Carlisle



Another great inspiration for me is my home city, which always features in my books.'

Carlisle is one of Britain’s oldest cities dating back more than 2000 years. Dominating the borderlands between England and Scotland, Carlisle's stirring past began with Celtic warlords as its earliest inhabitants before the Romans, under the Emperor Claudius, invaded in AD 43. The Romans built a fort on the site of the castle in AD72, and the Emperor Hadrian’s famous wall was constructed between AD 122-28. It is now one of the most important designated World Heritage Sites in existence today.


During the Dark Ages, legend has it that King Arthur and his magician Merlin visited Carlisle, but it was during the violent Middle Ages that many of Carlisle's historic and lasting monuments were established.

The Castle was founded in 1092 by William Rufus and bears the scars from years of Anglo-Scottish feuding, while the following century saw the building of the stonewalls around the town.

It was Henry VIII who replaced the southern gate of the city with the "twin drum" bastions to reinforce national defences as a precaution against reprisal from Europe for the dissolution of the monasteries. Known today as the Citadel, they still stand as a natural gateway to the city

Henry’s daughter, Queen Elizabeth I held her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots prisoner in Carlisle Castle for seventeen years.

In 1642 Royalists and Parliamentarians fought the bloody English Civil War. The city remained staunchly loyal to the king but was place under siege in 1644 as the rest of the north succumbed to the parliament forces. Starved into surrender, Carlisle suffered the ignominy of seeing its Cathedral ransacked by the anti-royalist forces before succumbing to a plague which claimed the lives of many of its citizens.

One hundred years later saw two other historical heavyweights fighting over the city: Bonnie Prince Charlie captured the Castle in 1745 as his Jacobite army marched south; he was quickly marching north again however, after discovering the ‘Butcher’ – the Duke of Cumberland – was on his tail.

The nineteenth century saw the city expand in numbers as first, the industrial revolution and latterly, the coming of the railway saw growth and development take place on a scale never before seen. This ultimately led to the diverse modern city we know today.

'Celts, Saxons, Vikings, Romans, Royalist, Parliamentarians, US Presidents and The Black Death have all visited Carlisle – why don’t you give it a go?' MD.


Previous page: Martin
Next page: News