Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lancaster Curiosity (5)

A ramp/walkway running halfway up the curtain wall of Lancaster castle. The parapet is not crenellated. The interesting thing is this lack of crenellation bears testament to why Oliver Cromwell did not lay waste to this castle unlike several, some very large, around the country which were. He may well have realised what a useful prison it had become in preference to its defensive capability. It was decreed by the Parliamentarians that the crenellations and some of the curtain walls be removed which they subsequently were. Much of it was restored in the Victorian era. The original parts extant are the Norman keep built in 1094, John o' Gaunt's Gateway, built around the fourteenth century and the Witches Tower, so named because of its connection with the Pendle witches built about the same time.
If you walk along this terrace from the Gateway you come out above the Shire Hall and Courts. Steps lead down from there to a courtyard from where you can continue to circumnabulate the Castle or cross over to the Priory Church and the Vicarage Fields beyond.

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