- Carlisle Cathedral, Cumberland
- Carlisle Christ Church, Cumberland
- Carlisle Holy Trinity, Cumberland
- Carlisle St Cuthbert, Cumberland
- Carlisle St Mary, Cumberland
The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870
CARLISLE, a city and a district in Cumberland; and a diocese in Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Lancashire The city stands on the river Eden, at the influx of the Petterill and the Caldew, on the great western line of communication from England to Scotland, within a mile of the Roman wall, 9½ miles SSE of Gretna, and 301 NNW of London. Railways go from it in six directions, toward Hawick, Annandale, Silloth, Maryport, Lancaster, and Newcastle-upon-Tyne; and give it communication with all parts of Great Britain; and all of them meet in one central station.
History.—A Roman station stood on the city’s site; and bore the name of Lugnvallum, signifying the “tower by the wall.” This was shortened by the Britons into Luel, and prefixed with Caer, their word for a fort; and the name Caer-Luel passed, in course of time, into Carleol and Carlisle. Roman altars, inscriptions, vases, coins, and other relics have been found within the city; and Roman roads went from it to Longtown, Ellenborough, and Lancaster. A native fortress succeeded the Roman station; was maintained by both the Saxons and the Normans; and made resistance to the Picts and the Scots. A city wall was constructed at an early period, perhaps in the 7th century; was reconstructed at subsequent periods; enclosed a triangular space of 2,000, 650, and 460 yards; and had three gates. The Cumbrian king Arthur figures in two famous ancient ballads -the one on the marriage of his knight Sir Gawaine, the other entitled the “Boy and the Mantle” as having held his court at Carlisle. The Northumbrian king Egfred founded here a religions house, and placed it under his establishment at Lindesfarne. The Danes took and wasted the town in 875. William Rufus revived it, and gave it a new fortress. Stephen resided some time in it, and greatly improved its defences. The Scots besieged it under their kings David I., Malcolm IV., William the Lion, and Alexander II.; and held possession of it during an aggregate of eighteen years. Edward I. retreated to it from Falkirk in 1298; convoked his barons and knights at it in 1300; and held his last parliament in it in 1307. It suffered much and often in the subsequent wars; resisted a siege, in 1315, by Bruce; and both then and afterwards endured great disaster. It also figured in the raid, in 1388, which led to the battle of Otterburn; and served for ages as the main bulwark, in the west, against the Scottish forays. Mary, queen of Scots, was here taken into custody; Kinmont Willie, the notable Border trooper, celebrated in song and story, was rescued from durance here by a bold exploit of Scott of Buccleuch; and “Hughie the Graeme,” Hobbie Noble, and other famous Scottish reivers, were here put to death. The city shared much in the troubles which followed the Reformation; sustained a siege of six months, in 1645, from General Leslie’s army, and was held by Prince Charles Edward, in 1745, from the time of his advance into England till after the retreat of his main force to Scotland. Executions in it, during about two centuries, were more numerous than in any other provincial town in the kingdom; and those which followed the affair of Prince Charles Edward were rendered memorable and ghastly by the fixing of the heads of the victims on the city gates. Hence says a poetical fragment preserved in Scott’s Border Antiquities-
When I first cam by merry Carlisle,
Was ne’er a town sae sweetly seeming;
The white rose flaunted o’er the wall,
The thistled banners far were streaming!
When I cam next by merry Carlisle,
O sad sad seem’d the town an’ eerie!
The auld auld men cam out and wept
‘O maiden come ye to seek yere dearie?’
His lang lang hair in yellow hanks
Waved o’er his cheeks sae sweet and ruddie;
But now they wave o’er Carlisle yetts
In dripping ringlets clotting bloodie.
Site and Streets.—The city occupies a swell or gentle eminence, in the midst of an extensive, fertile, wellwooded plain. The environs are all rich low country, profusely adorned with water, culture, parks, and mansions. The higher points both within the city and around it command a brilliant panorama, away to the Northumberland hills, the Scottish mountains, Criffel beyond the Solway, and the group of Skiddaw. The exterior of the city, as seen from various approaches, presents a striking appearance, and looks as if combining modern elegance with remains of antiquity. The interior, as entered from the railway station, seems entirely, neatly, and briskly modern. The castle, which most prominently links it with the past, does not come immediately into view; and the cathedral, which also speaks largely of the past, has been so outwardly renovated as to appear almost new. The three principal streets, English street, Scotch-street, and Castle-street, diverge from the market-place, adjacent to the central railway station, and are wide and handsome. Other streets are straight, airy, and well built; and the city, as a whole, seems little different from a well planned, lively, thriving, modern town.
