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28 October 2014
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Carlisle Castle
Carlisle Castle
Carlisle Castle
A northern fortress standing guard against attack from the Scots, and still a working castle today.
SEE ALSO

Brough Castle

Brougham Castle

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Details of the Roman armour found at Carlisle Castle.
It is currently thought that the fragments of armour date to the first half of the second century after AD 103-5, and are probably Hadrianic, AD 120s-130s.

English Heritage
Find other sites of interest owned by them.

Border Regiment Museum
The Museum of the Border Regiment and The King's Own Royal Border Regiment at Carlisle Castle.

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FACTS

Between 1173 and 1461 the castle was attacked nine times.

The Castle is home to the King's Own Royal Border Regiment.

The Castle has had a comtinuous military occupation for over 800 years.

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Virtual tours Take the 360' tour of Carlisle

Started by William Rufus in 1092, Carlisle was to act as the barrier against the Scots in the northen lands.

The castle was built upon the remains of a Roman garrison fort, which had stood here from the first to fourth centuries, and which had still been there in 685AD when St Cuthbert visited carlisle.

The start
Initially the castle may have been little more than a wooden stockade atop a single rampart; it wasn't till 30 years later that Henry I ordered the the works at Carlisle be fortified with a castle and towers.

The work at Carlisle Castle was completed by the Scots King David I, who in 1135 captured Carlisle, The Scots ruled at Carlisle till 1157 when the city was retaken by Henry II.

The gatehouse of Carlisle Castle, 'modernised' in 1383 to provide accomodation for the Warden of the Marches.
The gatehouse of Carlisle Castle, 'modernised' in 1383 to provide accomodation for the Warden of the Marches.

In 1541 the castle was 'modernised' by Stefan von Hachenperg, who replaced the medieval battlements of the keep with gun embrasures, and backed the north and west inner bailey walls with ramparts wide enough to carry guns.

Mary, Queen of Scots
Carlisle's fame as a Castle was enhanced in 1568 when Mary, Queen of Scots was held prisoner there, between the May and July of that year.

Bonnie Prince Charlie
The next major event in the castle's life was the capture by the Jacobites in 1745 and it's occupation by Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Carlisle was besieged and taken in just six days by the attacking Jacobite army. The occupation lasted barely three weeks, as the Duke of Cumberland's forces bombarded the castle and rertook it in December 1745.

Carlisle Castle's entrance, showing the bridge across the moat.
Carlisle Castle's entrance, showing the bridge across the moat.

Deprivation and death
The Jacobite survivors of Cumberland's attack on Carlisle were held first in the castle's dungeons, before been taken to Capon Hill at Brampton, where they were hung and disemboweled, or exiled abroard. As an aside to this, the prisoners held at Carlisle were treated in such a manner, that to get water, they had to lick the walls of their cells. Today you can see in the dungeons of the castle the 'licking stones'.

Today
The castle today is in the care of English Heritage, and along with housing the Kings Own Royal Border Regiment, is also home to the County Archives.

Visiting the Castle
The castle is open seven days a week during summer months, 10:00am - 06:00pm.

 

By Road: In Carlisle city centre (OS Map 85; ref NY 397563) Local Tourist Information in Carlisle (01228 625600)
By Train: Carlisle station ½ mile
By Bus: From surrounding areas
Contact Carlisle Castle on: 01228 591922

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