Lancaster CastleMiddle Centuries Lancaster

By the time the Romans left Lancaster had grown into a small town built around the hill fort. During later centuries the fort, now unused gradually decayed, however its strong outer wall survived. The fort being replaced by a chieftains hall and possibly a church. Little changed until the shortly after the Norman invasion in 1066 when starting in about 1094 the Normans built a Castle and a Church on the site of the old Roman fort, parts of which survive today in the Castle and Priory Church.



Lancasters original town hall now a museumThe town at the time had a Castle Church and nothing more than a market town, however the Normans had chosen the town to be the county town of Lancashire one of the larger counties of England, a county which contained the forerunners of large cities such as Liverpool and Manchester! The castle became the property of King John who rebuilt it in stone and later came under the possession of Henry the son of John of Gaunt the 1st Duke of Lancaster, Henry became Henry IV, establishing the house of Lancaster as part of the lineage of the Kings of England a house than lasted another 2 generations. As a result of this the title Duke of Lancaster has been carried by the reigning monarch as the result the present Queen is the Duchy of Lancaster.  

The River LuneThe town continued to grow through the centuries, Lancaster continued as county town and an important port on the River Lune however during the 15th century the county administration was moved 20 miles south to Preston where it remains to this day, however Lancaster still remains as the official county town. Lancaster and its castle where the site of several battles during the civil war. The town and port prospered in subsequent years from trade with colonies in America and the West Indies. By the time of the industrial revolution Lancaster was the chief town of north Lancashire and a prosperous port.