Carlisle Castle is one of Cumbria’s famous historical buildings.
Carlisle is home to many historical buildings, in fact, 350 are recorded on the National Heritage List for England with 24 listed at Grade 1, a listing which is reserved for buildings of exceptional interest. Join us as we take a look at the most famous of Carlisle’s historic buildings.
Built of sandstone, Carlisle castle has been likened to having the face of an old prizefighter by English Heritage in one of its guidebooks. Occupying a key location on the Scottish border, the castle held a position of great strategic importance and as such was frequently, attacked, repaired and strengthened.
In addition to serving a military role during the English civil war, the castle has also served as a prison and the headquarters of the warden of the West March. The castle now houses the regimental museum of the Kings Own Royal Border Regiment.
Built of Calciferous sandstone and red sandstone, Carlisle cathedral has had numerous additions and alterations since the building started as a priory in the early 12th century. The Cathedral underwent a major restoration by Ewan Christian in 1852-56. Of particular note are the highly decorated 15th-century choir stalls and the 51 feet high east window.
St Cuthberts Church
Although there has been a church on the site since the seventh century, the current Georgian style church building dates from 1778-79. The Church consists of a two storey nave, a low chancel and a three storey tower. An unusual feature within the church is its large moveable pulpit, constructed by a local crane company in 1905.
The Guildhall Museum
The Guildhall Museum began life in the early 15th century as the home of a wealthy merchant before becoming a meeting house for the cities trade guilds. Standing three stories high it is made up of a timber-framed building with a Cumbrian slate roof. The top floor of the building now houses a branch of the Tullie House Museum with a display including the city chest and medieval stocks.
The Old Town Hall
Currently housing the cities Tourist Information Centre, the Old Town Hall is located close to the recently restored Market Cross and was originally built in 1669 -70 before being extended in both the 18th and 19th centuries.
Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery
Dating originally from 1869 Tullie house has been extended and developed into a museum, with the major extension taking place between 1982-93. Formerly the home of Thomas Tullie, Dean of Carlisle, it is now home to a range of exhibits including a gallery of fine art and displays including a wide range of subjects from Roman Carlisle to the wildlife of the Eden Valley.
Built on the site of the old southern entrance to the city known as Botchergate, The Citadel consists of two impressive oval towers. Until recently the civil courts were housed in the East Tower and the criminal courts in the West Tower. Occasionally the West Tower is opened to the public and visitors can see the old courts, jury room and cells.