Slave Trade & Fair Trade Town Trail

Global Link has produced a town trail of Lancaster combining important sites connected to the slave trade and fair trade outlets in the city.

Slave Trade Town TrailUsing the information provided and fold-out map, you can discover more about Lancaster‘s historic connection to the slave trade and find places to buy fairly traded goods.


Lancaster Slave Trade Town Trail

Each point of interest for the town trail listed below is accompanied by audio directions and commentary, recorded by year 5 children from Dallas Road Community Primary School in Lancaster. Although the audio directions and commentary are intended to aid visually impaired users who wish to complete the town trail, it is still an enjoyable listen for all!


A map of the city centre to help guide you from each site is also available for download here  - each site marked with a number on the map corresponds to the numbers for each description that follows below. 

Download the Audio

You can listen to the audio directions and descriptions for each section by clicking on the links below.

Town Trail

Welcome to Lancaster slave trade town trail. This tour will guide you around some of the houses and building connected to the slave trade. Click the link below to listen to the introduction.


1.  20 Castle Park

Begin at the Tourist Information Centre in the Storey Institute on Meeting House Lane. Turn up Castle Hill on your left as you leave the Storey. Bear left and look for no. 20.

This was the home of the Satterthwaite family who, like several Quaker merchant families, were at different times owners of enslaved Africans.  In 1778 they had a servant called Fanny (Frances) Elizabeth Johnson who was originally an enslaved African from St. Kitts in the West Indies.


2.  Lancaster Castle

Opposite you is Lancaster Castle which until very recently was a prison, and is still a Court of Law. 

Quakers were tried, tortured and imprisoned here for their religious beliefs, including George Fox and Margaret Fell, who both campaigned to improve the inhumane living conditions in the cells. Some prisoners died as a result of the poor living conditions. 


3.  Friends Meeting House

Continue past the Castle, until you start to go down the hill past Castle Park Mews. Turn left through the gate onto the footpath through the train station. Walk down past the station entrance and up the other side onto Meeting House Lane. Turn left, and find the Friends Meeting House.

Members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) have worshipped on this site since 1677. Early Quakers in Lancaster were involved in the slave trade; some were slave traders themselves. Nationally, however, Quakers were paramount in the movement for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, setting up Britain’s first anti-slavery organisation, a central Quaker committee and a national network of local Quaker campaigners. 


4.  Priory Church

Retrace your steps back towards Castle Park. Turn left and go around the Castle towards the Priory Church. You will see a sign saying ‘Public Footpath – St George’s Quay 300 yards.’ 

This Priory Church was built mainly in the 15th Century. The tower was rebuilt in 1759 and used as a landmark for ships on the River Lune. See if you can spot the memorial inscriptions to the Lindow family (outside the church) and the Hinde family (inside the church) who both made money through the slave trade. If you look at the small memorial garden at the side of the Priory Church, you will find a stone marking the baptism of Fanny Johnson, enslaved to the Satterthwaite family. After her death her hand was mummified and passed down the Satterthwaite family until it was laid to rest in 1997 in the memorial garden:


5.  St. George’s Quay

Follow the footpath and signs , over the cycle path down to St. George’s Quay. 

St. George’s Quay was built between 1750 and 1755, replacing the old muddy bank making it easier to load and unload goods from the ships. Much money was made here. The Quay grew bigger and many warehouses were built. 


6.   Maritime Museum

Turn left along the Quay until you reach the Maritime Museum.  

This building was built in 1765 and designed by Richard Gillow, the furniture manufacturer. It used to be the Customs House where the ship owners paid taxes for the goods they were trading.

7.  Dodshon Foster’s House

To the left of the Maritime Museum is Dodshon Foster’s house and warehouse. 

Dodshon Foster was a very wealthy man, and a Quaker. He owned two small ships which during five voyages carried 650 enslaved Africans. Some died on the ships. 


8.  Slave Trade Memorial

Retrace your steps along the Quay, passing the footpath you came down, and continue under the bridge. On the left is Captured Africans, a sculpture commissioned by the Slave Trade Arts Memorial Project to mark Lancaster’s involvement in the Transtlantic slave trade. It is also the end point of the first stage and the start of the second stage of the Fair Trade Way; the six-day Fair Trade heritage trail from Garstang to Keswick. 

Created by Kevin Dalton Johnson, Captured Africans is a memorial to the victims of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The sugar, cotton and mahogany wealth represent the goods that people brought from the Americas with the money they had made selling enslaved Africans. It also names some of the ships ,  captains, and how many Africans they carried. 

9. Global Link

Continue past the modern flats to the end of the road. Opposite you will see the YMCA building, which used to be a warehouse. Global Link is now housed here. 

