New world-class heritage visitor attraction for Lincoln

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Lincoln Castle Revealed aims to transform William the Conqueror’s imposing building, set amidst the medieval cobbled streets of Lincolnshire’s Cathedral city, into a world-class heritage visitor attraction.

As well as unveiling new stories, Lincoln Castle Revealed will also culminate in a state-of-the-art new home to a document that lays claim to being the foundation of individual freedoms across the globe.

High on a hill and standing opposite one of Europe’s finest gothic cathedrals, Lincoln Castle - built in 1068 on the site of a Roman fortress – is regarded as one of the country’s best examples of a Norman castle.

It has been at the centre of the fight for the English throne, a prison to everybody from the father of John Wesley, founder of Methodism, to convicts transported to Australia… and home to Lincoln Cathedral’s original 1215 Magna Carta.

An attempt to limit the King's power by law and hailed by many as heralding the beginning of democracy and constitutional law, Magna Carta ended a conflict between King John and English barons.

One of the most celebrated documents in history, it is regarded as the cornerstone of liberty in the English-speaking world.

And in 2015 – the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta – Lincoln Castle’s four-year restoration will be complete, including a new underground Vault housing Lincoln’s 1215 document and bringing its story to life.

One of only four remaining original 1215 Magna Carta documents, it will take pride of place in the new interpretive visitor centre during a year of national commemorations in Britain to mark the anniversary.

The new-look Castle will fully re-open in April 2015, but in the meantime visitors will still be able to enjoy the grounds and see how the project is taking shape, thanks to reduced price opening and sneak peaks of new attractions.

Once completed, there will be new castle walks – including for the first time ever a complete circular wall walk – an “in the round” cinema offering a fresh perspective on Magna Carta history, new shop and café.

There will be improved access to the male and female Victorian prisons – the male prison will be fully open for the first time - and unique ‘separate system’ chapel, while a new innovatively designed Heritage Skills Centre is already open, the first new building in the grounds for a century.

Many important archaeological discoveries uncovered during the construction work - including a unique limestone sarcophagus containing remains which experts believe to be a young Saxon of considerable status. Further research is ongoing and will include a facial reconstruction.

Lincoln Castle Revealed is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Lincolnshire County Council.

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New world-class heritage visitor attraction for Lincoln