Executions

castle

As many as eight or nine condemned prisoners and their coffins would be carried in the bottom of a cart. The procession from the Castle would pass along Moor Lane and Moor Gate, stopping at the Golden Lion public house at the corner of Brewery Lane in order that the condemned prisoners could take their last drink, accompanied by their friends and relatives. Execution day also brought people from all over the North West of England out onto the streets of Lancaster to witness the hangings.

After 1800 the executions at Lancaster Castle took place at "Hanging Corner", in an angle between the tower and the wall on the east side of the terrace steps. On the ground-floor of the tower is the "Drop Room" which contains relics of the many executions, and can be visited today.

old ned

Out of 200 executions at Lancaster Castle, only 43 were for murder; other crimes included burglary, passing forged notes, robbery and cattle-stealing. Of those 200 executions, 131 are reputed to have been carried out by one hangman - Old Ned Barlow

For over 50 years, the Prison Chaplain was Parson Rowley who is said to have attended 170 criminals to their execution.

On March 25th 1865 Stephen Burke was hanged for the murder of his wife, this was the last public execution at the Castle.

Read our Castle Stories

duchy of lancaster