Public Buildings.—The court houses and the county jail form a grand suite of buildings; and were erected, after designs by Smirke, at a cost of about £100,000. The court houses stand partly on the site of what was called the citadel, comprising two very strong circular towers for defending the city gates; and they themselves form two circular Gothic towers, on opposite sides of the upper end of English-street. The county jail stands on the site of a black friary; was partly remodelled, and principally rebuilt, in 1869; and now has capacity for 112 male and 56 female prisoners. An elegant bridge, of five elliptical arches, spans the Eden on the great road to the north; was erected by Smirke, at a cost of upwards of £70,000; and is connected with the city by an arched causeway, nearly ¼ of a mile long. Two small bridges span the Petterill and the Caldew. The central railway station stands partly on the site of the citadel; presents a neat front to the head of English-street; is a long, spacious, well contrived arcade; and contains handsome refreshment and waiting rooms. The news room, reading and coffee rooms, are a beautiful recent structure, erected by subscription, from a design by Rickman. An octagonal chimney stalk, 305 feet high, connected with a large cotton factory, is a conspicuous object. Other noticeable things are a market cross of 1682; an old town hall, where the mayor’s court and the city sessions are held; a newer ha l, where the city council and other corporate bodies meet; a statue of the late Earl of Lonsdale, on a pedestal, in Court square; a statue of Mr. Steele, in Market square; a theatre; assembly rooms; new water works, formed in 1868; and the great public buildings to be noticed in subsequent paragraphs.
The Castle.—The fortress built by William Rufus probably occupied the site of the previous Saxon fortress and Roman station. Buildings were added to it, or erected adjacent, by several kings, forming fortifications, prison, and palace; and all were called the castle; but they have, in recent times, been greatly altered. The site is a bold but not high eminence, overlooking the Eden; and commands one of the best prospects which the city or the environs afford, over the great rich surrounding country. The chief existing structures are a very thick enclosing wall, and buildings used as barracks. The entrance is an embattled gateway, with the ancient portcullis, and a defaced sculpture, believed to represent the arms of Henry II. A half-moon battery formerly defended the inner court, but is now dismantled. The great keep still stands; and is a lofty massive tower; but has been converted into an armory The hall of the palace was destroyed in 1827; the chapel of it was turned into barracks in 1835; and a small staircase is the only other part of it that remains. Sir William Wallace rested a night under the castle gate; and Waverley, in Sir Walter Scott’s novel, watched from the gatehouse Fergus MacIvor going out to execution.
The Cathedral.—This was originally the church of an Augustinian priory, built, in 1011, by Walter the Norman, and endowed by Henry I.; but it has undergone sweeping changes, and great recent restorations. “The cloisters of the priory have disappeared; but the entrancegateway and the fratry or refectory remains. The gateway has a circular arch, with an inscription recording it to have been built by the prior, Christopher Slee. The fratry is lighted on the south side by a row of well proportioned Tudor windows, and adorned on the opposite wall with three niches, surmounted by elegant crocketted canopies; and it contains a curious stone chair, with impanelled foliated ceiling, called the confessional. This is the place in which Edward I. held his parliament, and it is now used as the chapter room. The cathedral is cruciform, and has a square embattled tower, 127 feet high, rising over the intersection of the cross. The nave and the transepts are Norman, narrow and without aisles. Their columns are very massive, each 17½ feet in circumference, and 14 feet 2 inches high. The nave was deprived of about 90 feet of its length in the time of Cromwell, to yield material for the erection of guardhouses and batteries; and the rest of it was afterwards closed with a wall, and fitted up as a parish church. The transepts measure 124 feet in length