Prison revamp and Magna Carta pod to complete Lincoln Castle
A stunning £20m project to revamp Lincoln Castle is entering its final phase.
Contractors are busy preparing to transform the site's prison which will undergo £5.45 million pounds of restoration and building work.
It is the final part of the Lincoln Castle Revealed project which is costing £19.9 million and will be officially revealed to the public in April 2015.
Simon Butler, from Woodhead Heritage, a division of contractors Robert Woodhead Ltd, said: "We are very pleased and excited to have won the fourth and latest project at Lincoln Castle.
"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 the castle will remain open and will be ensuring minimal disruption for visitors."
The final phase of work will see the Georgian and Victorian prison buildings repaired and restored to their former glory.
Boarding around the buildings has already gone up and protective measures such as floor coverings are being installed to protect their features.
Two floors of educational facilities will be created during the work, along with recreations of some of the cells.
The building will also be given disabled access along with a new shop, café and toilets.
Away from the prison building itself, a new 'subterranean pod' will be created to display the Magna Carta.
Set into the ground itself, the building will also be home to a cinema.
Floor to ceiling screens stretching 180 degrees around the room will tell the Magna Carta story.
It will also display the Charter of the Forest – making it the only place in the world to display both historical documents together.
However workers will have to dig around four metres down into the earth to create the Magna Carta Vault.
Mary Powell, tourism development manager at Lincolnshire County Council added: "It is nice how all the contractors have already started or just about to start, although we have another 19 months ahead of us.
"It feels like everything is in place now – although I am not denying the amount of hard work we will have over the next 19 months.
"I named the project Castle Revealed but I never thought it would reveal how much it has turned out to reveal."