Launceston (properly pronounced Lanson) was the administrative centre of Cornwall’s Norman overlords. Its castle was begun soon after the Normans arrived, and the new town clustered around its base. It became Cornwall’s assize town in 1177, was walled in the early 1200s and received a charter in 1225. Meanwhile, the market and monastery had been duly moved across the river from St Stephen’s, confirming Launceston’s medieval status.

Launceston’s High Street in the early 1900s

Population 1861: 3,000

Population 2011: 9,200

Planned population 2031: 12,500

Launceston is sprawling over the rolling countryside to its west as housing developers flock to the town