HRH The Princess Royal has officially opened the new-look Lincoln Castle.
Around 2,500 people gathered for the occasion yesterday, with medieval re-enactors keeping the crowds entertained within the castle grounds.
The opening ceremony was compered by well-known local actor Colin McFarlane, with speeches by Coun Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, and Carole Souter, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Her Royal Highness then unveiled a plaque commemorating the occasion, before taking a tour of the site, including a visit to the David PJ Ross Magna Carta Vault, a new home for the historic document, made possible thanks to a £1.4m donation from the David Ross Foundation.
Coun Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Lincoln Castle Revealed has transformed this site into a world-class tourist attraction, and, in our first two months, we have already welcomed more than 60,000 visitors through the gates.
“Today, we are celebrating that success.
“The project has involved literally hundreds of people. Their hard work has not only helped create a fantastic new attraction for the city, but also preserved an important part of our heritage for future generations.
“And that is an achievement we can all be proud of.”
The event also saw the first performance of new works by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Welsh National Poet Gillian Clarke and Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry holder Imtiaz Dharker, written to mark Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary.
The new suite of poems forms the centre-piece of the Magna Carta Poets Laureate Lincolnshire Landscape project, which is funded by the council and Arts Council England.
Further information, including details of tickets prices and concessions, can be found online at www.lincolncastle.com
The improvements have been made possible thanks to funding from Lincolnshire County Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, European Regional Development Fund, David Ross Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation and other private donations.