A trip to this castle really offers many views of the history of the area. The castle itself is very ancient, its high battlements offer excellent views over the town and surrounding area. Within its walls is the crown court building, which is still in use to this day. You'll see the prison vans bringing in remand prisoners, solicitors and police officers carrying cases of documents and witnesses standing around waiting for justice to be done.
The most interesting of history is housed in the red brick building. This is where one of the existing Magna Carta documents is kept in a dimmed cabinet. It was fascinating to see how small it is and how meticulously inscribed in a strange sort of Latin. This is one of four still in existence from the forty or so originally produced. Now this really is a piece of history that still has echoes today for all of us.
The most strange of sights is in the prison chapel. Rows of masked maniquins stand in their individual cubicles showing how prisoners were kept isolated even during religious services. The chapel was the strangest, eeriest and most thought provoking place I have seen for a very long time. Unmissable and unforgettable.
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