Carlisle Castle

RS Home

Carlisle Castle is situated on the north side of the centre of Carlisle city, close to the main shopping area, and close to Carlisle Cathedral.

The image below is from the roadside at Carlisle centre looking across the main road towards Carlisle Castle.

There is a bridge to the left to cross this busy road, the steps on the other side can be seen on the left of the image below.

This castle was built here from stone from 1122, along with a wall that runs around the city centre, about one and a half miles of wall.

Carlisle Castle Map . Carlisle Page

Carlisle Castle image

The image below is of Carlisle Castle entrance, with the reception area at the gates. There is a small charge to visit the castle, as it is run and maintained by English Heritage.

Carlisle Castle entrance image

The image below is of more modern buildings inside Carlisle Castle. The more modern buildings inside the fortress are used by the King's Own Royal Border Regiment, and Territorial Army.

Carlisle Castle buildings image

The image below is of Carlisle Castle tower, the top attraction in the castle with guns around the fortifications and great views over Carlisle.

Carlisle Castle Tower image

The image below is of the tower and fortifications, a great area to wander around with views for miles in all directions.

Carlisle Castle fortifications image

The image below is of the interior of the tower, there are many rooms, on different levels to explore.

Carlisle Castle interior image

The image below shows the The King’s Own Border Regiment Museum, building in the centre. There is a small charge for this museum as well, as it is run separate from the castle.

Carlisle Military Museum image

The image below is of inside The King’s Own Border Regiment Museum. This museum displays modern military hardware and gives information on the many campaigns the regiment has been involved in.

Carlisle Military Museum interior image

Carlisle Castle History

1080s, the earliest fortification was built on this site for William II, son of William the Conqueror, a wooden fort building.

There were ongoing battles between the Scottish and English for this area, with Hadrian's Wall passing close to the castle. Little remains of Hadrian's Wall or Roman buildings.

From 1122, a stone castle was built here for Henry I of England, along with a wall that runs around the old city, about one and a half miles in distance.

1135, the Scots took control of Carlisle and the castle, at a time when Scotland and England were fighting over the border between the two countries.

1157, Henry II of England regained control of Carlisle and the castle.

1216, Carlisle and the castle were captured by the Scots of King Alexander II. The Scots only held the castle for a few months.

1296, John Comyn led his Scottish forces in an attack on Carlisle and the castle. The guardian of Carlisle castle, Robert de Brus, managed to defend the castle, then force the Scots back over the border.

Robert de Brus was a Borders area Noble, who normally fought on the side of the English. He married the widow Marjorie of Carrick, southwest Scotland, in 1271.

The son of Robert de Brus and Marjorie of Carrick, Robert the Bruce, became King of Scotland during the Scottish Wars of Independence from 1296 - 1328.

1315, King Robert the Bruce of Scotland led his forces to Carlisle. The city and castle managed to withstand that attack.

The following 300 years see Carlisle Castle used by the English to control the Borders area, keeping the Scottish forces from taking over English land.

1642, the English Civil War broke out with Carlisle backing the Royalists.

1644, a Scots army working with the Parliamentarians, took control of the city after an eight month siege.

The end of the war in 1651, with a Parliamentarian victory, allowed repairs to the war damage castle and town.

1745, Jacobite forces loyal to Prince Charles Edward Stuart, captured Carlisle Castle and the city.

December 1745, English troops forced the Scots out of Carlisle, one of the last battles between the English and Scots in England.

16th April 1746, Battle of Culloden, by Inverness northern Scotland, saw the Jacobite forces of Bonnie Prince Charlie defeated by the loyalist troops of George I, the last battle on the British mainland.

Since 1746, Carlisle Castle has been used to house the military such as the Border Regiment, King's Own Royal Border Regiment, and Territorial Army.

2014, Cumbria‘s Museum of Military Life was opened in the centre of Carlisle Castle, covering 300 years of courage, loyalty and service, with exhibits and interactive displays.