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Lanson or Launceston - which do you say?

You know us: always throwing the name ‘Lanson’ around on our posts and in our writing - with a particular emphasis on the ‘aaaaa’ part of our town’s name. But what do you call it? Is it Lanson or Launceston to you?

We certainly can’t dictate how you say it - there’s a clear mix, and of course we’re all familiar with many outsiders saying ‘Laun-ses-ton’ (who do they think they are?!) - but we can enlighten you with some research we found from Launceston Then’s website on the history of the town’s name.

‘Launceston’ is taken from the word ‘Lanstevan’, which means ‘church enclosure of St Stephen’. Originally, the town and castle was called Dunheved - a Saxon word for ‘hill’. There are many weird and wonderful takes on the name ‘Launceston’ which have been documented over the years, including ‘Lanscaveton’ and ‘Lancestona’, which may have led many of the Cornish folk in the area to refer to the town as ‘Lanson’, rather than Launceston.

Of course, you might still recognise some of the old names which have been repurposed for certain areas of the town, such as Lanstephan and Duneheved Road.

To read more about the origins of Launceston, go to


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