Carlisle, near the border with Scotland, has been a strategically important city since early times. The Roman general Agricola sited a fort on the east-west road (Stanegate) in AD 78. It was later joined in 122 by the formidable Hadrian's Wall, stretches of which are still visible east of the city. The Roman town of Luguvalium grew up around the fort, which now lies buried beneath the city centre.

Carlisle Town Hall
Carlisle Town Hall (by Guy)

During the 18th-c. Carlisle began to prosper as a textile centre, which led to the development of streets of fine Georgian and Victorian houses, such as Abbey Street and Victoria Place. The city centre is a mix of old and new buildings.

The main surviving part of the original city wall is located on the west side, which contains a fine example of a medieval Sally port (a secret gateway out of the city). Near to this stands the recently restored medieval tithe barn.The imposing, twin towered, castellated structure outside the railway station is known as The Citadel. A 14th century wooden-framed Guildhall stands in the central market place, with overhanging upper floors. Located nearby, in front of the 15th-c. Old Town Hall (shown above), is the Carlisle Cross, erected in 1682.

Tourist Information Centre:

Old Town Hall, Green Market, Carlisle CA3 8JE - Tel: 01228 625600

Content by Steve B

Places of interest to visit in Carlisle:

Carlisle CathedralCarlisle Cathedral

The cathedral is the second smallest in England, after Oxford. Initially built in 1123 as a Norman priory church and made a cathedral in 1133. The beautiful east window is one of the finest in the country, with a 14th-century stone tracery. Other notable features include the superbly carved 15th century choir stalls and the exquisitely painted barrel-vault ceiling. The novelist Sir Waiter Scott was married there in 1797.


Carlisle CastleCarlisle Castle

Founded by William Rufus in 1092 and strengthened in the following century by David I of Scotland. The castle has seen many conflicts over the centuries. Its still intact outer walls are very impressive as is the 12th century keep, 14th-century main gate and the truncated Queen Mary's Tower.

Image Credit: Guy


Tullie HouseMuseum and Art Gallery

The museum and art gallery is situated in Tullie House, a graceful Jacobean mansion built in 1689. The museum includes an extensive collection of Roman artifacts.

Location: Castle Street, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3 8TP


Carlisle CitadelCarlisle Citadel

The two battlements known as The Citadel were built in 1543 by Henry VIII as part of the city defences. The two oval towers once housed the civil and criminal courts but have recently been restored. The West Tower is now open to the public.

Image Credit: Guy

Map of Carlisle

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Towns and Villages in Cumbria

Appleby, Ambleside, Brampton, Carlisle, Keswick, Kendal, Kirkby Lonsdale, Penrith, Whitehaven, Workington, Windermere,

Attractions in Cumbria

Bowder Stone | Calder Abbey | Carlisle Castle | Carlisle Cathedral | Hadrian's Wall | Lanercost Priory | Naworth Castle

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