We previously talked about what the city of Lancaster has to offer and how you can enjoy the varied nightlife, as well as admire the beautiful architecture. Amongst the stunning historic buildings you can visit is Lancaster castle, which is thought to date back to the 11th century. This medieval castle is located on a hill top and offers a beautiful view of the city; it’s also still used as a Crown Court today, which is a magnificently decorated room you won’t want to leave once you’ve entered!
Lancaster Castle is thought to have been built on the site of a Roman fort that overlooked the river Lune, and part of it was damaged during the Scottish invasion. It was only used for military purposes again during the English Civil War.
The castle is famously known for its connection to the Pendle Witches, as ten people were convicted for witchcraft here in 1612 and sentenced to the gallows. It also served as a debtor’s prison, and then moved on to take on more long-lasting prisoners, which eventually led to overcrowding. Nowadays, when you visit the castle, you have the chance to tour inside the more modern prison, where until recently many criminals were held, or explore the much older dungeon, where the witches were kept – you can even get locked up inside one cell to try it out but, don’t worry, it’s only for a few minutes!
Lancaster Castle is currently owned by the Duke of Lancaster, Queen Elizabeth II.
Not only is there always something going on at the castle, like music festivals and tours where you learn the individual stories of the Pendle witches, but you can also visit the museum, the adjacent Priory and even get married in the beautiful Shire Hall. There is also a wide range of weapons on display in the castle, each with its own history and belonging to a different time period.
You’ll be able to see a one-of-a-kind showcase, an incredible display of heraldry spanning 800 years, in the form of 650 shields that bear the arms of every English monarch, from Richard the Lionheart until the Queen – the shields of the Constables of Lancaster Castle and the High Sheriffs of Lancashire are also there.
It’s in Lancaster Castle that you’ll find one of the most stunning collections of Gillow furniture in the world, a special chair made for the visit of Queen Victoria – and, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the witch trials, a long-distance walking route called the Lancashire Witches Walk was created, with the last marker at the castle to mark the endpoint.
Lancaster is a beautiful city with a lot of history and the castle is no exception. You’ll have the opportunity to visit a rich historic location so, if you want to enjoy everything this stunning building has to offer, pay it a visit and see for yourself! Contact us today on +44 (0) 1524 541251 if you’re interested in the accommodation options we have to offer, and our team will be on hand to answer all of your questions.