and 28 feet in width; and the north one is now used as the consistory court. The choir was built at great expense, with vast effort, by aid of money obtained through sale of indulgences and remissions, in the reign of Edward III. Most of it is early English; but the east end is the decorated. Its length is 137 feet; its width, 71 feet; its height, 75 feet. The north side makes a fine appearance to the street, and is divided from the thoroughfare by a new enclosure wall and elegant iron railing, and by a belt of ground with a row of trees. The east end shows rich grandeur of design, with a most magnificent central window, with other windows to correspond, and with bold buttresses, crocketted pinnacles, and gable crosses. The interior is arranged in side aisles and central aisle, with triforium and clerestory. The columns are clustered, and the capitals are adorned with carved figures and flowers. The clerestory has a rich parapet pierced with foliated circles. The great east window, as seen in the interior, has been pronounced by many competent judges the finest decorated window in the kingdom. It measures 60 feet by 30, contains nine lights, and is filled in the head with surpassingly rich flowing tracery. The windows of the side aisles have a corresponding character. A row of beautiful niches appears below them, and is continued all round the walls. A very fine organ, erected in 1856, stands above the entrance to the choir. The stalls are embellished with tabernacle work, in carved oak, black with age. The bishop s throne and the pulpit are modern, and not so rich in design, yet elegant and stately. The screens in the aisles show some curious legendary paintings from the histories of St. Augustine, St. Anthony, and St. Cuthbert. A fine mural monument to Dr. Paley. simply recording his name and age, appears in the north aisle; and monuments to Bishops Bell, Law, Smith, Robinson, Barrow, and other distinguished men, are in other parts. A small chapel, dedicated to St. Catherine, founded and endowed by John de Capella, a citizen of Carlisle, stands in the south aisle, adjoining the transept. The deanery stands within the precincts of the cathedral. It was built by Prior Senhouse, in 1507, and contains a fine apartment used as a drawing room, with a remarkably ornate ceiling in carved emblazoned oak.”
Churches.—St. Mary’s church is part of the cathedral nave. St. Cuthbert’s church is a plain structure of 1778, on the site of a previous very old one; and has a monument of Dean Carlyle. Trinity church, in Caldewgate, and Christ church, in Botchergate, are handsome structures of 1830, the former in the Tudor style, the latter in the early English, each with a tower and spire. St. Stephen’s and St. John’s are beautiful edifices of 1865, the former in early and decorated English, the latter in pure early English. The first five are vicarages, and the last a p. curacy, in the dio. ofValue of each, £300. Patrons of the first four, the Dean and Chapter; of St. Stephen’s, the Bishop; of St. John, Five Trustees. The places of worship, in 1851, were 5 of the Ch. of England, with 4,039 sittings; 1 of the Ch. of Scotland, with 750 s.; 1 of U. Presbyterians, with 470 s.; 3 of Independents, with 1,370 s.; 1 of Baptists, with 1,000 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 360 s.; 2 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 1,000 s.; 1 of the Wesleyan Association, with 1,000 s.; 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 89 s.; and one of Roman Catholics, with 1,000 s. Four other churches are in the rural parts of the parish; a new church of St. Mary-Without, to cost £4,000, was projected in 1869; a new Presbyterian church, in plain Gothic, was built in 1863; and an Evangelical Union chapel also is recent.
Schools, &c.—The grammar school was founded in 1546, by Henry VIII.; has two exhibitions to Queen’s college, Oxford; and numbers among its pupils Bishop Thomas and Dean Carlyle. A girls’ school has an endowed income of £37. There are an academy of arts, and a literary, philosophical, and mechanical institution. The infirmary is a recent edifice, built by subscription; and has a tetrastyle Doric portico. The dispensary is notable for a child born in 1788 without a brain, who lived six days. Alms-houses and other charities have an endowed income of £85.
