Lancaster Castle, England

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This afternoon I visited Lancaster Castle in Northern England. This was much different from the usual medieval ruins of British castles.

Although parts of this substantial building date from the Norman period of the 11th century, there were further additions up to the 15th century. However, there were further expansions in the 18th and 19th centuries to accommodate the needs of a combined County Court and prison. In fact the Castle ceased to have a custodial function as recently as 2011.

The courtrooms for civil cases ( very elaborate) and criminal cases are still in use and were included in our tour as was a section of the former prison cells. In one of the exhibition rooms there was even a Roman altar, which was found locally and confirms the long history of settlement in Lancaster.

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We learned about the gruesome punishments handed out in the 18th and 19th centuries when capital punishments, deportations and quasi torture were commonplace. The tour lasted about 95 minutes and was very informative.

Opportunities for photographs were limited because of legal restrictions applying to the interior courts section.

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