Set on a large natural mound, Launceston Castle dominates the surrounding landscape. Begun soon after the Norman Conquest, its focus is an unusual keep consisting of a 13th-century round tower built by Richard of Cornwall, inside an earlier circular shell-keep. Within, the large central chamber is now reached via a dark corridor.
The castle long remained a prison and George Fox, founder of the Quakers, suffered harsh confinement here in 1656. A display traces 1,000 years of history, with finds from site excavations.