Lincoln Castle

Exploring the Timeless Charm of Lincoln Castle

A Journey Through History at Lincoln Castle

The Norman Conquest and the Birth of Lincoln Castle

The story of Lincoln Castle begins with the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Following his victory at the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror embarked on a campaign to establish his authority across the kingdom. As part of this effort, he ordered the construction of a series of castles, including Lincoln Castle, which was built in 1068 on a strategic site overlooking the city of Lincoln. The castle's primary purpose was to serve as a base for the Norman forces, ensuring their control over the region and its population.


The early years of Lincoln Castle were marked by frequent conflicts and power struggles, as the Normans sought to consolidate their rule in the face of resistance from the Anglo-Saxon population. The castle's fortifications were tested on numerous occasions, with the Normans successfully repelling attacks and maintaining their grip on the region. Over time, the castle evolved from a simple wooden structure to a formidable stone fortress, with successive generations of Norman lords adding to its defences and expanding its size.

The Medieval Era: Royalty, Rebellion, and Magna Carta

As the centuries passed, Lincoln Castle continued to play a central role in the political and military affairs of England. During the Medieval period, the castle served as a royal residence, hosting monarchs such as King Henry II and King John. It was also the site of numerous important events, including the signing of the Charter of the Forest in 1217, which established the rights of free men to access and use the royal forests.


Perhaps the most famous event associated with Lincoln Castle during this period was the signing of Magna Carta in 1215. This groundbreaking document, which laid the foundation for modern concepts of human rights and the rule of law, was drafted in response to the tyrannical rule of King John. Although the original Magna Carta was annulled by the Pope just ten weeks after its signing, it remains a symbol of the ongoing struggle for justice and freedom that has shaped the course of English history.

The Tudor and Stuart Eras: Turmoil and Transformation

The Tudor and Stuart periods brought new challenges and changes to Lincoln Castle. During the reign of Henry VIII, the castle served as a prison for political and religious dissidents, including the Catholic bishop John Fisher, who was executed for refusing to acknowledge the king as the head of the Church of England. The castle also played a role in the English Civil War, with the Royalist forces using it as a base of operations against the Parliamentarians.


Following the Civil War and the restoration of the monarchy, Lincoln Castle entered a period of decline. The castle's defences were no longer necessary in an age of increasing political stability, and its buildings fell into disrepair. However, the castle's importance as a symbol of English heritage and identity remained undiminished, and efforts to preserve and restore the site began in the 19th century.

The Victorian Era and Beyond: Preservation and Renewal

The Victorian era marked a turning point in the history of Lincoln Castle. Recognising the site's cultural and historical significance, local authorities and philanthropists embarked on a program of restoration and preservation, repairing the castle's walls, towers, and buildings. The castle also found new purpose as a public space, with the grounds being opened up for public access and enjoyment.


In the 20th and 21st centuries, Lincoln Castle has continued to evolve and adapt to the changing needs of the community. The castle now serves as a major tourist attraction, drawing visitors from around the world with its fascinating history, stunning architecture, and engaging exhibits. It also remains an important centre for education and cultural events, hosting everything from school trips to musical performances and historical reenactments.


As Lincoln Castle enters its tenth century, its legacy as a witness to and participant in the grand sweep of English history remains as vital and relevant as ever. Through its enduring presence and the stories it tells, the castle continues to inspire and educate generations of visitors, connecting us to our shared past and pointing the way forward to a brighter future.

Lincoln Castle

Unveiling the Treasures: Exploring Lincoln Castle's Must-See Attractions

The Medieval Wall Walk: A Stroll Through the Ages

One of the most popular attractions at Lincoln Castle is the Medieval Wall Walk. This unique experience allows visitors to step back in time and explore the castle's ancient fortifications from a whole new perspective. The wall walk stretches over 1,100 feet in length, offering breathtaking views of the castle grounds, the city of Lincoln, and the surrounding countryside.


As you embark on the wall walk, you'll follow in the footsteps of the castle's medieval defenders, experiencing firsthand the challenges and triumphs of life in a Norman fortress. Along the way, you'll encounter a series of informative displays and interactive exhibits that bring the history of the castle to life, from the siege weapons used to defend its walls to the daily routines of its inhabitants.

