After extensive conservation and restoration works to the lower courtyard and historic castle buildings over the last year, the John O’Gaunt gate re-opened on Saturday November 9.
A spokeswoman for the Duchy of Lancaster, which owns the castle, said: “Following the removal of the old prison visitor’s building, today’s visitors will be able to enjoy uninterrupted views of a new sweeping piazza, a new covered cloister walk, refurbished Male Felons and King’s Evidence Towers and of course the world-famous Well Tower in which the Lancashire Witches were incarcerated while awaiting trial.
“We are also proud to unveil The Kitchen, our fabulous new Visitor Cafe.
“Renowned local coffee roasters and tea specialists Atkinsons have been chosen by the Duchy of Lancaster to run the new cafe which includes a stunning bar area in what was the original prison kitchen building and a purpose-built seating space in the old kitchen yard, with bi-fold doors opening onto a south-facing courtyard terrace.
“The Kitchen’s menu will feature a range of specialist teas and coffees, artisan sandwiches, cakes and snacks.
“Within the old Link Block a new purpose-built teaching suite has also been created in line with the Duchy’s aspiration to make the Castle a centre of learning and hub for historic and cultural activities across the City.”
Guided tours will continue to operate from the Shire Hall entrance to the rear of the Castle (opposite the Priory Church) pending a move into a new ticket kiosk in the Castle Courtyard by the end of the year.