Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1280301.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 05-Mar-2021 at 16:04:23.


Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SX 33208 84675



SX3284 CHURCH STREET 660-1/4/48 Church of St Mary Magdalene 27/02/50


Chapel, later church to serve the town of Launceston. Late C14 tower, otherwise 1511-24 for Sir Henry Trecarrel of Trecarrel; restored 1852 and 1893. Carved granite and granite ashlar with embattled parapets and coped gables; dry Delabole slate roofs. Tower is coursed greenstone. Plan: West tower ( originally detached); nave/chancel; north and south aisle of same length and south porch. 4-stage embattled tower with setback angle buttresses; stair-tower to SE side. West front with moulded, pointed-arched doorway right of centre; 3-light traceried window above trefoil-headed light. C16 church is buttressed and has elaborate carved decoration up to parapet cornice returned as string at ends. Decorative motifs include: plinth quatrefoils alternating with coats of arms and fleur-de-lis; above this tracery with coats of arms and letters. The letters, from the chancel door eastwards read: AVE MARIA GRACIA PLENA DOMINUS TECUM, SPONSUS AMAT SPONSAM, MARIA OPTIMAM PARTEM ELIGIT. O QUAM TERRIBILIS ET METUENDUS EST LOCUS ISTE. VERE ALUID NON EST HIC NISI DOMUS DEI ET PORTA CEL. Above the letters a course of rose-and-thistle ornament. Weathered buttresses dividing bays also carved: 7 bays east of porch; arms of Henry III to E gable and niche with figure of Mary Magdalene. Original traceried windows, central north window with thick C18 glazing bars, others with leaded glazing: 4-light windows except for 5-light chancel window. 2-storey south porch has diagonally-set buttresses; 4-centred arched doorway with square hoodmould and nook shafts; two 1st-floor 2-light windows with round-headed lights flanking central niche with terracotta statue of Mary Magdalene. INTERIOR: plastered walls; 8-bay arcades with cruciform-on-plan piers with central round shaft and 3 roll mouldings to each compass point; late C19 carved oak waggon roofs (copies of 1524 roofs), coloured memorial glass to S aisle and E end. Porch has octgonal piscina right of inner 4-centred arched doorway and corners of porch have moulded imposts of former vault. Fittings: Norman font bowl used as base for 1914 font with carved cover; exceptionally fine quality C16 octagonal painted carved oak pulpit; a 1654 pew back, otherwise oak pews by Arnold Fellows 1894; arms of George I over choir vestry door; 1723 oak organ front with fielded panels possibly by Thomas Schwarbrick rebuilt and enlarged 1904 by Hele of Plymouth and last rebuilt in 1960 but retains much of its C18 fabric; alabaster reredos by Harry Hems of Exeter; lectern 1895 to George and Emlin Gifford by Rattee & Kett of Cambridge; carved oak parclose screens, 1904; carved oak chancel screen 1911 by Rashleigh Pinwell, memorial choir stalls 1893 to John and Sarah Jane Ching, and triptych in the Lady Chapel. Monuments: freestone and slate to S wall 1667 to Sarah wife of John Ruddle; large 2-storey marble to N wall 1731 to Granville Pyper and Richard Wise, both former mayors, with Corinthian and Ionic orders, moulded entablature, central panel with mother and 3 children and urn finial flanked by busts; marble and freestone memorial to Reverend William Bedford died 1787 aged 63, and Mary his wife died 1783 aged 55, and their sons. Large monument behind organ loft to Elizabeth Herle of Dockacre House (qv), "Depart ye life ye December 1714 by starvation or other unlawful means"; C17 carved figures from Piper monument inside S door. Mid/late C19 stained glass includes memorial of 1883 to Sir Henry Trecarrel. HISTORY: The most spectacular late medieval church in Cornwall. The exceptionally elaborate carved ornamentation is paralleled by the near-contemporary work at St Mary Truro (now part of the cathedral) and Probus. Launceston was the county town until 1835. (The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Cornwall: London: 1952-1970: 96-7; Kelly: Directory of Cornwall: 1902-1902: 168, 169).

Listing NGR: SX3320984673


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire: The Cotswolds, (1970), 96-97
'Kellys Directory' in Cornwall, (1902), 168-9


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 30 Jun 2001
Reference: IOE01/05132/15
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Bryon J. Mason. Source Historic England Archive
Archive image, may not represent current condition of site.
To view this image please use Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge.

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].