The achievement of Fairtrade status for Lancaster, Morecambe and District was facilitated by Global Link, who also deliver fair trade awareness-raising work in schools and with the wider community. 


10.  St. John’s Church

Cross the road at the pelican crossing in front of the bus station. Turn left, cross over to the car park and walk around onto Chapel Street, turn right and walk to the end.

St. John’s Church was built around 1754 when Lancaster was prosperous (due to the slave trade). On the side you can see a memorial stone to John Lowther. He and two other men named John owned the last Lancaster slave ship called ‘The Johns’.


11.  Lancaster Town Hall

Follow the one-way system up the hill, past Moor Lane (where in 1612 the Pendle ‘Witches’ walked to their hangings) until you reach Dalton Square and the Town Hall. 

This is where Lancaster, Morecambe and District Fairtrade status was declared on 5th March 2004. A voluntary Fairtrade steering group works hard to maintain this status:  


12. Quaker Graveyard (optional)

For the energetic who want a good view of the Lake District: the Quaker Graveyard (near the Ashton Memorial). Go left up Nelson Street, through the traffic lights past the Cathedral, up East Road. Turn right onto Wyresdale Road. Walk up the hill and, just past the entrance to Williamson’s Park on your left, you will see a ramshackle ancient doorway in a stone wall on your right, leading into an overgrown green space.  

In the 17th century,  Quakers - as religious dissenters - had to be buried outside of the city. Dodshon Foster’s wife is buried here, so it is likely that he is too. 


13.  St. Thomas’ Church

Cross over the road and walk up the one-way system for 30 metres, then turn right onto Marton Street. On your left, at the back of St. Thomas’s Church, you will see the sign for Craft Aid. 

Craft Aid opened in 1985 and was the first shop in Lancaster to sell only fairly traded goods. From the time that the Fairtrade Mark was introduced in 1994 it has stocked products with this Fairtrade certification as well as many fair trade craft items. 


14.  Oxfam and Single Step

Follow Marton Street to the T-junction and turn right onto Penny Street. Almost immediately on your left you will see an alley that leads to the workers’ cooperative Single Step,  which was quick to put Fairtrade certified products on sale as they became available.

Continue until you reach George Street. Just ahead you will see the Oxfam shop on your left, which was one of the first outlets nationally to sell fairly traded products. 


15.   No. 1 Queen Street

Turn left onto Spring Garden Street until you reach the one-way system again. Cross at the pelican crossing onto Queen Street and look for number one. 

This grand Georgian house was owned by a wealthy man called William Lindow. He traded enslaved Africans between the different islands in the West Indies. Living at this house as a servant was a man called John Chance who had been enslaved.


16.  City Museum

Go back down King Street, past the Assembly Rooms on your left. Turn right at the traffic lights at Waterstones onto Market Street to Market Square. 

The City Museum was once the Town Hall, here many of the wealthy slave traders were made freemen of the city, or received other honours. Thomas Hinde, who was captain of a slave ship, became Mayor here. 


17.  The Sun Inn

Walk around the back of the Museum and turn right down New Street. At the end of New Street turn left and you will find The Sun Inn. 

This was a coaching inn in the 1700s, where merchants and captains would meet up to trade and make all sorts of deals. One slave ship we know of that was sold here was called ‘The Africa.’ 


18.  Gillow’s Warehouse

Continue to the end of Church Street and cross the one-way system. Bear left up Castle Hill where you will see a doorway with the Gillows’ Warehouse sign over the door and plaque.   

This was the first warehouse of the Gillows, who were successful furniture manufacturers. They made their furniture from mahogany which was brought back from the Caribbean as part of the triangular trade. 


Follow Castle Hill to the Storey Institute, where you began.

Further Information

Anti Slavery International campaign for the freedom of millions of people worldwide who are trapped in situations of slavery or slavery-like practices. Visit their website at to read more and access teaching materials.

Modern slavery. Although it is not allowed by international law, millions of men, women and children are leading the lives of slaves. Although they may not be called slaves they are sold like objects and forced to work in terrible conditions. For example, in West Africa children are sold to cocoa plantation owners and are beaten up if they try to escape. In Asia families are forced to send their children to work in carpet workshops where they work 14 hours a day everyday of the week. Even in this country people are trafficked and brought here illegally against their will and forced to work for little or no pay.


The trail is available at Lancaster‘s Tourist Information Centre and the Global Link office, priced 50p. 

Alternatively, you can download the trail for free and print out yourself.

The updated trail was initiated and funded by The FIG Tree in Garstang as part of their Heritage Lottery Funded Fair Trade, Slave Trade and Quaker Project.