Lancaster's Castle Hill

We met some friends at Atkinson's café inside Lancaster Castle.

The castle was established not long after the Norman Conquest and was used a fortress and prison until, in 2011, the Home Office decided it was too expensive to operate as a prison. Since then it has become a tourist attraction, showcasing its role in Lancaster's history over the past thousand years.

(L-R) The King's Evidence Tower, the Witches' Tower, the Governor's House and the medieval Gate House

The imposing Norman Keep is the heart of the original castle

(L-R) The Female Penitentiary and the Debtors' Prison (added in 1796). In the mid 19th century it was the largest outside London and was known for its good conditions - a prison inspector wrote that it 'resembled somewhat a noisy tavern'

(L-R) Male Felons' Tower, King's Evidence Tower and the Witches' Tower (built 1325)

The Shire Hall, completed in 1801
Lancaster Priory sits next to the castle and is a similar age

The Priory's ancient stonework

The Priory's beautiful interior

It was a fine day with gorgeous autumn colours

Looking down over St Mary's Parade and across the Lancaster skyline