Work starts on Lincoln Castle prison Magna Carta vault

The next phase of the Lincoln Castle Revealed revamp project is set to begin shortly.

Nottinghamshaire-based heritage construction company Woodhead Heritage will lead the fourth phase of the £5.45 million project, which will focus on the restoration of Lincoln Castle Prison.

The Grade II Georgian and Victorian Prison buildings will be restored so more spaces will be available to the public to access.

The restoration is part of the larger £22 million project, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Lincolnshire County Council.

The project includes the refurbishment and restoration of the Georgian and Victorian Prison buildings and construction of a subterranean pod to display Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest.

It will also have a cinema room to screen films about Magna Carta as well as a new shop and café, in addition to new disabled access and external landscaping work.

3D image of the work on the prison.

3D rendering of the work planned for the prison at Lincoln Castle for the Magna Carta vault

Lincoln Castle is the only place in the world where Magna Carta (1215) and the Charter of the Forest (1217) can be seen together.

Once works are completed, it will also be the only place to have a dedicated new building and exhibition to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta in 2015.

3D rendering view of the Magna Carta vault at the prison at Lincoln Castle

3D rendering view of the Magna Carta vault at the prison at Lincoln Castle

Woodhead Heritage already worked on the Heritage Skills Centre and the current Castle Walls project, which will mean visitors can walk all the way round the castle walls.

Simon Butler from Woodhead Heritage said: “We are very pleased and excited to have won the fourth and latest project at Lincoln Castle as this type of project is very rare.

“The prison buildings are Grade II listed and will require careful conservation, at the same time, we want to ensure the final buildings offer a world class visitor experience.

“We will be working with Architects Arrol & Snell and Lincolnshire County Council to make this project a success for Lincolnshire. We are also aware that the Castle will remain open and will be ensuring minimal disruption for visitors.”

Mary Powell, Tourism Development Manager, Lincolnshire County Council added: “We are excited to reach another phase in the development of Lincoln Castle and the Lincoln Castle Revealed Project.

“Work to date is of the highest standard, on time and on budget.

“Our original aim to ‘reveal’ Lincoln Castle is exceeding all expectations as research is turning up new stories about the site, archaeology has found a previously unknown Saxon church and a rare stone sarcophagus and we are opening up parts of the site never accessible before.”

The fourth phase should be completed in 2014.