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Lancaster - The Hanging Town.

Peter outside Lancaster Castle. - Lancaster

Peter outside Lancaster Castle. - Lancaster

Lovely Lancaster.

We have visited Lancaster four times. Our first visit was a day trip several years ago when we took our time and had a really good look around. This included touring the castle. Our second visit in August 2015, was a very rushed visit when we arrived here on route to Walsall and stopped off for around an hour between trains. During this visit we walked to the castle, priory, judge's house and the market. Our third visit in March 2016 was for three hours on our way to Crewe where we stayed overnight. We had a good look at the town on this visit including the town hall, Saint Peter's Cathedral and the River Lune, but unfortunately the weather was pretty awful on this visit. Our fourth visit was in August 2016. The weather was kinder this time sunny, but very windy. We walked to the Roman baths, then along the River Lune, through the centre of town, then all the way to the Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park.

Typical Lancaster street. - Lancaster

Typical Lancaster street. - Lancaster

Lancaster is located in Lancashire, England. It is situated on the River Lune. It has a population of nearly 46,000. Lancaster is a lovely, historical city. The House of Lancaster was a branch of the English royal family which fought in the War of the Roses. The traditional emblem for the House of Lancaster is a red rose. In the War of the Roses it fought against the house of York whose emblem is a white rose. Lancaster has a very long history. The Ancient Romans established a fort on the hill where Lancaster Castle now stands at the end of the first century AD. Nearby there are still the remains of some Roman baths. Later Lancaster fell under the control of William the Conquerer according to the Domesday Book of 1086. Later still, in 1193, Lancaster became a borough under King Richard I. Lancaster was granted city status in 1937. Lancaster is also home to Lancaster University.

Lancaster Castle.

On our recent short visit we just looked at the outside of the castle, but on our first visit we paid to go in. I remember that at that time the castle was still being used as a prison. It was a prison until 2011. At one point on our castle tour we were put into an old prison cell then the door was locked behind us. The darkness inside was total, not a single ray of light could penetrate the cell. Lancaster Castle was once the castle of John O' Gaunt. The castle has witnessed among other things the trials of the Pendle Witches, the trials of the Lancaster Martyrs and around 200 executions. At one point executions were so common here that Lancaster was known as the hanging town.

Lancaster Castle

Lancaster Castle

Lancaster Castle

Lancaster Castle

Lancaster Castle

Lancaster Castle

Lancaster Castle

Lancaster Castle

Lancaster Castle

Lancaster Castle

Lancaster Priory.

Lancaster Priory is right next to Lancaster Castle. The present day priory is probably located on the site of an Ancient Roman building. In the sixth century a Saxon church is thought to have stood here. Then in 1094 Roger de Poitou established a Benedictine priory dedicated to St Mary here. In 1539 this Catholic priory was abolished by Henry VIII and the following year it became a parish church. I'm not sure if we visited the inside of the priory on our first visit. Unfortunately we did not have time to do so on our more recent visit.

Lancaster Priory

Lancaster Priory

Lancaster Priory

Lancaster Priory

Lancaster Priory

Lancaster Priory

Lancaster Priory

Lancaster Priory

The Judge's Lodgings.

The Judge's Lodgings is close to the castle and the priory. It is a Grade I listed building and is believed to be the oldest town house in Lancaster. The house was once owned by Thomas Covell, Keeper of Lancaster Castle. He was a notorious witch hunter. Between 1776 and 1975 the house became a residence for judges visiting the Assize Court at Lancaster Castle. Nowadays it is a museum.

The Judge's Lodgings

The Judge's Lodgings

The Judge's Lodgings

The Judge's Lodgings

The Market.

On the day we visited, Lancaster's town centre was home to a busy market. There were lots of wonderful food stalls at this market. I wanted to buy everything. There was homemade bread, cheeses, pickles, cakes. We bought pork pie and pork pie with stilton from the very friendly man at the pie stall. He explained to us the origins of the whist pies he was selling. His pork pies were delicious. There were also fruit and vegetable stalls, fast food stalls and pottery stalls. There was a museum next to the market.

