Lancaster is the County Town of Lancashire, once a Roman Settlement, once a busy Port, now a multi-cultural, University City.
Leaving the boat this morning, we passed these almshouses off Penny Street.
We passed the fairly modern market building, which had a notice that as of 8th September the market was closed. Shame that.
The Town Hall, very impressive, with gardens opposite and a memorial to Queen Victoria, with friezes of important contributors to the Victorian era from science, industry, politics and the arts.
From Castle hill we climbed the steps up to the Priory Church, the area here around the castle was the site of the Roman Fort. On the high point of the city there are good views out to the river and way beyond.
Down at St. George’s Quay the river Lune is wide,
there are many surviving building from the time when this was a busy port, the Custom House taking a prominent place with tall, stone warehouses along the banks. These are now apartments but retain the look and feel of their past history.
The Georgian Grand Theatre, looking, we thought, not so grand, but in good condition nonetheless.
The interesting Music Room hiding away in Sun Street. A cafe providing specialist teas to drink inside a garden summerhouse of the 1790’s. You can also stay here for a very reasonable £197 for 4 nights (2 people). Accommodation includes two floors and a grand piano to play. I like it!
The Judge’s Lodgings, another grand house, where presumably the Judge’s lodged when sitting at trials at the courts up at the castle.
And so into the castle itself. As already noted the site of the Roman Fort, the castle was used for many years and until 2011 as a prison.
Some parts of the building are over 800 years old, the Well Tower being one such part, once a part of the original walls. Also know as the witches tower as it is believed the Pendle Witches were kept here prior to their trial and hanging.
We took a tour around the castle seeing the court rooms, cells and the more modern prison area used until 2 years ago.
80 prisoners were kept here over 4 floors with 2 to a cell. Not a very large part of the whole castle, it is set out in a U shape to make it easier for the prison officers to see at a glance around all the cells. The doors were originally just bars, giving no privacy.
Outside on castle hill, the steep slopes make for some interesting building shapes.
Leaving Lancaster along the canal we passed old mill buildings converted to apartments and used by the NHS care trust,
with others converted to restaurants and cafes or pubs.
As the canal winds round the city, we were level with the rooftops, looking across the castle and Priory church.
Then we came to the impressive Lune aqueduct and made a quick stop to get a better look.
The plaque reads Lune Aqueduct, the largest all masonry aqueduct in Britain, designed by John Rennie and opened in 1797 for the Lancaster Canal Navigations.
Tuesday – Friday, Gargrave – Galgate – Glasson – Lancaster - Hest Bank
22 miles, 12 locks