Lincoln Castle was built on ground that has been occupied since Roman times, by William the Conqueror in 1068 - just two years after his victory at the Battle of Hastings. By this time, the city of Lincoln was the third most prosperous city in the realm, and even had its own coin making mint!
Lincoln Castle boasts being one of only two castles in the country with the the unusual feature of having two mottes, the other castle being Lewes Castle in Sussex. in 1141, less than one hundred years after its construction, the castle was the centre of attention in the battle between King Stephen and Empress Maud, known as the 'First Battle of Lincoln). The castle was badly damaged in some areas, but was held, and a new tower named 'The Lucy Tower' was built to compensate for the damages.
Lincoln Castle was used as a prison from 1787, when the prison Gaol was built, and then later extended in 1847. The prisoners were permitted a certain degree of social contact, but this was severely limited, and the routine regime for the inmates was one of miserable isolation. This prison ran for nearly a century before its practices and regimes were discredited, and the prisoners were move to a new jail on the outskirts of the city.
These days, Lincoln Castle still stands as one of the most striking and powerful Norman castles in the entire country, and visitors are able to wander around and admire the still-standing 12th century walls and their ramparts. When visiting Lincoln Castle, be sure to take in the Magna Carter (Great Charter) - one of four surviving originals that were sealed by King John in 1215.
Entry to Lincoln Castle is £6 for adults and £4 for children.