The Victorian Prison: A Glimpse into the Dark Side of History

Another must-see attraction at Lincoln Castle is the Victorian Prison. Built-in the 19th century, this imposing structure served as a working prison for over a century, housing a diverse range of inmates from petty thieves to hardened criminals. Today, the prison has been carefully restored and opened to the public, offering a fascinating glimpse into the harsh realities of Victorian-era justice.


As you explore the prison's cramped cells, eerie corridors, and bleak exercise yards, you'll gain a new appreciation for the challenges and hardships faced by those who found themselves on the wrong side of the law. Along the way, you'll encounter a series of informative displays and interactive exhibits that shed light on the lives of the prison's inmates, from the daily routines and punishments they endured to the reformist efforts that sought to improve their lot.

The Magna Carta Vault: A Testament to Liberty and Justice

Perhaps the most significant attraction at Lincoln Castle is the Magna Carta Vault. This purpose-built facility houses one of only four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta, the groundbreaking document that laid the foundation for modern concepts of human rights and the rule of law. The vault provides a secure and climate-controlled environment for this priceless artifact, ensuring its preservation for future generations.


As you enter the vault, you'll be struck by the solemnity and reverence of the space, which is designed to showcase the Magna Carta in all its glory. You'll have the opportunity to view the document up close, marvelling at the intricate calligraphy and the powerful words that have echoed through the centuries. Along the way, you'll learn about the history and significance of the Magna Carta, from the events that led to its creation to its enduring impact on the world today.

Lincoln Castle
Lincoln Castle

Immersed in History: Engaging Events at Lincoln Castle

Jousting Tournaments: A Thrilling Spectacle of Medieval Prowess

One of the most exciting and popular events at Lincoln Castle is the jousting tournament. This thrilling spectacle transports visitors back to the days of chivalry and knightly valour, offering a glimpse into the pageantry and excitement of medieval martial arts. As armoured knights on horseback charge across the tournament grounds, lances at the ready, spectators watch in awe as they compete for glory and the favour of the crowd.


The Lincoln Castle jousting tournaments are a true feast for the senses, with the thundering of hooves, the clashing of steel, and the cheers of the crowd creating an unforgettable atmosphere of excitement and drama. Visitors can witness the skill and bravery of the knights as they engage in mock battles, demonstrating the techniques and tactics that would have been used in real medieval combat.


In addition to the jousting itself, the tournaments also feature a variety of other medieval-themed attractions and activities, from falconry displays and archery demonstrations to craftsman workshops and historical reenactments. Visitors can immerse themselves in the sights, sounds, and flavours of the Middle Ages, gaining a newfound appreciation for the richness and complexity of this fascinating period in history.

Concerts at Lincoln Castle

One of the most enchanting and immersive events held at Lincoln Castle is the series of concerts that take place throughout the year. These musical performances offer visitors a unique opportunity to experience the castle's rich history and stunning architecture through the lens of live music, creating an unforgettable atmosphere of beauty, emotion, and storytelling.


The concerts at Lincoln Castle showcase a diverse range of musical styles and genres, from classical and folk to jazz and pop, catering to a wide range of tastes and preferences. Whether you're a fan of soaring orchestral scores, intimate acoustic performances, or lively jazz ensembles, there's something for everyone in the castle's concert lineup.


Highlights of the 2024 concert series include 80s rock legends Crowded House, and pop superstar Jess Glynne. Whether you're a local resident looking for a special night out, or a visitor from further afield seeking a once-in-a-lifetime experience, the castle's concerts are sure to leave you inspired, uplifted, and thoroughly entertained.

The courthouse at Lincoln Castle

Planning Your Visit: Lincoln Castle Tickets and Prices

Types of Tickets and Passes

When planning your visit to Lincoln Castle, it's essential to understand the various types of tickets and passes available, so you can choose the option that best suits your needs and budget. The castle offers a range of ticketing options, including single-day tickets, annual passes, and special event tickets.


Single-day tickets are the most popular option for visitors, allowing access to all of the castle's main attractions, including the Medieval Wall Walk, Victorian Prison, and Magna Carta Vault. These tickets are valid for one day only and can be purchased online in advance or at the castle's ticket office on the day of your visit.


Annual passes, on the other hand, offer unlimited access to the castle and its attractions for an entire year from the date of purchase. These passes are an excellent option for local residents or those planning multiple visits to the castle, as they provide significant savings compared to purchasing single-day tickets for each visit.


