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5c. Carlisle (3)

Carlisle Castle

See also Carlisle (1) The Cathedral

Carlisle (2) The City Centre and Buildings

Carlisle (4) Tullie House and Guildhall Museums

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Carlisle Castle (managed by English Heritage)

The mighty Carlisle Castle has dominated the town for around 900 years, much of it as functioning fortress with regular additions and updates to serve each phase of English and Scottish history. The site had originally been an important Roman fortress near the end of Hadrian's Wall.


The way up to the  entrance to Carlisle Castle from Castle Way. Carlisle Castle and its inhabitants have seen plenty of action e.g. medieval attacks, skirmishes with marauding Border Reivers in Elizabethan times, a Civil War siege -the longest of any town in English history, Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite Rising of 1745-1746.  At the time of the latter, if was the last Englishtown to suffer a siege, but succumbed to the army of the Duke of Cumberland's better armed and better trained Hanoverian army.


A section of the moat and on the right the gate into the inner courtyard or bailey.




The large outer yard, a parade yard with more recent administrative buildings and barrack blocks.




Carlisle was made a permanently occupied garrison in 1820 for fear of radical revolution and extra barrack blocks were built in the outer yard (to the left).


The mighty Norman keep, begun in the late 12th century by King Henry I of England and completed by King David I of Scotland, noting that Carlisle was a much disputed frontier 'border' town, much fought over by the Scots and English in the turbulent Anglo-Scottish wars.


The keep is the oldest part of the Carlisle castle.




The mighty walls of Carlisle Castle's keep. The tops of the battlements are rounded by order of Henry VIII to deflect heavy cannon shot, updating a response to improved heavy artillery pieces of equipment.


One of the domestic rooms in the keep, with a classic deeply recessed round-arched Norman window.




The Chamber of Carlisle Castle, originally a large room acting as the main living space for the King or his representative living here, but much altered since. Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in Carlisle Castle in 1568.


Above and below are lots of interesting carvings on the second floor of the keep. Originally thought to have been done by prisoners in Carlisle Castle, recent research suggests they may have been done by prison guards near the end of the 15th century (1460s - 1470s).


The are all sorts of carvings of figures, human, animal, religious, heraldic,








Entrance to the keep on the left, on the right the remnants of Queen Mary's tower.


The old cannons on the battlements of the keep, Carlisle Castle.


? room, with a fine brick vaulted ceiling.


The architecture of what remains of Queen Mary's Tower, where she was held captive in 1568.


Coat of arms dated 1577


Cumbria's Military Museum honouring the Border & King's Own Royal Border Regiment

The museum features many exhibits and visual displays of the history of the Border Regiment

Cumbria's Military Museum featuring the history of the Border Regiment.

Carlisle Index  Carlisle (1) The Cathedral  *  Carlisle (2) The City Centre and Buildings

5c. Carlisle (3) The Castle  and  Carlisle (4) Tullie House and Guildhall Museums

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Carlisle Index  Carlisle (1) The Cathedral  *  Carlisle (2) The City Centre and Buildings

5c. Carlisle (3) The Castle  and  Carlisle (4) Tullie House and Guildhall Museums

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