Works Underway On Major Conservation Project

Preparatory work for the next phase of the refurbishment and restoration of Lancaster Castle started on site last month and the demolition of the former Prison Visitors building is well underway.

Scaffolding is now being erected to allow for the removal of stone to the Castle’s rear curtain wall so that this can be lowered to its original height. Once completed, this work will restore historic sightlines, reinforcing the link between the Castle and the Priory.

The removal of the Prison Visitors building will reveal the historic Kitchen Courtyard, the Male Felons and Kings Evidence Towers as well as the former Prison Hospital building and allow these heritage buildings to be brought back into use.

Commenting on the progress of the works to date, Duchy Head of Project Management Graeme Chalk said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to create a much greater public open space and reveal many of buildings which have been hidden from view for generations. We have a team of dedicated and skilled craftsmen who will deliver this next phase with minimal disruption to local residents and visitors.”

During the works, the shop and tour guide ticket desk have been moved to the ground floor of A-Wing. Here visitors can also view a standing exhibition of prison life in a number of the cells while they are waiting to start the tour.

“We know that some visitors will be disappointed that there is no permanent café facility at the Castle for the moment,” added Mr Chalk, “but we hope that this temporary inconvenience will be worth the wait when the new shop, café/restaurant and conference suite is opened in 2019.”