Special event tickets are available for the castle's various seasonal events and activities, such as jousting tournaments, concerts and the Steam Punk festival. These tickets are sold separately from the castle's standard admission and often include additional perks and experiences not available with regular tickets.

Ticket Prices and Discounts

Lincoln Castle strives to offer affordable and accessible pricing for all visitors, with a range of ticket prices and discounts available. As of 2021, the standard single-day ticket prices are as follows:


  • Adults (16+): £14.00
  • Children (5-15): £7.50
  • Concessions (Students, Seniors 60+): £12.00
  • Family Ticket (2 Adults + up to 3 Children): £38.00


Children under the age of 5 can enter the castle for free with a paying adult, and there are also discounts available for groups of 15 or more, with prices starting at £11.50 per person.


Annual pass prices are as follows:


  • Adults (16+): £28.00
  • Children (5-15): £15.00
  • Concessions (Students, Seniors 60+): £24.00
  • Family Pass (2 Adults + up to 3 Children): £75.00


Special event ticket prices vary depending on the event and the time of year, with discounts often available for members and annual pass holders.


In addition to these standard prices, Lincoln Castle also offers a range of discounts and promotions throughout the year, such as seasonal sales, early bird specials, and combination tickets with other local attractions. Visitors are encouraged to check the castle's official website or social media channels for the latest offers and promotions.

Booking Your Tickets

To ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to Lincoln Castle, it's recommended to book your tickets in advance, especially during peak season or for special events. Advance booking allows you to secure your preferred date and time slot, as well as take advantage of any available discounts or promotions.


Tickets can be booked online through the castle's official website, which offers a user-friendly and secure booking system. Simply select your desired date, time slot, and ticket type, and follow the prompts to complete your purchase. You will receive a confirmation email with your booking details and a digital ticket, which can be printed out or displayed on your mobile device upon arrival at the castle.


Alternatively, tickets can also be purchased in person at the castle's ticket office, located at the main entrance. However, please note that during peak times, there may be queues or limited availability, so advance booking is always recommended to avoid disappointment.


When booking your tickets, be sure to review the castle's opening times, accessibility information, and any special instructions or requirements for your visit. By planning ahead and securing your tickets in advance, you can ensure a stress-free and enjoyable experience at one of England's most historic and fascinating attractions.

Lincoln Castle

Exploring the Castle Grounds: Lincoln Castle Opening Times

Summer Opening Times (April to September)

Lincoln Castle is open daily during the summer months, welcoming visitors to explore its rich history and stunning architecture. From April to September, the castle's opening times are as follows:


Monday to Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm (Last admission at 4:00 pm)


During these months, visitors can enjoy the full range of the castle's attractions, from the Medieval Wall Walk and Victorian Prison to the Magna Carta Vault and the Cinema in the Courthouse. The summer opening times allow ample opportunity to explore the grounds at your leisure, taking in the breathtaking views of the city and surrounding countryside.


It's worth noting that during peak times, such as weekends and school holidays, the castle can get quite busy, so it's recommended to arrive early or book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Additionally, some areas of the castle may be closed or have limited access due to special events or maintenance work, so it's always a good idea to check the castle's official website or social media channels for the latest updates and information.

Winter Opening Times (October to March)

During the winter months, Lincoln Castle's opening times are slightly reduced, but there is still plenty to see and do. From October to March, the castle is open daily as follows:


Monday to Sunday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm (Last admission at 3:00 pm)


While some outdoor areas of the castle may be closed or have limited access during the winter due to weather conditions, visitors can still enjoy the majority of the castle's attractions, including the Victorian Prison, Magna Carta Vault, and Cinema in the Courthouse. The reduced winter opening times also provide a unique opportunity to experience the castle in a more intimate and atmospheric setting, with fewer crowds and a greater sense of peace and tranquillity.


As with the summer months, it's recommended to check the castle's official website or social media channels for the latest updates and information, as opening times may vary depending on special events or maintenance work.

Special Events and Extended Opening Times

Throughout the year, Lincoln Castle hosts a variety of special events and activities, such as jousting tournaments and concert evenings to seasonal celebrations and historical reenactments. During these events, the castle's opening times may be extended or altered to accommodate the additional activities and attractions.


For example, during the castle's annual Christmas Market, which takes place in December, the grounds are transformed into a magical winter wonderland, with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and a variety of stalls selling handcrafted gifts and delicious seasonal treats. The market typically runs for four days, with extended opening times to allow visitors to fully immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere.


