Notes: Situated in the city centre. There is ample parking both nearby and in the town but all is pay and display. The castle is well sign-posted.
WHAT IS THERE TO SEE?
A heavily modified medieval castle along with Victorian era prison exhibits, courtroom and (limited) areas of the category C prison (closed in 2011). Internal access is limited to guided tours only but these are informative and comprehensive. Note whilst court remains in use for legal cases, internal photography is restricted.
1. The name Lancaster derives from the old English term 'Roman Fort on the River Lune'. "Lan" is a corruption of 'Lune', whilst the "caster" is a modification of 'castra' which in Latin means Legionary camp.
2. The Keep, which may have been originally built by David I of Scotland during his ownership of the Lordship during the Anarchy, was rebuilt in 1585.
3. Famous prisoners at Lancaster Castle have included George Marsh and George Fox (Quaker).
4. The Well Tower is also known as the 'Witches Tower' as it is believed the Pendle Witches were held here in 1612. These individuals suffered as a result of King James I's imposition of the death penalty for witchcraft. There were multiple convictions, and subsequent hangings, largely based on prosecution evidence that hinged on gossip and false confessions.