Prison hidden in Lincoln Castle in one-day opening for 1,000 Years of Traditional Crafts

By Culture24 Staff | 16 May 2011
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A photo of the inside of a prison

Until it was turned into the city’s Museum and Art Gallery at the end of the 19th century, a significant section of Lincoln Castle was used as a prison.

The most notable part of the remains comprises a chapel where each pew is a separate compartment, divided through chunky wooden divisions which sitters were “locked” into.

These seated cells allowed inhabitants to see the chaplain without seeing each other – a neat encapsulation of an isolation system considered so cruel it was swiftly dispensed with – in a parliamentary-style capsule from the confines usually kept hidden from public view.

But on Saturday the public will be able to poke around it inside the prison site as part of a mini-festival, 1,000 Years of Traditional Crafts, being jointly hosted by the Castle and Lincoln Cathedral.

The event aims to spark a resurgence in largely forgotten traditional crafts, with demonstrations of heritage skills such as stained glass window making, stonemasonry, thatching and blacksmith skills.

Experts from countries including France and Norway will be on hand to answer questions, and a Tastes of Lincolnshire fair on Castle Square accompanies activities for children in a central marquee.

  • Admission £4.75-£11 (family ticket £28, advance online saver tickets available). Click here for booking and further details.
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