The Market

The Market

The Market

The Market

Lancaster Town Hall.

Lancaster has quite an attractive town hall building which is located in Dalton Square. This Town Hall building was officially opened on the 27th December 1909, by Lord Ashton. It replaced the existing Town Hall which was located in Market Square and which is now the city museum. To the side of the Town Hall is Lancaster's War Memorial and gardens. The memorial was designed by Thomas Mawson and Sons. It commemorates the dead of the two world wars. Ten bronze panels at the back of the monument record the names of 1,010 Lancastrians who died in the First World War. The plinth in front of the memorial lists the names of a further 300 who died in World War II. Opposite the town hall is Dalton Square Gardens with its statue of Queen Victoria.The Victoria Monument was given to Lancaster by Lord Ashton in 1907. It was created by sculptor Herbert Hampton. Queen Victoria and the four lions on the monument are made of bronze. The panels around the bottom of the monument show various eminent Victorians, including Lancaster born biologist, Richard Owen.

Lancaster Town Hall.

Lancaster Town Hall.

Lancaster Town Hall.

Lancaster Town Hall.

Lancaster Town Hall.

Lancaster Town Hall.

Lancaster Town Hall.

Lancaster Town Hall.

Lancaster Town Hall.

Lancaster Town Hall.

Saint Peter's Cathedral.

Lancaster Cathedral, also known as Saint Peter's Cathedral, is not far from Lancaster's Town Hall. Originally the cathedral was known as St Peter’s Church a Catholic church which was consecrated on the 4th of October 1859. In 1924 it became the Cathedral Church of the new Diocese of Lancaster. The cathedral is a very attractive building from the outside. Unfortunately, as it was closed during our visit, we could not see inside.

Saint Peter's Cathedral.

Saint Peter's Cathedral.

Saint Peter's Cathedral.

Saint Peter's Cathedral.

Public drinking fountain.

There is quite an attractive old public drinking fountain at the entrance to Moor Lane. This fountain was originally in Dalton Square. It was erected in memory of Thomas Johnson, who was a local solicitor. The drinking fountain was moved to its present location when the new Town Hall was built in 1909.

Public drinking fountain

Public drinking fountain

Public drinking fountain

Public drinking fountain

The Penny Almshouses.

On our walk through Lancaster we passed The Penny Almshouses. These were set up using a £700 endowment left by William Penny, who was once the Mayor of Lancaster.They were built in 1720 to house twelve poor men. There was a small chapel here in addition to the almshouses.

The Penny Almshouses

The Penny Almshouses

The Penny Almshouses

The Penny Almshouses

The Lune Millennium Bridge.

Despite the heavy rain, we walked to the River Lune and had a look at The Lune Millennium Bridge, a cable-stayed footbridge which spans the River Lune. This bridge was designed by Whitby Bird and Partners. It cost £1.8 million to build and commemorates the year 2000.

The Lune Millennium Bridge.

The Lune Millennium Bridge.

The Lune Millennium Bridge.

The Lune Millennium Bridge.

The Lune Millennium Bridge.

The Lune Millennium Bridge.

Lancaster City Museum.

We did not have time to visit Lancaster City Museum, which is situated in Market Square. It occupies a building which was once Lancaster's Town Hall. It was built in 1783 and designed by Major Thomas Jarratt. The cupola and top were designed by Thomas Harrison. This building has been a museum since 1977. It has displays on local history and the Museum of the King's Own Royal Regiment.

Lancaster City Museum

Lancaster City Museum

Lancaster City Museum

Lancaster City Museum

The Roman Baths.

I have seen the signpost for the Roman Baths before but this visit was the first one when we actually went to look for them. The Roman baths date from the time when the area on Castle Hill where Lancaster Castle stands was the site of a Roman fort. They were probably built in the second century during the reign of Trajan or Hadrian. The Roman Baths are located on Vicarage Hill. To reach them from the station, pass the castle and priory then walk onto the hill. They are signposted off to the right hand side. The remains are enclosed by a fence. Part of the underfloor heating system is still visible.

