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New Visitor Guide Celebrates Lancaster History

Tuesday, 27th November 2012

Lancashire Day (today) saw the launch of a new visitor guide celebrating the history and riches of the county town of Lancaster.
The new book, ‘Discovering historic Lancaster; a visitor’s guide’ was launched on Tuesday, November 27 at The Storey building in Lancaster.
Written by heritage expert Colum Giles who has recently retired from English Heritage, the book encourages visitors to delve and explore a city whose modest size belies the prominent role it has played in our national history.

For many years English Heritage, Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council have been working together to protect Lancaster’s historic environment and to demonstrate how it can play a vital role in the economic and cultural life of the city today and in the future.
With plans for the future of Lancaster Castle being considered, and many other exciting developments, the time is right for new audiences to discover the city's heritage and for those already familiar to celebrate it through this attractive and affordable new publication.

This lavishly illustrated paperback tells Lancaster’s rich and unique story through a description of its landscapes and buildings and provides an attractive introduction and guide to what makes Lancaster such a special place.
Commenting on what inspired English Heritage to write a book about Lancaster, Colum Giles, said:  “What sparked the project which resulted in the publication of this book was a recognition by the partners that, despite the wonderful historic fabric which makes the city a special and important place, Lancaster was surprisingly little known beyond its immediate area. Each year thousands of tourists pass by on the motorway, within a couple of miles of one of England’s great historic cities. 
“Not enough of them pause in their journey to enjoy what the city has to offer - two thousand years of history from Romans, who built a fort and civilian settlement on the hilltop, to the present, a massive castle and beautiful priory church on the site of the Roman fort, an unrivalled waterfront which shows how important Lancaster was as an international port in earlier centuries, and fine buildings wherever one looks. “
“I was not familiar with Lancaster’s history, and I therefore came to the city as an outsider and I have provided, if you like, an outsider’s perspective of what makes the place and wanted to spread the message far and wide about Lancaster’s wonderful historic and unique character so that more people can appreciate what the city has to offer as a place to visit.”
Baroness Andrews, Chair of English Heritage, said: “When English Heritage Commissioners met in Lancaster at the beginning of 2011, we were hugely impressed with the city's outstanding historic character and distinctiveness. This new book celebrates what has made Lancaster such a special place and I am delighted that English Heritage has been able to support the City and County Council's work to promote Lancaster's history for the benefit of local communities and visitors alike."

Published by Lancaster City Council with support from Lancashire County Council, ‘Discovering historic Lancaster’ also highlights some of the dominant themes of Lancaster’s past, including its military history from the Roman period onwards, its rise and fall as a place of industry and trade and its life as a county town, market town and university city.
Coun Ron Sands, Cabinet member with responsibility for tourism and culture, said:  “It gives me great pride that English Heritage has recognised the unique historic value of our city in this way.
“With the recent opening to the public of the city’s biggest historic treasure of them all, Lancaster Castle, Lancashire Day will certainly be the perfect day in a perfect year to launch this truly outstanding production. It really sparkles and includes probably the best collection of colour photos on Lancaster ever brought together as well capturing what our district, steeped in history, has to offer those visiting, living and working in it today.”
County Coun Michael Devaney, Vice-Chairman of Lancashire County Council, said: "There is an absolute wealth of history in and around Lancaster. This book will help people to find out more about the city and its past, while enjoying the city as it is today.
"For English Heritage to be involved in producing this book, along with the city council and county council, shows how highly they rate the city and we're pleased it will help to bring in new visitors."
‘Discovering historic Lancaster; a visitor’s guide’ is available to buy from Visitor Information Centres at Lancaster and Morecambe, Waterstones (Lancaster) and Lancaster museums as well as on-line at priced at £4.99.

(Picture shows: Back L - R - County Coun Michael Devaney - Vice-Chairman of Lancashire County Council, Coun Ron Sands, Cabinet member with responsibility for tourism and culture - Lancaster City Council, Chris Smith - National Planning and Conservation Director (English Heritage) and Henry Owen-John, North West Planning Director - English Heritage.

Front - author Colum Giles

Cath Gillin
Communications Officer (media and e-marketing)
Tel:  01524 582044

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