Lancashire Castles, Grand Houses, Museums and Monuments to Visit This Spring Summer

Wednesday, February 2, 2022 by admin

Looking for things to do in Lancashire in Spring or Summer. Here are a few suggestions to put on your ‘must visit’ places. Lots of history, stunning architecture and beautiful settings. 

Lancaster Castle

Credit: Lancashire County Council

A fascinating glimpse of Lancashire history through the ages. Lancaster Castle is a site of great importance having guarded the city all the way back to Roman times. Learn about the trial of the Lancashire witches and the imprisonment of George Fox, the founder of the Quaker movement. Guided tours open up a wealth of information about the history and characters involved down through the years, and there are special events to watch out for throughout the year.

Maritime Museum

Credit: Ralph Rawlinson Creative Commons 2

Take a stroll along St George’s Quay, Lancaster’s 18th century harbour and discover the maritime history of the Port of Lancaster. The Maritime Museum, housed in the city’s former Customs House, include exhibitions that give an insight into the shadier side of the city’s economy during years of slave trading, and how it brought great wealth to certain sections of society. Learn about the treacherous Morecambe Bay sands, the local fishing industry, how they stored goods from around the world and the boats that were used for cargo on sea and canal.

Ashton Memorial

The Ashton Memorial is a Grade 1 listed monument completed in 1909. It was built as a memorial by rich industrialist Lord Ashton in memory of his wife, Jessy. It forms a commanding presence and can be seen for miles around. It is open on week days when visitors can enter and learn about the history and architecture of the monument. It sits in the beautiful grounds of Williamson Park, with extensive woodlands and open parkland. Great for picnics and family get togethers.

Lancaster Priory

Lancaster Castle and Priory

This is still the site of a worshipping Christian community, but Lancaster Priory Church dates all the way back to Saxon times. Most of the current Grade 1 listed building dates back to the 1600s, with the tower an 18th century addition, but it is thought a Roman building occupied the site as early as the year 200 AD. It is known as a place of excellence for its music tradition. There are a number of items of the utmost historical importance such as the 10th century marble tomb chest and effigy surrounded by cast iron railings, a resored Gothic style 18th century sundial, a Saxon doorway and carved choirstalls dating from 1340. Truly a history-lover’s treasure trove.

Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery

Opened in 1874 as a purpose-built free museum, Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery has a fascinating collection ranging from fine art to coin collections, manuscripts, Egyptian artefacts, Japanese prints and the largest icon collection outside London. The Lewis Textile Collection gives a fascinating insight into the local cotton trade. Thomas Boys Lewis, a local cotton manufacturer, established his collection to celebrate the developments in cotton manufacture during the Industrial Revolution. An industry that had made him very wealthy.

Hoghton Tower

Hoghton Tower Creative Commons !

Enjoy magnificent views towards the Lake District and Irish Sea from the elevated position of Hoghton Tower. Although the current building dates back to 1565, there is a much earlier history going back as far as 1109. The building tells the story of noble visitors, renowned artists and authors such as Dickens and Shakespeare.
This is a great day out for all the family with interactive tours, and the opportunity to dress up as knights and dragons on the ramparts of the tower. There’s also a diary of events throughout the year including theatre shows and spooky tours. Outside there are three walled gardens to enjoy and explore.

Judges Lodgings

Four hundred years of history are brought together in this fascinating house built in 1625 by Thomas Covell, Keeper of the Castle. The city’s oldest town house, Judges Lodgings housed travelling judges from the Assizes Courts. They were known as ‘red judges’ because of their scarlet robes. They sat on famous cases such as the Pendle Witch Trials and sealed the fate of many a villain, and possibly a few innocents as well. Between 1782 and 1865 over 200 people were sentenced to death by hanging, giving Lancaster the reputation as “the hanging town”.

The house contains beautifully decorated rooms and hosts some beautiful pieces of furniture designed and made by Gillows of Lancaster. You can also visit the Museum of Childhood and take a nostalgic journey through toys through the ages.

Stonyhurst College

 Creative Commons 3, Credit: Imaginative Name at English Wikipedia

Stonyhurst College is an impressive Grade I Listed 16th century manor house and is one of the most prolific catholic boarding schools in the UK.

Open at weekends and in school holidays, it is certainly worth a visit. It is set in the picturesque village of Hurst Green, surrounded by hills and woodland. A guided tour around the building is fascinating and you will discover the long list of famous literary, sporting and military who’s who that relate to the college in some way. Arthur Conan Doyle set his famous novel The Hound of the Baskervilles here, and it is said the J.R.R. Tolkien took inspiration for his Lord of the Rings trilogy from the surrounding countryside.

Samlesbury Hall

 Credit: Andrew Matthewson Creative Commons 2

A stunning mediaeval house dating back to 1325. Built of half-timber, this striking black and white manor house is a magnet for history lovers. It houses a kaleidoscope of different eras with a Victorian kitchen, a 1950s bedroom and a school room. The beautiful grounds are a haven of peace and tranquillity with manicured lawns, pretty borders, a wishing well and a pretty woodland. There are a few working animals, including rescued hens, which holds added interest for children visiting the hall.

The Hall is also a museum, and the archive rooms hold a plethora of interesting stories and tales about characters that form an important social history of the hall, the area and the country as a whole.

There’s a great calendar of events throughout the year, including theatre productions, murder mysteries, and guided tours.

Other Things to do in Lancashire this Spring and Summer

There are more than castles, grand houses, museums and monuments to visit in Lancashire. Take a look at our other suggestions including Lancashire Attractions for Children and FamiliesUnusual Spring Summer Activities in LancashireLancashire Attractions for Adults and Couples, Walk Lancashire in Spring and Summer, and Things to do in Lancashire in Spring Summer

Places to Stay in Lancashire in Spring and Summer

We have two fantastic 4* Hotels in Lancashire that would make a great base for exploring the beautiful county of Lancashire. 

Lancaster House

Close to the city of Lancaster, on the doorstep of the picturesque Forest of Bowland and within a short drive of the coast, Lancaster House is a perfect choice. Start your day at our fully equipped gym, or take time out from sight seeing to lounge beside our indoor pool, or relax in our indoor and outdoor hot tubs, steam room and sauna. With a choice of bar or restaurant, luxurious accommodation, together with the best Lancashire welcome, you will feel right at home. 

The Midland

Seaside, promenade, ice creams, cocktails, quirky rooms and stunning views across the Bay, The Midland is the perfect choice for those looking for something that little bit different and very special. Check out this iconic art deco gem, and don’t forget to book yourself Afternoon Tea at The Midland as a little  holiday treat. 

English Lakes Gift Vouchers

Buy Now

Sign up to our Special Offers Newsletter

Sign up to receive English Lakes Offers by Email.
Sign up to Offers