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.
Hannah jory: mother, prostitute & convict
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.
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!
Australian dictionary of biography
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.
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.
The descent to chaos
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.
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.
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.
Coulter, james (–)
Nice post! We always used to visit Launceston for the otter park when I was younger. Share this: Tweet.
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! Meur ras! If you enjoy what I do, if my articles inspire you to discover more of Cornwall please consider buying me a pasty!