Turn a prison into a palace

Views inside and outside Lancaster Castle former prison.
Views inside and outside Lancaster Castle former prison.

Visitors to Lancaster could soon be staying in a room with a very unusual view after plans were unveiled for part of Lancaster Castle to be transformed into a hotel.

Plans to turn the Grade 1 listed building into a mixed use ‘quarter’ went on show to the public this week.

The scheme would open up previously unseen areas of the castle, as well as increase the city’s leisure space by creating urban spaces to host an open air programme of activities and a cafe.

A hotel would support Lancaster’s identity as a tourist destination.

The prison’s former A and B wings would become a four or five star boutique hotel, where three cells would be redeveloped as one en-suite room.

The castle’s Norman Keep would form part of the hotel, possibly housing some of the more luxurious suites.

Meanwhile, the former C wing of the prison could be retained as a museum of penal and judicial history in Britain.

The crown court will remain as part of the proposals, which will also see improved access between the city centre and the castle precinct, including both pedestrian and traffic access alterations.