A Travellerspoint blog

Carlisle - Border Town.

April 2014.

Friendly local. - Carlisle

Friendly local. - Carlisle

Carlisle - Border Town.

Carlisle is a place I have been through countless times, but until our most recent visit I had never actually stopped and looked at it. Well, my husband was around in the UK at the time when his football team, Walsall, were playing Carlisle (It all ended in a 1- 1 draw) so he was off to the match and I tagged along for some sightseeing. To my pleasant surprise Carlisle turned out to be a lovely town complete with castle, cathedral, market, art gallery, town walls, parks, rivers and pleasant pubs. Who could ask for more? Carlisle being so close to the Scottish/ English border has had a turbulent history and has I believe belonged to both countries at one time or other. It is also close to Hadrian's Wall built by the Romans to keep out the unruly Scots ....... but I managed to get through anyway. Carlisle was occupied by the Jacobites when Bonnie Prince Charlie tried to seize the throne and when he failed many of his followers ended up incarcerated in Carlisle Castle.This castle was also one of the many prisons Mary Queen of Scots was forced to languish in. On the day of our visit the sun was shining, the town's market was in full swing and the atmosphere of the place was just generally very, very pleasant. Now we know how lovely it is we will be back.

The Citadel.

Right next to the railway station in Carlisle there are two old drum towers, which are known as the citadel of Carlisle. Pass through these to enter the old town of Carlisle. The drum towers were built in 1541 by Henry VIII. Their role was to strengthen the southern approach to the city and shield it from attack. At one time these towers were the home of Carlisle's court and gaol. The west tower was the place for criminal trials and the east tower was used for civil trials.

Carlisle Citadel. - Carlisle

Carlisle Citadel. - Carlisle

Carlisle town hall and main square.

Carlisle's old town hall building is now the tourist information office. In front of it there was an excellent market during our visit which sold lots of different foods and drinks including Polish bigosh, German sausages and American burgers. Also located in front of it is Carlisle's lion topped market cross which dates from 1682.

The market. - Carlisle

The market. - Carlisle

The market. - Carlisle

The market. - Carlisle

Market Cross. - Carlisle

Market Cross. - Carlisle

Carlisle old town hall. - Carlisle

Carlisle old town hall. - Carlisle

The Guildhall.

Carlisle's guildhall is close to the old town hall and the market cross. It is housed in an attractive black and white building which is now the guildhall museum. This building was once home to Carlisle's ancient trade guilds. The guildhall dates from the late 14th century. It was originally built as a private house for local citizen Richard of Redness. When he died, Richard left the house to the city and it became a meeting point for several guilds such as: the butchers, merchants, shoemakers, glovers, smiths, tailors, tanners and weavers. The guildhall museum houses among other things the huge ironclad chest that once stored the city's documents and Carlisle's medieval stocks. Admission is free.

The guildhall. - Carlisle

The guildhall. - Carlisle

Carlisle Cathedral.

Carlisle Cathedral is not only a beautiful building in its own right, but is also surrounded by several other lovely old buildings. The cathedral dates originally from 1122, though it has been rebuilt several times. In 1292, for example, it was rebuilt after a devastating fire. The cathedral's ceiling is very beautiful like looking at a starry night sky. There are also several interesting tombs, painted wall panels, lovely stain glass windows and a treasury. Entry to the cathedral is free but there are requests for donations for the upkeep of this lovely building. My favourite part of the cathedral interior was the lovely ceiling with its blue skies and many suns. Nearby on the outside you can see a miniature model of the cathedral. St Cuthbert's Church is located nearby, too.

Carlisle Cathedral - Carlisle

Carlisle Cathedral - Carlisle

Carlisle Cathedral. - Carlisle

Carlisle Cathedral. - Carlisle

Cathedral gargoyle. - Carlisle

Cathedral gargoyle. - Carlisle

Cathedral ceiling. - Carlisle

Cathedral ceiling. - Carlisle

Cathedral interior. - Carlisle

Cathedral interior. - Carlisle

Stained glass window. - Carlisle

Stained glass window. - Carlisle

Bust of Christ. - Carlisle

Bust of Christ. - Carlisle

Daffodils by the cathedral. - Carlisle

Daffodils by the cathedral. - Carlisle

Cathedral in miniature. - Carlisle

Cathedral in miniature. - Carlisle

Looking towards the cathedral from the castle. - Carlisle

Looking towards the cathedral from the castle. - Carlisle

Beautiful Carlisle bluebells - Carlisle

Beautiful Carlisle bluebells - Carlisle

Tullie House.

