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Medieval stone castle, replacing earlier motte and bailey, considerably altered in the 20th century by construction of the Shire Hall. The monument is also visible as upstanding structures on air photographs mapped as part of the North West Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey. Roger de Poitou is credited with the restoration or rebuilding of the castle with a keep prior to AD 1102. The castle was taken by Hubert de Burgh in 1199 and partly destroyed by the Scots in 1314. The castle was besieged by Royalists during the civil war and has been used as a prison since 1745. It is on the site of a Roman fort and Saxon fortification. HMP Lancaster was the County Gaol for Lancaster and it is situated inside Lancaster Castle. The first reference to a gaol inside the castle occurs in 1196. Building work commenced in 1802, with Joseph Gandy appointed as architect. The king's evidence tower was constructed and between 1818 and 1821 a female penitentiary was built. A treadwheel was added in 1822. Between 1845 and 1877 extensions were made. The prison closed in 1916, followed by a programme of refurbishment started in 1954 and the prison re-opened in 1955.

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