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Lancaster Castle

Location: Lancaster
Region: North West

Postcode: LA1 1YN

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Visit Lancaster Castle

Lancaster Castle, an emblematic structure in England's history, offers a unique blend of royal residence tales and prison chronicles. Overlooking the vibrant city of Lancaster, this medieval marvel invites visitors to delve deep into its past, where stories of monarchs meet the legends of witches and convicts. Join us on a captivating journey through time.

Visitor Information: Lancaster Castle

  • Lancaster Castle
    Description

    Perched atop a hill overlooking the city, Lancaster Castle stands as a testament to England’s rich history.

    With roots that stretch back to Roman times, this medieval fortress has played various roles throughout the centuries, from a royal residence to a fully operational prison. Its majestic stone walls, towers, and archways beckon visitors to explore its secrets, revealing tales of monarchs, witches, and convicts.

    Today, the castle serves as a popular tourist attraction, offering guided tours that unveil its storied past and architectural splendour.

    Did you know? Lancaster Castle was the site of the infamous Pendle witch trials in 1612, where ten people were found guilty of witchcraft and subsequently hanged, marking one of England’s most notorious witchcraft events.

  • Highlights
    Not to be missed when visiting

    The Keep: The oldest part of the castle, offering panoramic views of Lancaster and beyond.

    The Gatehouse: A formidable entrance showcasing the castle’s defence mechanisms.

    Pendle Witch Trials Exhibit: Learn about the infamous trials of 1612 where ten alleged witches were sentenced to death.

    Prison Cells: Explore the historic cells, which were in use until 2011, to get a feel for the castle’s role as a penal institution.

    Medieval Courtrooms: Step back in time in the castle’s authentic courtrooms where countless trials took place over the centuries.

    The Shire Hall: Admire its stunning range of heraldic shields and its impressive gothic architecture.

    The Drop Room: Delve into the sombre history of the castle’s executions.

    Guided Tours: Engage with knowledgeable guides who bring the castle’s history to life with riveting tales and facts.

    The Chapel: Discover the religious history of the castle, including the beautiful Well Tower with its former chapel.

    The Castle Grounds: Enjoy the manicured lawns, offering a tranquil space to reflect and take in the views.

    Castle Gift Shop: A chance to take home souvenirs and mementos to remember your visit.

FAQs

  • How old is Lancaster Castle?

    The origins of Lancaster Castle can be traced back to Roman times, but its most significant structures date from the medieval period.

  • Was Lancaster Castle really a prison?

    Yes, Lancaster Castle served as a prison for many centuries and was operational until 2011.

  • How long does a typical tour of the castle last?

    A standard guided tour usually lasts around 1 to 1.5 hours.

  • Is Lancaster Castle accessible for people with disabilities?

    While parts of the castle are accessible, its historic nature means that some areas might be challenging for those with mobility issues. It’s advisable to contact the castle directly for detailed accessibility information.

  • Is there parking available at the castle?

    There is no onsite parking, but there are several public car parks nearby in Lancaster city centre.

  • Can I host private events or weddings at Lancaster Castle?

    Yes, Lancaster Castle offers venue hire for private events, including weddings, receptions, and corporate events. Contact the castle’s events team for more information.

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