To stay up-to-date with the castle's special events and extended opening times, visitors are encouraged to regularly check the official website and social media channels, where they can find detailed information on upcoming events, ticket prices, and any changes to the regular opening schedule. By planning ahead and taking advantage of these special opportunities, visitors can ensure a truly immersive and memorable experience at Lincoln Castle.

The entrance to Lincoln Castle

Access and Convenience: Lincoln Castle Parking

On-Site Parking Options

For those driving to Lincoln Castle, the site offers a range of convenient parking options to suit different needs and preferences. The castle's main car park is located just a short walk from the entrance, providing easy access to the grounds and attractions.


The car park is open daily from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm and offers both short-term and long-term parking options. Short-term parking is charged at a rate of £2.50 per hour, with a maximum stay of 4 hours. This option is ideal for those planning a shorter visit to the castle, or combining their trip with other activities in the city centre.


For those planning a longer visit or spending the whole day at the castle, long-term parking is available at a daily rate of £8.00. This option allows visitors to park their vehicle for the entire day, from the time of arrival until the car park closes at 7:00 pm.


The castle's car park also offers designated accessible parking spaces for those with mobility issues or disabilities. These spaces are located close to the entrance and are free of charge for Blue Badge holders. It's recommended to arrive early to secure an accessible space, as they are limited and subject to availability.

Off-Site Parking Options

In addition to the castle's on-site parking options, there are also several off-site car parks and on-street parking areas within easy walking distance of the entrance. These options are ideal for those looking for more flexibility or lower costs, or during peak times when the castle's car park may be full.


One popular off-site option is the Westgate 1 car park, located just a 5-minute walk from the castle entrance. This car park offers both short-term and long-term parking, with charges ranging from £2.50 for up to 2 hours to £8.00 for up to 24 hours. The car park is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, providing a convenient and flexible option for those visiting the castle.


Another nearby option is the Castle Hill on-street parking area, located just a short walk from the entrance. This area offers pay-and-display parking with charges ranging from £2.00 for up to 1 hour to £6.00 for up to 4 hours. Parking here is subject to availability and is often in high demand, so it's recommended to arrive early or have alternative options in mind.

Public Transportation and Alternative Access Options

For those looking to avoid parking altogether, Lincoln Castle is also easily accessible by public transportation. The castle is located just a short walk from several bus stops and the Lincoln Central train station, which offers regular services to and from major cities such as London, Nottingham, and Sheffield.


Visitors arriving by train can easily reach the castle on foot, with a scenic 15-minute walk through the historic city centre. Alternatively, there are also several taxi services available at the train station, providing a convenient and hassle-free way to reach the castle entrance.


For those arriving by bus, the castle is served by several local routes, with stops located within a 5-10 minute walk of the entrance. Visitors are encouraged to check the local bus timetables and routes in advance, to plan their journey and ensure a smooth and efficient arrival.


Finally, for those arriving by bicycle, the castle offers several secure bicycle racks located near the entrance, allowing visitors to safely lock up their bikes while exploring the grounds and attractions. Cycling is a popular and eco-friendly way to explore the city and surrounding countryside, with several scenic routes and trails passing close to the castle.

Lincoln Castle courthouse

Unravelling the Mysteries: Lincoln Castle Facts and History

The Norman Conquest and the Founding of Lincoln Castle

Lincoln Castle is a fascinating historic site with a rich and complex history dating back nearly a thousand years. The story of the castle begins in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, when William the Conqueror ordered the construction of a new fortification on the site of a pre-existing Roman settlement.


The purpose of the castle was twofold: to establish a strong military presence in the region and to assert the authority of the new Norman rulers over the local population. Construction began in 1068, with the castle initially consisting of a wooden keep and palisade, surrounded by a deep moat and earthen ramparts.


Over the following decades, the castle was gradually expanded and reinforced, with stone walls and towers replacing the original wooden structures. By the 12th century, Lincoln Castle had become one of the largest and most important fortifications in England, playing a key role in the defence of the realm and the maintenance of royal power.

The Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest

One of the most significant events in the history of Lincoln Castle occurred in 1215, when a group of rebel barons forced King John to sign the Magna Carta, a groundbreaking document that established the principle of the rule of law and laid the foundations for modern concepts of human rights and democracy.


