Federation of Old Cornwall Societies

Facebook circle blue large

Launceston Old Cornwall Society



President: Mr Robert Tremain 01566 772164


Chairman: Mr John Ellacott  01566 776142


Secretary: Mr John Neale 01566 774683.


Treasurer: Mr Bill Roberts 01566 774227





Click to contact this Society







Our meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Royal British Legion Branch HQ,

Edymead, Westgate Street, Launceston PL15 7AE


Meetings begin at 7.30 pm  


Subscriptions £10 per annum


Visitors always welcome







Founded: 1946


Colours: Royal Blue & Gold


Launceston new Launceston. 1824 (12) Launceston 2018-19

Double click to insert body text here ...






The newest Old Cornwall Society, Cury and Gunwalloe, inaugurated in November 2018 chose Launceston as the destination for their first full-day pilgrimage. The day was co-ordinated by Miss Priscilla Oates President of the visiting society and John Neale Hon Sec Launceston Old Cornwall Society supported by members Robert Tremain, Bill Roberts, John Ellacott and Ray Hunkin. The group met at the Eagle House Hotel for morning coffee when Mr Tremain, requested guide for the day gave a comprehensive history of the town. The tour kicked off with a short visit to the castle, Doomsdale and Castle Street. Moving on to St. Mary’s church various exterior features were mentioned, the clock, the first public clock in Cornwall, the granite carvings and the reclining figure of St. Mary Magdalene, the famous church Minstrels and lantern cross. Then via Blind Hole the party reached the Southgate arch and Angel Hill where the story of a Bishop when visiting the town heard the choir singing and he imagined that he was in Heaven with the angels singing. Since that time the incline has been known as Angel Hill. The history of the south gate arch was explained, as was Chings Alley and Southgate Street birthplace of Philip Gidley King. Reaching the Square the history of several building was explained. The visitors were surprised to learn that there is a reservoir under the square.  After lunch Mr Tremain and the Launceston members met the guests at St. Mary’s church. Inside, the history and the stories of the numerous features were mentioned. The group then took a leisurely stroll down Northgate street to the old Northgate Inn and the Passemore Edwards Library. On St. Thomas Hill the visitors were particularly interested to see the slate-hung house where once the young Charles Causley lived with his mother.  Reaching the old railway bridge the party were lucky to see the visiting Indian locomotive standing in the station. Pressing on the group were interested in the history of the roundhouse and the market cross where among other sites in the town Royal proclamations were made and the results of elections were declared. Reaching the Prior’s bridge over the river Kensey, Mr Tremain paused to read verses from the poem. “By St Thomas Water” by Charles Causley who was born nearby. The party then visited St. Thomas church and the Priory. The whole walking-tour was laced with humorous anecdotes and personal memories and interjections from the visitors. The group then returned to the Eagle House Hotel for cream tea.  Mr Tremain and the Launceston members were thanked by Miss Oates on behalf of the visitors, for their hospitality and a most interesting and memorable visit to Launceston.                    



                                                                   John Neale

                                                                   Hon Sec.

                                                                   Launceston Old Cornwall Society  




The March meeting the last in the Autumn/Winter syllabus was held at the Royal British Legion in Westgate Street. Members were welcomed by John Ellacott Society chairman.  There were no apologies for absence. Mr. Ellacott then gave brief details of the Federation Centenary celebrations to be held on Saturday 13th June at Falmouth. MEMBERS PLEASE NOTE DUE TO THE CORONA VIRUS  SITUATION THESE CELEBRATIONS HAVE NOW BEEN CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Members sang Trelawny and mention was made of the S.Pirans’s Day in the town.  The regular Cornish language spot, months, daily greetings and numbers was presented by Mrs. P Tremain. Mr R Temain gave an update after much research and lengthy discussions with senior diocesan church authorities and the St. Thomas church Parochial church council on the society latest project to place a suitably worded plaque in St Thomas churchyard to remember those executed in the town between 1200 and 1821 and later buried in the churchyard.  

Mr. Ellacott then introduced Mrs. Valerie Jacob and Mr. Brian Jacob from Crinnis St. Austell with a second selection of “More Curious Cornish Corners.” Some having been sought out and others accidentally discovered in travels around the county. One of the first buildings was the old chapel and adjoining stables dating from 1843 at Blunts.  Members were interested in a pair of granite roadside stones, some distance apart on the lane just beyond Callington New Bridge. The “Put On” stone and the “Take Off” stones date  from the days of horse drawn traffic when it was obligatory to add an extra horse to help pull loaded wagons up the steep hill. On release at the “Take Off” stone the horse made its way back to the bottom of the hill to await the next wagon and to repeat its job!    

The holy well at St.Keyne and its legend was featured as well as that at Menacuddle where the holy well carries a plaque to remember a member of the Sawle family  who was killed during World War one.  Churches and churchyards featured, the granaite cross at Quethiock one of the tallest in the county, the mausoleum to the Pendarves family at Treslothan from the Pendarves estate near Camborne and the “Thankful  church” at Hessenford one of only a handful of such churches in the country from where when every person who served in the war thankfully  returned. A surprise discovery was made at Irons Foundry in Polmorla road at Wadebridge. Several full size cannons having been forged at the Foundry were awaiting delivery to a customer in the Middle East. The Duloe stone circle, the famous Darley Oak, the green stone window at Trerithick manor at Altarnun,the Dove Cot  in Culver Close Wadebridge, Squeeze Guts Alley in Truro, and the Carn Brae monument all had a mention.  Surprisingly at Port Navas on the Helford an old red telephone kiosk has been put to another use ---a public toilet, complete with curtains!  The talk ended with a visit to Pawton Quoit near St Breoke which monument has the largest cap-stone in the county. The talk was peppered with humorous anecdotes.  Mr.Mrs Jacob were both thanked for a fascinating talk by John Ellacott Society chairman.  The monthly raffle was run by Vera Ellacott and Bill Roberts.  The first pilgrimage of the Summer season will be a private afternoon visit on April 8th to Pengenna Manor Trelill Camelford. In view of the Corona virus situation members who have booked for this pilgrimage will be kept informed of developments.                  

John Neale

Hon Sec.

Launceston Old Cornwall Society  

E Mail   [email protected],com