Between 1787 - 1878 the castle served as a prison for the Lincolnshire committee. To make everything even more scary, the benches from the chapel were coffin shaped, to remind the prisoners that no one will leave this place alive.
The view from the castle is impressive, and its walls are still intact. The castle is unusual in that it has two mottes. It is only one of two such castles in the country, the other being at Lewes in Sussex.
The Observatory Tower is built in one of the mottes. The original tower was built 1150 towards the end of The Anarchy (the war between Stephen and his cousin Matilda for control of the throne). Later additions were added in the 14th century. The tower, as we see it today, was added by the prison governor John Merryweather, nominally as a observation post to catch escapees, but in reality, as he was a keen astronomer, for star gazing. During World War II it was used as a fire-watch post.
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