It was an invasion of sorts, but a happy one.
Crowds of enthusiastic local people and visitors flooded through the gates of Lancaster Castle from the moment it was opened to the public on Saturday after 900 years.
I had expected it to be popular but I was blown away by the sheer volume of people eager to see inside the castle.
I’m originally from Edinburgh and I was struck by the similarities with Lancaster Castle.
Both have ancient origins but many of the key parts were built in Victorian times. As I walked through the gates I felt cocooned by history. It was incredible to think it had been a working prison up until 2011.
I spoke with visitors who remembered the trial of the Birmingham Six and others who were interested in events from the distant past such as the Lancashire witch trials.
Luckily the weather was superb so that helped. However, I’m sure it will continue to be a popular place to visit for a great many people.
I’ll definitely go back to have a tour of the interior of the castle and to get a latte from the new Nice cafe next to the courtyard.
It has been suggested by the Duchy (which owns the castle) that it could be used for outdoor and indoor concerts, gigs, theatre performances, film shows and other artistic activities.
This would enrich the city’s cultural life. The castle is a fabulous asset for our area – if you haven’t been there, make sure you go and have a look around. It’s well worth it.