The castle played a crucial role in these events, serving as a meeting place for the barons and a secure location for the negotiation and signing of the charter. Today, Lincoln Castle is home to one of only four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta, which is housed in a specially designed vault and is considered one of the most important historical documents in the world.


In addition to the Magna Carta, Lincoln Castle is also closely associated with the Charter of the Forest, a companion document that was issued in 1217 and established the rights of free men to access and use the royal forests. The charter was a significant step forward in the development of individual liberties and the protection of common land, and its legacy can still be felt in the English countryside today.

The English Civil War and the Siege of Lincoln Castle

Another significant chapter in the history of Lincoln Castle occurred during the English Civil War, a series of conflicts that took place between 1642 and 1651 and pitted the Royalist forces of King Charles I against the Parliamentarian supporters of Oliver Cromwell.


During the war, Lincoln Castle was held by the Royalists and became a key strategic location, controlling access to the north of England and the Midlands. In 1644, the castle was besieged by a Parliamentarian army under the command of the Earl of Manchester, who sought to capture the stronghold and break the Royalist hold on the region.


The siege lasted for several weeks, with the castle's defenders holding out against repeated assaults and bombardments. Eventually, however, the Parliamentarians were able to breach the walls and storm the castle, capturing the garrison and securing a major victory in the conflict.


The siege of Lincoln Castle was a turning point in the English Civil War, marking the beginning of the end for the Royalist cause. Today, visitors to the castle can still see the scars of the conflict, with bullet holes and cannon damage visible on the walls and towers.

Lincoln Castle

Furry Friends Welcome: Lincoln Castle's Dog-Friendly Policy

Exploring the Castle Grounds with Your Four-Legged Friend

Lincoln Castle is not just a fascinating historic site – it's also a great place to visit with your furry friend! The castle welcomes well-behaved dogs on leads multiple times a year, allowing visitors to explore the grounds and attractions with their four-legged companions by their side.


The castle's spacious grounds and scenic walking routes make it an ideal destination for dog owners, with plenty of opportunities for exercise, play, and relaxation. From the expansive lawns and gardens to the winding paths and trails, there's no shortage of space for your dog to stretch their legs and enjoy the fresh air.


Of course, it's important to remember that Lincoln Castle is a historic site with many delicate and valuable artifacts, so it's essential to keep your dog under control at all times. Dogs must be kept on a lead and are not permitted inside the castle buildings or the Magna Carta Vault, but there are plenty of outdoor areas where they are welcome to explore.

Amenities and Facilities for Dog Owners

To make your visit with your furry friend as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible, Lincoln Castle offers a range of amenities and facilities designed specifically for dog owners. These include:


Dog waste bins: Located throughout the castle grounds, these bins provide a convenient and hygienic way to dispose of your dog's waste and keep the site clean and tidy.


Water bowls: During the warmer months, the castle provides water bowls at various locations around the grounds, ensuring that your dog stays hydrated and comfortable throughout your visit.


Dog-friendly seating areas: The castle's outdoor seating areas are all dog-friendly, allowing you to relax and enjoy the scenery with your furry companion by your side.


Nearby walking routes: If you're looking to extend your visit and explore the surrounding area, there are several scenic walking routes and trails located close to the castle, many of which are suitable for dogs on leads.

Tips for a Safe and Enjoyable Visit with Your Dog

To ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to Lincoln Castle with your dog, it's important to keep a few key tips in mind:


Keep your dog on a lead at all times: This is essential for the safety and well-being of your dog, other visitors, and the historic site itself.


Bring plenty of water and snacks: Depending on the length of your visit, it's a good idea to bring some water and snacks for your dog, especially during the warmer months.


Be mindful of other visitors: Remember that not everyone is comfortable around dogs, so it's important to keep your furry friend under control and be respectful of other visitors' space and boundaries.


Clean up after your dog: Make use of the provided waste bins and always clean up after your dog to keep the castle grounds clean and tidy for everyone to enjoy.


Check the weather forecast: If you're planning a visit during the summer months, be mindful of the temperature and humidity, and consider visiting during the cooler parts of the day to avoid overheating your dog.


By following these simple tips and guidelines, you and your furry friend can enjoy a safe, fun, and memorable visit to Lincoln Castle – one of the most dog-friendly historic sites in England!

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