Lancaster castle

'Lancaster Castle and Northern English History: the View from the Stronghold'

Find out how you can access our award winning online course.

Our Online Short Course

In 2018, the Regional Heritage Centre launched the History Department's first online short course: 'Lancaster Castle and Northern English History: the View from the Stronghold'. We produced the course in partnership with Lancaster University's Information System Services and the Duchy of Lancaster. The course is hosted by FutureLearn.

About the course

The course uses iconic Lancaster Castle as an accessible way into the history of northern England. Learners range across two millennia of history, from the remains of Roman forts to the castle's life as a prison and a visitor attraction. Our engaging educators respond to the castle and its surroundings in relation to their particular research interests, such as medieval Anglo-Scottish warfare, the witchcraft rials of the seventeenth century and the achievements of prison reformers. The course lasts for five weeks, each structured around high-quality videos filmed against the impressive backdrop of Lancaster Castle. The videos are accompanied by learning exercises, which tackle a rich variety of primary sources.

The first run of the course was a great success, attracting over 4000 participants from 128 countries. The course was also nominated for a prestigious national 'Learning on Screen' award.

*This year's course will begin on Monday 19 October. Registration is now open, please visit

With thanks to:

The Regional Heritage Centre offers profuse thanks to a number of organisations and individuals for their support during the making of the course. The Duchy of Lancaster has supported us by generously allowing filming within Lancaster Castle, providing images and offering advice throughout the process. The production of the MOOC has been made possible with funding provided by:

  • A legacy left to the RHC by the late Dr Margaret Bainbridge
  • Lancaster Universtiy Impact Fund
  • RHC benefactor Dr Philip Welch

We would like to thank Dr Colin Penny, Museum Manager Lancaster Castle, for his help in facilitating filming at the castle, offering advice and participating in two interviews. We would also like to thank Christopher Tinmouth, Professor David Shotter, Dr Sean Cunningham, Charlotte Howsley, Lancaster City Council, Lancashire County Council's Museum Service, The National Archives, Whalley Abbey, the Royal Kings Arms and Salmesbury Hall.

Contact Us

By Post

Regional Heritage Centre
Department of History
Bowland College
Lancaster University
United Kingdom

By Phone

+44 (0)1524 593770

Usually staffed on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9:30-15:30

RHC Director:
Dr Fiona Edmonds

Academic Co-ordinator: 
Dr Sam Riches

Ann-Marie Michel

For the Victoria County History of Cumbria, please contact Dr Sarah Rose