Lancaster Approves Growth Plans for the Castle
The Duchy of Lancaster has secured planning consent for the next phase of restoration work at Lancaster Castle. Plans and drawings submitted at the start of the summer illustrated ways in which the former prison kitchen yard could be opened up to reveal further historic buildings currently hidden from view. These would include the King’s Evidence Tower, Male Felons and former prison hospital building.
Under the proposed plans, the next phase of works will include the removal of the existing Visitors Centre to create a large new public open space and reveal a series of arched colonnades along the front of the Victorian debtors workshops. A state of the art teaching and conference facility and new catering and hospitality suite will also be developed in the former ‘link block’ and running along the rear exterior walls. Detailed architectural plans and design specifications are now being drawn up for final approval by the Duchy Council.
Commenting on the proposals, Graeme Chalk, Head of Project Management for the Duchy of Lancaster, said: “Our focus is on continuing with our remedial works to make the Castle buildings weather-proof and watertight. We also remain committed to revealing and restoring as much of the Castle as possible and these proposals will help us to do that.”
The Duchy of Lancaster has already made significant investment in the restoration of Lancaster Castle since its return to Duchy ownership at the end of 2011. Much of the work to date has concentrated on repairs and remedial works to the roofs, windows and stonework of the historic buildings facing onto the Castle courtyard. Recent additions also include the development of a new permanent Duchy office on the first floor of the Victorian debtors’ workshops and the restoration of the ‘Duchy Room’ at the base of the clock-tower.
The next phase of development is expected to start on site in Summer 2017.