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aerial photograph of Lancaster Castle Lancaster Lancashire England UK. Probably dating from the 11th century it is widely believed Lancaster Castle stands on the site of a Roman Fort. The Castle fended off attacks from the Scots in the 14th century and the Pendle Witches were held and tried here in 1612. During the English Civil War it was initially garrisoned by Royalist forces before being taken by the Parliamentarians. The castle then held out against repeated attempts by the Royalists to retake it. After the war, Parliament ordered the castle be slighted but that administrative parts of the castle could be retained to fulfill its role as a jail so while some parts were demolished including the well tower, much of it survived. There was an extensive program of improvements in the 18th century to improve the jail & court facilities. nearly 300 criminals were hanged at the Gaol with the last execution taking place in 1910. The castle was used as a jail up until 2011. Its astounding that a medieval building was still being used as a jail in the 21st Century. The Castle is still used as a crown court to this day.