"LANCASTER, a parish, market town, municipal and parliamentary borough, exercising separate jurisdiction, but locally situated in the hundreds of Lonsdale South of the Sands and Amounderness, county Lancashire. It is the county town of Lancashire, 15 miles S.W. of Kirby Lonsdale, 60 N.W. of Manchester, and 240 N.N.W. of London by road, or 230 by the London and North-Western railway, on which it is a first-class station. It is situated about 6 miles from Lancaster Bay, on the river Lune and Lancaster canal. The parish is very extensive, including, besides the county town, the chapelries of Admarsh, Caton, Glasson, Gressingham, Littledale, Overton, Poulton-le-Sands, Quernmoore, Skerton, Stalmine, Wyersdale, and 13 other townships. The town, which is situated in the north-western angle of the county, is built on an eminence rising abruptly from the left bank of the Lune. It occupies the site of a Roman station, as the suffix to its name indicates, probably Ad Alaunam of Richard of Cirencester, or Longovici. It is supposed to have been dismantled after the departure of the Romans, but was restored by the Anglo-Saxon kings of Northumbria, who made it their capital. It is mentioned in the Domesday Survey as Loncastre, and at that time formed part of the crown manor of Halton. In 1094 the Anglo-Norman baron, Roger de Poitou, built the castle, and enlarged the town, which received a charter from King John. In the reign of Edward III. it was made a county palatine, and the manor, with the duchy of Lancaster, conferred on John of Gaunt, the king's son, a dignity still retained by the royal family. In 1322 it was plundered by the Scottish army under Bruce, and part of the castle destroyed, but it was immediately restored, and the gateway tower was then added. During the fear that prevailed in England regarding the Spanish Armada, the castle was used as a fortress, and has ever since been employed as the county prison. In the wars of the Roses the town was greatly reduced, and again suffered considerably during the parliamentary war. In 1698 a great part of the town was destroyed by fire, in behalf of the Pretender, and in 1745 was much agitated by the temporary success of the Pretender. The municipal borough, which was first chartered by King John, when Earl of Morton, is divided into three wards.