Between the cathedral and the castle lies Tullie House. This seventeenth century townhouse now houses Carlisle's Museum and Art Gallery. I did not go into the museum but I did treat myself to a cappuccino in the restaurant and enjoy the house's beautiful, colourful gardens. There's a Jacobean garden and a Roman garden all filled with beautiful plants. The front of the house had some very ornate drain pipes, too. Children were enjoying a spot of pond dipping in the gardens during our visit.

Gardens at Tullie House. - Carlisle

Gardens at Tullie House. - Carlisle

Gardens at Tullie House. - Carlisle

Gardens at Tullie House. - Carlisle

Roman garden. - Carlisle

Roman garden. - Carlisle

The Jacobean Garden. - Carlisle

The Jacobean Garden. - Carlisle

Carlisle Castle.

If you are arriving into Carlisle by train pick up a leaflet for two for the price of one entry to sites for rail travellers, fill in the voucher at the back and you can get into the castle cheaper. Carlisle Castle is one of, if not the, most besieged castles in Britain due to its location on the Scottish/English border. In Roman times there was a fort on this site. The earliest castle here was built by King William Rufus in 1092. That castle was made of wood. The castle was later rebuilt in stone by Henry 1. The oldest surviving part of the castle is the keep which dates from the twelfth century. Inside the keep etched into some of the stone walls you can see beautiful carvings drawn by unfortunate captives who were imprisoned here by the future Richard lll in 1480. One famous captive at the castle was Mary Queen of Scots who was imprisoned here when she fled Scotland in 1568: Carlisle Castle was captured by the Jacobites during the Jacobite uprising that aimed to put Bonnie Prince Charlie on the throne. When the Duke of Cumberland regained control of the castle, many Jacobites were imprisoned here. They were kept in cramped conditions in pitch black rooms and were forced to lick the walls of the castle to stop themselves dying of thirst. Those that survived that ordeal were executed. The castle was also once home to the Borders Regiment and houses their museum. Entry to the castle is £5.90 for adults.

Carlisle Castle - Carlisle

Carlisle Castle - Carlisle

Ornate drainpipe. - Carlisle

Ornate drainpipe. - Carlisle

The king and queen! - Carlisle

The king and queen! - Carlisle

Carlise Castle - Carlisle

Carlise Castle - Carlisle

Carlisle Castle - Carlisle

Carlisle Castle - Carlisle

Carlisle Castle. - Carlisle

Carlisle Castle. - Carlisle

Bitts Park.

Bitts park is just behind the castle. It is bordered at the northern end by the River Eden. As it was a hot day during our visit, the park was full of people enjoying the sunshine. Bitts Park has a large and popular children's play area. It also had a small maze and an interesting musical garden, where people can create their own music by hitting the musical sculptures. The park also contains a statue of Queen Victoria and during our visit lots of wonderful spring flowers.

Bitts Park. - Carlisle

Bitts Park. - Carlisle

Bitts Park. - Carlisle

Bitts Park. - Carlisle

Musical sculpture. - Carlisle

Musical sculpture. - Carlisle

The River Eden - Carlisle

The River Eden - Carlisle

The River Eden. - Carlisle

The River Eden. - Carlisle

Carlisle Train Station.

I really liked Carlisle when we visited last Easter. This time I was just passing through and was only in the station for a short time after leaving the train from Glasgow and before boarding a train that would travel on the Carlisle Settle line. Most British stations are not very nice, but at Carlisle station they really have made an effort to create a pleasant environment. The station was clean, the free toilets were clean and much more modern than many station toilets. There was an indoor area which had been made to look like an outdoor grassy area, floral displays and pictures of old steam trains on the walls. It all help created a pleasant place in which to wait for a train.

Carlisle Train Station

Carlisle Train Station

Carlisle Train Station

Carlisle Train Station

Carlisle Train Station

Carlisle Train Station

Carlisle Train Station

Carlisle Train Station

The Carlisle Settle Railway.

This historical line was the last major stretch of railway built in the UK. It dates from Victorian times and crosses some absolutely beautiful scenery. Several historical station buildings still exist on the line, too.

The Carlisle Settle Railway

The Carlisle Settle Railway

The Carlisle Settle Railway

The Carlisle Settle Railway

The Carlisle Settle Railway

The Carlisle Settle Railway

The Carlisle Settle Railway

The Carlisle Settle Railway

The Carlisle Settle Railway

The Carlisle Settle Railway

The Carlisle Settle Railway

The Carlisle Settle Railway

The Carlisle Settle Railway - Scenery

The Carlisle Settle Railway - Scenery

The Carlisle Settle Railway - Scenery

The Carlisle Settle Railway - Scenery

The Carlisle Settle Railway - Scenery

The Carlisle Settle Railway - Scenery

Posted by irenevt 02:28 Archived in England

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