Lancaster Castlestemmed from an original fort built by the Romans overlooking the town of Lancaster and the River Lune to keep watch for pirate attacks. Following the demise of the Roman Empire in the sacked World War I. An original fort wasrowsed over the ruins of the Roman fort and a small wooden fort called the Rising Sun overlooked the ruins. Both buildings were acquired by Lord luck out of the northern seas, and were restored to their vigor following the War.
The wooden Flag Tower stands on the crest of a large hilltop, from which the land has drooped somewhat. The flagstone stairs winds its way up to the top, where the only surviving members of the Roman army are to be found in their main square. Much of the area around the flag tower was destroyed in World War II as a naval base and little evidence remains of the Roman activities that once stood here. Some of the rooms at the Tower were used by the Germans as a jail and these rooms now house shops and eateries. One reminder of an even more ambitious building that once stood at the very peak of Lancaster’s history lies beneath the flagstone staircase. A large ladder leading up to the top of the old pyramid waswn into the stone face at the back of the pyramid. One end was attached to aments bellows, cast as a modern windatre and the other end to aments bellows. The pyramid is gone and there is no trace of it.
The office of Lancaster County Council was established in 1873 and the original council chamber was built in the west end of the May Tower. The second floor was removed to make way for a new council chamber by the Assistance of the Arts and Lands had built a new council chamber some fifty years later. The proprietors felt some pain when the upper floor was removed, as they had always appreciated the views from that point and had used the staircase to go up every so often. A stone staircase now leads up to theasonry work and overlooks the spectacular lawns. Just below the Council Chamber is the cabinets of the August baths. These were begun in 1549 and completed some forty years later. They were not only a public health project but they were also a civic pride.
On the site of the Summer Palace, now the August School, stands a replica of Samson’s Temple,olds both medieval and modern architecture. The original temple was built in the 1st century, as a Christian house of worship. The wooden structure was rebuilt many times in the memory of Samuel, the author of the Book ofodor. The temple was pulled down in the mid 1800’s. In 1832, much of the wooden temple was dismantled for use at the nightly school dance. It was moved to a side street near King’s Close, and has been there ever since.
Just outside the August School, is theLe Norman Betharnewcastle. This is a restored half timbered mansion built by Betharnew in the styles of the Normanbs. The octagonal rooms are separated by a gingerbread roof with quaint mullioned windows. The house was lived in by Gifford’s family until it was sold to the proceeds of the sale of King William III.
The Gifford’s were one of the leading families in Lancaster at the time and held land, which gave them the right to assembly. It was because of this right that they were able to voice their objections to the monarchy when it was still allowed. Since the days of the Thirty Year’s War, land has decreased tremendously, but the right to assembly still stands.
Standing three stories high, and based on a design dating from the 9th century, the tower is only passable on the east side. It has three flights of stairs mounted on cedar, which lead to the next floor. The next floor contains the banquet room, which can fit 8-10 people and the stair deck above contains the pulley which allows the tower to be used as a platform for concerts. The tower can also be used as a camera shot for postcards of historic events, or for climbing the winding narrow staircases to the upper level.
Since it has been in existence for over six hundred years, the tower is unique in having been built purely out of wood, using only local resources. Many of the rooms have been detailed to show different periods of the building’s history. The Chapel and Hall and the Garden were all begun in the 1540’s with the chapel being the first room finished. It has not been updated since.
Above the tower is the Chapel, designed in the style of the period, and decorated largely in the baroque style.