A brief history of Lancaster
The history of our beloved Lancaster goes back a bit further than you would have thought. It may now be a lovely quirky university town with everything a student could want but it all started back round about 80AD.
As you can imagine it was the Romans that first planted their flag in Lancaster, building a fort here round about 80AD – The small town grew up around the soldiers stationed there and a market began to flourish. A few hundred years down the line time was up for the romans round about the 4th Century
Round about 1170, The Normans came along building their castle on the site of the previous roman attempt with a stone keep. In the 13th century King John extended and built walls with towers and an epic gateway around the keep.
Lancaster became Lancaster at the start of the 12th century gaining its first charter confirming the citizens rights in 1193. The charter allowed a weekly market and an annual fair attracting people from all over the lancashire area. Its also from this point that the castle started it’s use as a prison.
Round about 1260 the Dominican Friars came along founding their base near enough where Dalton Square is today. Similar to monks they were into poverty and chastity but a little more open to the locals and preached to them.
The black death in 1349 reduced the local population by roundabout a half.
The next notable happening was during the rein of Henry the 8th who had upset a LOT of the country by reforming religion and closing monasteries. In the north there was an uprising with the rebels visiting Lancaster and the priory being closed.
A writer round about this time described lancaster:
‘The town at this day is not very well peopled nor much frequented and all the inhabitants, therefore, are given to husbandry (agriculture).’
We’ll be back to fascinate you with part two soon!