An exciting new phase of development is now underway at Lancaster Castle.

Please note that during this period there will be no permanent café facility available at the Castle and the ticket office will be relocated to A-Wing. Guided tours and events will continue as scheduled.


Discover more of Lancaster Castle's history with our heraldry and convict databases.

Heraldry Database

The Shire Hall houses a splendid display of over 650 shields bearing the arms of every English monarch from Richard The Lionheart onward, as well as all the Constables of Lancaster Castle and the High Sheriffs of Lancashire.

Below you will find a selection of illustrations and descriptions of a small part of the collection, concentrating on the Middle Ages. The descriptions are taken from 'Heraldry in the Shire Hall, Lancaster Castle' published by The Lancashire Family History & Heraldry Society (2000) We are also grateful to the estate of Mr Robert Milward for donating a wonderful photographic record of the shields.

Where we have it, the biographical information on the sheriffs has been researched by Dr Colin Penny

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Convict Database

Below is a list of the convict information we currently hold. It lists all the people tried and sentenced at Lancaster Assize about whom we have some definite evidence.

  • The people mentioned were tried at the castle and sentenced to various punishments, including fines, imprisonment, Transportation to Australia as well as those who were sentenced to death. Please note that often a sentence of death was recorded but not carried out.
  • Transportation to America: we have a limited amount of information on people sent to America in the years prior to Independance. We would love to know more!
  • If you have further information about any of these people and would like to share it with us we would love to hear from you. This information is for research purposes only, and to help us fill in the many gaps in our records. If you can help please email us
  • If you want to know more about any of the people mentioned please do get in touch at the email address above. We will be happy to help where we have any original documentation.
  • Please note that this database is purely concerned with people who have a definite connection to Lancaster Castle: we cannot offer help on family records, even for the people we do know about (we simply don't have it) nor can we search for information on people who were not tried at Lancaster (for the same reason)

It is worth noting that 'Lancaster' does not always mean the town (as it was then) but rather the county i.e 'The County of Lancaster' rather than the more modern use- 'Lancashire'. This means that these cases were not tried at the castle at all. Look for another town in brackets (Salford/Manchester/ Liverpool) to see if this applies to your enquiry. Sadly, we do not have any records from these trials and won't be able to help you.

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