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BTP appointed to work on historic Shire Hall & Museum

BTP is celebrating an historic appointment, having been chosen by Lancashire County Council as conservation architects for the prestigious Shire Hall and Museum at Lancaster Castle.

The Castle, which is one of the earliest and most prominent buildings in Lancaster, has been in continuous use since its construction in the 12th century, and this latest programme of works is focussing on its Shire Hall and Museum.

The ten-sided Shire Hall court room, which was completed in 1802 by artist Joseph Gandy, is also the centrepiece for one of the UK’s finest displays of chivalric heraldry.

BTP’s work on the Grade 1 listed Lancaster Castle’s Shire Hall commenced back in June 2020, and is expected to run for two years.

BTP’s Managing Director Vicky Saunders said: “It’s a real privilege to be working with Lancashire County Council on a building with such rich heritage. Our programme will conserve the historic external fabric of Shire Hall, such as the roof and masonry, in order to protect the building and prepare it for any future development.” 

“Preserving historic buildings like this one is an area of particular expertise for BTP. We’re excited to have started this conservation work to enable future generations to enjoy the unique history of the Castle too.”

Paul Simpson, Principal Building Surveyor at Lancashire County Council, said: “BTP has a strong track record in working on complex projects for historic buildings, and we’re pleased to be working with Vicky and the team on the next phase of the development of Lancaster Castle.”

“It’s exciting to be moving into the next era of the Castle’s rich history, protecting its heritage and ensuring it can continue to be a centrepiece of the city’s visitor and tourist offering for years to come.”

The Castle, which is owned by the Duchy of Lancaster, dates back almost 1,000 years. It was a fully functioning HM Prison until 2011, and today offers visitors a glimpse into England’s past.

In addition to the Shire Hall, which is still sometimes used as a working courtroom, the Castle also contains the Old Cells and the Drop Room, where convicted prisoners were prepared for execution.

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