The Roman Baths. - Lancaster

The Roman Baths. - Lancaster

The Roman Baths. - Lancaster

The Roman Baths. - Lancaster

The Ashton Memorial.

We walked all the way to the Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park. This memorial can be seen from all over Lancaster, but getting to it involves an uphill walk. The Ashton Memorial is a folly which was built between 1907 and 1909 by millionaire industrialist Lord Ashton in memory of his second wife, Jessy. The memorial is around 150 feet tall. Nowadays, the memorial is used as an exhibition space and a venue for concerts and weddings. Williamson Park is a lovely park with ponds, statues, a butterfly house and views.

The Ashton Memorial - Lancaster

The Ashton Memorial - Lancaster

The Ashton Memorial - Lancaster

The Ashton Memorial - Lancaster

The Ashton Memorial - Lancaster

The Ashton Memorial - Lancaster

View from Williamson Park. - Lancaster

View from Williamson Park. - Lancaster

Williamson Park. - Lancaster

Williamson Park. - Lancaster

The Lancashire Woollen Industry.

Following the industrial revolution, Lancashire became a successsful centre for the cotton mill industry. One of the reason's for its success in this industry was that its workforce were already skilled in spinning and weaving wool and were able to transfer their skills to a new medium. I rather liked these sheep and sheep dog images I saw on the side of a Lancaster building.

The Lancashire Woollen Industry.

The Lancashire Woollen Industry.

The Lancashire Woollen Industry.

The Lancashire Woollen Industry.

The Lancashire Woollen Industry.

The Lancashire Woollen Industry.

The Lancashire Woollen Industry.

The Lancashire Woollen Industry.

The Red Rose.

Lancaster is situated in Lancashire. The symbol of Lancashire is a red rose. This rose was first adopted as a heraldic device by the first Earl of Lancaster. The Red Rose of Lancaster was the House of Lancaster's badge during the Wars of the Roses. In this war the House of Lancaster fought against the House of York whose badge was a white rose. When Henry Tudor, later Henry VII, married Elizabeth of York in January 1486, he combined the two roses to create the Tudor rose.

The Red Rose.

The Red Rose.

Ye Olde John O'Gaunt Pub: Good place for a pint.

We decided to escape the rain by visiting the John O'Gaunt Pub on Market Street. It looks old outside, but has been modernised inside. We tried the Lancaster Blonde beer and it was excellent. The pub is long and narrow and was pretty busy when we visited. The bar staff served me straight away despite the crowds and were very friendly and efficient. The pub's decor was quite interesting with lots of stuff on the walls.

Good place for a pint.

Good place for a pint.

Good place for a pint.

Good place for a pint.

Good place for a pint.

Good place for a pint.

Golden Lion Pub: A pint with some history.

On our walk to Williamson Park we passed the Golden Lion pub. We did not go inside but noticed some plaques on the outside of the pub saying that this pub was where condemned prisoners were brought for one last drink before they were executed. This included the unfortunate ladies condemned as the Lancashire Witches. The plaques also told of a tee-totaller who refused a drink and was thus executed just before his reprieve arrived. I've always said not drinking can kill you!!

Golden Lion Pub. - Lancaster

Golden Lion Pub. - Lancaster

Golden Lion Pub. - Lancaster

Golden Lion Pub. - Lancaster

Merchants 1688: Merchants 1688.

Merchants 1688 is a restaurant and pub located very close to Lancaster Castle and Lancaster train station. The restaurant is located inside a 300 year old former wine cellar. There is indoor and outdoor seating. We had some excellent cider and a ploughman's lunch here and both were very enjoyable.

Merchants 1688. - Lancaster

Merchants 1688. - Lancaster

Merchants 1688. - Lancaster

Merchants 1688. - Lancaster

Lancaster Train Station.

I may have only stopped off in Lancaster three times, but I have certainly passed through it much more than this. Lancaster is on one of the main north south train lines. When we travel up to Glasgow from England we always pass through here.

Lancaster Train Station

Lancaster Train Station

Posted by irenevt 03:03 Archived in England

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