and school groups, so please bear this in mind when booking your trip.
  • Find out more about what to expect on your school visit, which also includes our Covid 19 Risk Assessment.
  • To make the planning process as easy as possible, make sure you check our Plan Your School Trip section at the bottom of this page, for updated information on the facilities at the site as well as our free resources.
  • As usual, you’ll need to book your visit at least 14 days in advance. Please check our Terms and Conditions for full details.
  • Although is it not a requirement, any teachers, parents, or students aged 16 years can check in via the NHS Test and Trace app, using the NHS QR code posters displayed at the site entrance. Please factor this into your travel/arrival time. For more information about how we are handling your personal data for NHS Test and Trace please visit this page.

We’re continually updating our education offer in line with government guidance.  Most of our English Heritage sites are now open, including indoor spaces and cafes.  At some sites you might not be able to use our handling collections or costumes as part of a free self-led visit, but where we can provide hands-on items in a safe way we will. We’ve adapted our Discovery Visit workshops to follow government guidelines, but for certain sessions this hasn’t been possible – please check our schools webpages for further information.

There may be areas of our sites which are closed, so please check what’s available for your school group on our property webpages and with our booking team.  They can put you in touch with our Education Visits Officers who can offer help and guidance, so you can make the most of your school trip.

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, and try on historical costumes. 

Enquire now

Plan Your Trip

We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. 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 for group leaders once you have made a booking. Our Education Booking Team is on hand to advise and help you create the best possible school trip to suit your needs and area of study.

  • 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. There is no on-site parking for coaches and minibuses, although access to the staff car park is permitted for school visits if arranged in advance
    • 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 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
  • Enquire now

  • School visits

    We’re pleased to confirm we’re now taking bookings online until 30 September. All bookings must be made at least 14 days in advance.

    Our site staff and education team are still working hard to keep everyone safe and we continue to follow government guidance.

    Due to the current situation we can’t answer calls as quickly as we’d like to. If you’d like more information about a site, email us and we’ll put you in touch with an Education Visits Officer.

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