Lancaster City Museum

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Lancaster City Museum
Lancaster Museum.jpg
The museum, seen across Market Square
Lancaster City Museum is located in Lancaster city centre
Lancaster City Museum
Location within Lancaster city centre
Former names Old Town Hall
General information
Type Museum
Town or city Lancaster, Lancashire
Country England
Coordinates 54°02′56″N 2°48′06″W / 54.0489°N 2.8017°W / 54.0489; -2.8017Coordinates: 54°02′56″N 2°48′06″W / 54.0489°N 2.8017°W / 54.0489; -2.8017
Construction started 1781
Completed 1783
Opened 1923 (1923)
Technical details
Material Sandstone ashlar with slate roof
Floor count 3
Design and construction
Architect Major Thomas Jarrett
Main contractor Robert Charnley and Robert Dickinson
Listed Building – Grade II*
Official name City Museum, The Old Town Hall
Designated 22 December 1953
Reference no. 1194971

Lancaster City Museum is a museum in Lancaster, Lancashire, England. It is housed in the former town hall in the Market Square and includes the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum.[1] The museum was founded in 1923, and its collections illustrate the archaeology and history of the city and surrounding areas.[2] Among its highlights is the Lancaster Roman Tombstone, a memorial dating from c. 100 AD which was found locally in 2005. It depicts a Roman soldier on horseback with a decapitated opponent at his feet, and is described as "an iconic piece of Lancaster's dramatic past [giving] a crucial insight into the history of the county."[3] The museum has expressed an interest in acquiring the Viking-era Silverdale Hoard, discovered in the City of Lancaster district in 2011, for its collection.[4]

The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council granted the museum "Accredited" status;[5] since 1 October 2011 accreditation is a responsibility of Arts Council England.[6]

Lancaster Old Town Hall[edit]

The Old Town Hall building in which the museum is housed is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building. It was designed by Major Thomas Jarrett and built between 1781 and 1783, with a cupola added in 1782 to a design by Thomas Harrison. It was extended in 1871 and 1886. In 1910, the functions of the Town Hall were transferred to a new building in nearby Dalton Square. The old Town Hall was converted into a museum in 1923.[7]

The building is a two-storey structure built from sandstone ashlar, fronted by a projecting tetrastyle Tuscan portico. The façade presents five bays with round-arched windows and, in the centre under the portico, a round-arched door at the top of a set of four steps. The cupola surmounting the building has a square base with a second octagonal stage on the side of which is a clock face. Above is a round drum surrounded by a rotunda of Ionic columns, capped by a dome. The ground floor was originally open and contained an arcade housing a market for grain and butter. The openings to the arcade were later filled with the current ground-floor windows. The building has served a number of purposes over the years; as well as housing Lancaster's Council Chamber and subsequently the City Museum, it also housed the town court (complete with lock-ups) and branches of Barclays Bank (until 1969) and the National Westminster Bank (until 1977).[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lancaster City Museum". Lancashire Museums. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "The City Museum". Lancaster City Council. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "Lancaster Roman Tombstone". Lancashire Museums. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Silverdale silver Viking hoard declared treasure". BBC News. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "List of Accredited Museums in the UK" (Excel spreadsheet). MLA. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "Museums". Arts Council England. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Historic England. "City Museum, The Old Town Hall, Lancaster (1194971)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 

External links[edit]