Lancaster Castle pictured through the years including the handless corpse court case, its days as a prison and royal visits

Lancaster Castle dates back to Roman times when it stood as a fortress against marauding forces.

Owned by the Duchy of Lancaster, the castle has witnessed scenes of significant historical, cultural and political importance throughout the centuries.

These include incidents of religious persecution, the trials of the Lancashire Witches and more than 200 executions for everything from murder to stealing cattle.

Until 2011, the castle was a fully functioning HM Prison and today it is a magnificent ‘living’ monument and tourist attraction, offering a glimpse into England’s often dark past through tours and special events enjoyed by modern day visitors of all ages.

These pictures from our archives reveal some of that rich history and include royal visits, life inside the castle prison and police marksmen keeping guard during the notorious case of the handless corpse.

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