Sunday, 14 November 2010

Lincoln Castle

We tagged along with dad on Wednesday to have a day out to Lincoln. We had such a good day. First we visited the castle which dates back to 1068 and was built by William the Conqueror. The castle has been used as a court and prison for over 900 years. The crown court is still used today and we were lucky enough to see some real barristers coming and going through the court. There were also public executions taking place here too up until 1859. The final execution taking place in 1877.

 The steps into the medieval tower which was built in the 13th century were very steep, so we had to come down slowly one at a time. This was the Cobb Hall.
 You can just see the top of Lincoln Cathedral from this hall, which is a truly spectacular building.

 This was the climb up to Lucy Tower, very steep, so Piper really took her time as she hates heights. It was the original motte of the castle and also used to bury prisoners who had been executed in the 19th century. One of the gravestones had the intials P.B which was a little creepy but we later found out that it was from a lady called Priscilla Biggadike who was the first woman hung by private execution at Lincoln prison.
 This was avery detailed model of the castle and prison.
 Inside a real prison cell.
 The prison chapel is the only remaining example of an original separate system chapel in the world. All the prisoners were taken in wearing masks and were unable to communicate with each other. They were then each put in a separate cubical with a very uncomfortable sloping seat. Sometimes the Sunday sermon went on for 2-3 hours with the prisoners being inside these very tiny cells. As this was the only time the prisoners could use their voice they apparently sang very, very loudly.
 Bailey, Cordelia and Ruben wanted to pretend they were in the cells whilst Piper stood at the altar.

This was the cell that condemmed woman Priscilla Biggadike was held in on the night before her execution. She was charged with murdering her husband by poisoning him with arsenic. On his deathbed the tenant that was living with them at the time of the murder confessed to killing him. So poor Priscilla was innocent.
One of the main attractions at the castle is the Magna Carta. One of the four remaining copies of the 1215 Magna Carta is on display here as well as the Charter of the Forest. The other copies being in both the British Museum and Sailsbury Cathedral. Unfortunately I couldn't take pictures in this part as it is kept in quite a dark room. The exhibition allowed the children time to learn about the justice system and why we have laws. Some of the laws in the 1215 Magna Carta are still followed today.


  1. That brings back some memories! I haven't been back to Lincoln for a couple of years - we're hoping to come in the new year, and the girls want to go to the castle!

  2. Hi Polly, yes it is lovely in lincoln and good for Charity shops. My four loved the castle too, I think we might try and go for the Christmas market in a few weeks too!