Lancaster Castle cafe to close during major development work

An artist's impression of the new look Lancaster Castle
An artist's impression of the new look Lancaster Castle

The cafe at Lancaster Castle will close this week as part of major repair and conservation works.

The work will involve opening up the former prison kitchen yard and revealing more of the castle’s historic buildings including the King’s Evidence Tower, Male Felons Tower and former prison hospital building.

The plans for work at Lancaster Castle

The plans for work at Lancaster Castle

The new phase of development at the castle is scheduled for completion in June 2019.

The work also includes the removal and relocation of the existing Visitors Centre.

The ticket office and shop will be temporarily moved to the ground floor of A-Wing and there will be no public tours of the castle on September 2 and 3.

The existing cafe will also close from the evening of Friday September 1 and there will be no permanent catering facility available until a new catering and hospitality suite is constructed in the former ‘link block’ and along the rear exterior walls.

Graeme Chalk, Head of Project Management for the Duchy of Lancaster, said: “Our primary focus is on continuing to ensure that the Castle buildings are weather-proof and watertight.

“We are also committed to revealing and restoring as much of the Castle as possible and bringing these historic building back into use wherever possible. “This next phase of development will do just that, creating a large new public open space, uncovering a series of arched colonnades along the front of the Victorian debtors’ workshops and establishing a state-of-the-art teaching and conference facility on site.”

The Duchy of Lancaster has already made significant investment in the restoration of Lancaster Castle since its return to Duchy ownership at the end of 2011. Much of the work to date has concentrated on repairs and remedial works to the roofs, windows and stonework of the historic buildings facing onto the Castle courtyard.

Recent additions also include the development of a new permanent Duchy office on the first floor of the Victorian debtors’ workshops and the restoration of the ‘Duchy Room’ at the base of the clock-tower.

Events such as Lancaster Music Festival will still take place as planned.