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Lancaster Castle has a brooding presence in the city, where it has been used as a prison since the 12th century. In fact, it continued to be a prison until 2011 and is still used as a court. Its association with crime and punishment is notorious - this was the scene of the famous 17th century Lancashire Witch trials, and numerous sentences of death and transportation. Its origins are a little uncertain - it probably stands on, or near, the site of a Roman fort overlooking the river Lune. But you can be sure it has been at the centre of English history for about 1,000 years.
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