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I find researching and writing about an ordinary person from the past fascinating perhaps it is my natural nosiness.

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It lies below the Norman castle which guards the approach to Cornwall over the Tamar.

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Living as I do in Mid Cornwall sometimes it can feel that I am a long way from anywhere in either direction. And the same must be said for the other direction too. Yesterday however I did just that. I found myself with a couple of hours to kill in North Cornwall before an appointment across the border in Devon, so I took the opportunity to stop in the pretty town of Launceston.

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Launceston, I think, has a lot going for it. The pretty narrow streets, old gateway, a lovely market square and a wonderful Norman castle looking down on it all.

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The church however is truly something special. It was built between and and has hardly been altered since. I think it is the prettiest in the county! And I understand from the information booklet I purchased on my visit I like a booklet and aim to get one from every church I go in!

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As I wandered around listening to the almost deafening organ practice I have to say I fell in love all over again. But while I was taking another look at the outside something caught my eye.

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The exterior of the church is really wonderful. The detail and extravagance of the sculpted granite is truly fabulous.

There are plants and flowers. Pomegranates and George and a scary looking dragon. Saints, dogs and griffins. So much detail. But why was that reclining statue lying in a niche at the east end of the building littered with small stones? I referred to my handy information booklet.

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It tells me the statue is the Mary Magdalene after whom the church is named. She is lounging on a cushioned bed, surrounded by choristers and minstrels.

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Clearly Launceston quite liked this so called fallen lady. The tradition continues among children and some adults in Launceston, that if you throw a stone that lodges [on Mary Magdalene] you will shortly have new clothes given to you.

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Well, that has to be worth a go! I wonder what she thinks about having pebbles lobbed at her by a grown woman?! Sorry Mary! Charles Causley — a life in poems. Celia Fiennes: Through Cornwall, side-saddle! That first picture looked so much like Truro that I had to double take. Launceston is incredibly pretty though.

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Nice post! We always used to visit Launceston for the otter park when I was younger. Share this: Tweet.

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Like this: Like Loading Newlyn: The Last Port for the Mayflower. The Ruin of Merther Church. Another great post.

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Thank you. Pingback: What has St Piran ever done for us? Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Hello lovely reader - If you enjoy what I do, if my articles inspire you to discover more of Cornwall please consider buying me a pasty!

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Thank you! Meur ras! If you enjoy what I do, if my articles inspire you to discover more of Cornwall please consider buying me a pasty!