Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Friday, 13 September 2013

Walking Tour of Lancaster


Lancaster is the County Town of Lancashire, once a Roman Settlement, once a busy Port, now a multi-cultural, University City.

Penny Street Almshouses (2)


Leaving the boat this morning, we passed these almshouses off Penny Street.

Penny Street Almshouses (1)

Market building


We passed the fairly modern market building, which had a notice that as of 8th September the market was closed. Shame that.




Town Hall (1)


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.

Queen Vic Memorial

 Priory ChurchPriory Church views

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.

 River Lune (2) River Lune (3)

Down at St. George’s Quay the river Lune is wide,

 Custom HouseSt. George's Quay (1)

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.

Georgian Grand Theatre


The Georgian Grand Theatre, looking, we thought, not so grand, but in good condition nonetheless.






Music Room, Sun Street


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!




Judge's Lodgings



The Judge’s Lodgings, another grand house, where presumably the Judge’s lodged when sitting at trials at the courts up at the castle.



Castle (3) Castle (7) Castle John O'Gaunts Gate(2)


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.

Castle - Gate house(4) Castle -Governor's House(6) Castle Witches tower(5)

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.

Castle - Prison (12) Castle - Prison (14) Castle - Prison (15) Castle - Prison (16)

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.

Castle Hill (2) Castle Hill

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,

old mills (2) old mills NHS(1) views from canal (7)


with others converted to restaurants and cafes or pubs.




views from canal (1) views from canal (3) views from canal (6)


As the canal winds round the city, we were level with the rooftops, looking across the castle and Priory church.




Aqueduct over river Lune (2) Aqueduct over river Lune (3) Aqueduct over river Lune (5) Aqueduct over river Lune (9)Aqueduct over river Lune (7)


Then we came to the impressive Lune aqueduct and made a quick stop to get a better look.

Aqueduct over river Lune (1)




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

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