Place:Launceston, Cornwall, England

Alt namesDunheuedsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 60
Dunheuetsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 60
Dunhevedsource: Rand McNally Atlas (1994) I-49
Lannstefansource: Wikipedia
Launceston-St Mary Magdalenesource: Wikipedia
TypeTown, Borough (municipal)
Coordinates50.633°N 4.35°W
Located inCornwall, England
See alsoEast Hundred, Cornwall, Englandhundred in which Launceston was located
Launceston Rural, Cornwall, Englandrural district surrounding the town 1894-1974
Launceston Registration District, Cornwall, Englandregistration district of which it was part 1837-2007
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Launceston (Cornish: Lannstevan; rarely spelled Lanson) is a town, ancient borough, and civil parish in the east of Cornwall, England. In the West Saxon period Dunheved was the Southwestern Brittonic name for the town.

Launceston is situated just over one mile (1.6 km) west of the River Tamar which marks the border between Cornwall and Devon and is often referred to as the "gateway to Cornwall".

19th Century Parish Mergers

Launceston became a municipal borough in 1835 and continued as such until the municipal reorgaization of 1974. Prior to 1835 it was an "ancient borough" in East Hundred.

However, until late in the 19th century it was made up of four ecclesiastical parishes (which also became civil parises in 1866) and two "suburban" civil parishes:

In 1889 St. Stephen's by Launceston, St. Thomas the Apostle and Lawhitton were divided into "urban" and "rural" civil parishes. The urban parts of these three civil parishes were merged into Launceston Municipal Borough in 1894 along with St. Mary Magdalene and St. Thomas Street parishes which were merged in their entirety.

The rural parts (now known as St. Stephen's by Launceston Rural, St. Thomas-the-Apostle Rural and Lawhitton Rural) became part of the Launceston Rural District. St. Stephen's by Launceston Urban, St. Thomas-the-Apostle Urban and Lawhitton Urban continued to exist for ecclesiastical purposes separate from their rural counterparts. In WeRelate they have been redirected to Launceston.

The full title of the modern civil parish is Launceston-St Mary Magdalene. The population of Launceston-St Mary Magdalene parish in the 2001 census was 7,135. Ecclesiastically it is in the Diocese of Truro.


the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Launceston is built on the side of a large hill, which makes it almost immune to flooding, unlike the nearby suburb of Newport (redirected here), situated at the bottom of the hill, which is susceptible to flooding by the River Kensey. Launceston is a market town and the main shopping centre for the adjoining rural areas of west Devon and east Cornwall.

The suburb of Newport is recorded for the first time during the 13th century. The natural advantages of the Launceston district had been recognised by the Anglo-Saxon monks of St. Stephen and by the Norman Lord of Cornwall in the reign of King William I. At Launceston the River Tamar is joined by four tributaries within a short distance and its flood plain is relatively large, while further south the Tamar valley is narrow and meandering.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Launceston.

Research Tips

One of the many maps available on A Vision of Britain through Time is one from the Ordnance Survey Series of 1900 illustrating the parish boundaries of Cornwall at the turn of the 20th century. This map blows up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets.

The following websites have pages explaining their provisions in WeRelate's Repository Section. Some provide free online databases.

  • GENUKI makes a great many suggestions as to other websites with worthwhile information about Cornwall as well as providing 19th century descriptions of each of the ecclesiastical parishes.
  • FamilySearch Wiki provides a similar information service to GENUKI which may be more up-to-date.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time has
  1. organization charts of the hierarchies of parishes within hundreds, registration districts and rural and urban districts of the 20th century
  2. excerpts from a gazetteer of circa 1870 outlining individual towns and parishes
  3. reviews of population through the time period 1800-1960
  • More local sources can often be found by referring to "What Links Here" in the column on the left.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Launceston, Cornwall. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.