The extensive conservation works currently underway at Lancaster Castle are to continue throughout the summer holidays with completion now expected by the end of August 2019.
This will mean a three-month extension to the restricted public access to the Castle and continued closure of the main John O’Gaunt gate on Castle Hill. Guided tours and activities centred on the Shire Hall and adjacent rooms will continue uninterrupted during that period.
Commenting on the revised schedule for completion Duchy Head of Project Management Graeme Chalk said: “All conservation work at the Castle has to be carried out carefully and sensitively so that this important heritage asset is protected for future generations. This is a complex project and our first priority has to be in keeping staff and visitors safe while construction is underway.”
The completed project will open up the former Kitchen Courtyard at Lancaster Castle providing additional public open space, a covered cloister-walk, new visitor café, gallery space, teaching suite and ticket office. The re-opening of the lower courtyard and public access via the historic John O’Gaunt Gate is now expected by the beginning of September 2019.
Various core functions of the Duchy have been relocated to Lancaster Castle over the last 12 months including rural estate management, tenant finance and communications. A new boardroom has also been created to support the growing activity based at the new Northern Office.
Duchy Head of Communications Debbie Garritty added: “It has long been said that if London is the head of the Duchy, then Lancaster is the heart. The decentralisation of key business functions and the continued investment in the restoration of these historic buildings are a clear manifestation of the Duchy’s long-term commitment to the City. While we appreciate that people may be disappointed to have to wait a little longer to see the completed works, we are confident that it will be worth the wait!”
For up-to-date information on guided tours, events and opening times please refer to the website www.lancastercastle.com.