Trade, &c.—Manufactures of cotton thread, ginghams, checks, hats, whips, hooks, and other articles are carried on. The large factory, with the lofty chimney stalk, employs about 550 hands. There are also iron-foundries, tan-yards, and breweries. Vast stir and much business arise from the traffic on the railways. Markets are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays; and fairs on 26 Aug., 19 Sept., and the first and second Saturday after 10 Oct. The city was formerly connected with the Solway by a ship canal, now superseded by the Silloth railway; and it ranks as a seaport, with Allonby and Port-Carlisle as subports. The vessels registered at it in 1868 were 8 sailing-vessels, of aggregately 288 tons, 14 sailing-vessels, of aggregately 1,883 tons, and 6 steam-vessels, of aggregately 1,202 tons; and the vessels which entered in that year were 8 from British colonies, of aggregately 3,705 tons, 7 from foreign countries, of aggregately 1,812 tons, 36 sailing-vessels coastwise, of aggregately 2,757 tons, and 343 steam-vessels coastwise, of aggregately 53,013 tons. The vessels registered at the end of 1862 were 28 sailing-vessels of aggregately 2,370 tons, and 5 steam-vessels of aggregately 806 tons; and the commerce in that year, with foreign and colonial ports, comprised 13 vessels inwards of aggregately 3,301 tons, and 8 vessels outwards of aggregately 2,095 tons. The customs amounted, in 1858, to £28,535; in 1867, to £21,067. The city has a head post office,‡ a telegraph office, three banking offices, and seven chief inns; and publishes several newspapers. Races are run, in the immediate neighbourhood, on a fine course of 1 mile 90 yards, in July.
The Borough.—The city is a borough by prescription; was chartered by Henry II.; is governed by a mayor, 10 aldermen, and thirty councillors; and sends two members to parliament. Its borough limits, both for government and for representation, comprise the townships of Botchergate and English-street in St. Cuthbert parish; the townships of Scotch-street, Fisher-street, Castle-street, Abbey-street, and part of Caldewgate, in St. Mary parish; and the extra-parochial place of Eaglesfield-Abbey. Assizes are held at both circuits of the judges; and quarter sessions on 1 Jan., 9 April, 2 July, and 15 Oct. Real property, £96,723; of which £7,119 are in railways, and £2,734 in gas works. Direct taxes, £14,348. Electors in 1868, 1,506. Pop. in 1841, 20,815; in 1861, 29,417. Houses, 5,140. The city gives the title of Earl to a branch of the Howard family.
The District.—The registration district comprehends the subdistrict of St. Mary, containing all the borough parts of St. Mary parish, with the rest of Caldewgate township; the subdistrict of St. Cuthbert, containing all the townships of St. Cuthbert parish, and Wreay chapelry in St. Mary; the subdistrict of Stanwix, containing the parishes of Stanwix and Rockliffe, and the extra-parochial tract of King-Moor; the subdistrict of Burgh, containing the parishes of Burgh-by-Sands, Kirkandrews-upon-Eden, Beaumont, and Grinsdale; the subdistrict of Dalston, containing the parishes of Dalston and Orton, and the Cummersdale township of St. Mary; and the subdistrict of Wetheral, containing the parishes of Crosby-upon-Eden, Warwick, and five townships of Wetheral. Acres, 70,810. Poor-rates in 1866, £17,364. Pop. in 1861, 44,820. Houses, 8,299. Marriages in 1866, 421; births, 1,412,-of which 153 were illegitimate; deaths, 977,-of which 321 were at ages under 5 years, and 20 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 2,644; births, 14,681; deaths, 9,988. The places of worship in 1851 were 21 of the Church of England, with 8,464 sittings; 1 of the Church of Scotland, with 750 s.; 1 of the United Presbyterian church, with 470 s.; 3 of Independents, with 1,370 s.; 1 of Baptists, with 1,000 s.; 3 of Quakers, with 710 s.; 5 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 1,260 s.; 12 of the Wesleyan Methodist Association, with 1,430 s.; 2 of Primitive Methodists with 100 s.; 1 undefined, with 100 s.; 2 of Latter Day Saints, with 141 s.; and 2 of Roman Catholics, with 1,130 s. The schools were 35 public day schools, with 3,640 scholars; 64 private day schools, with 1,830 s.; 35 Sunday schools, with 3,913 s.; and 6 evening schools for adults, with 251 s. There are two workhouses, both in the city.
The Diocese.—The see was founded, in 1132, by Henry I. The first bishop was Athelwold, the king’s confessor; and among his successors have been De Everdon, De Kirkby, Merks, Oglethorpe, Usher, Nicholson, and Sterne. The bishop’s income is £4,500; and his residence is Rose Castle. The chapter comprises a dean, two archdeacons, four canons, four honorary canons, and a chancellor. The diocese comprehends all Cumberland, except Alston parish, all Westmoreland, and the Lancashire deaneries of Cartmel and Ulverstone; and is divided into the archdeaconries of Carlisle and Westmoreland. Pop. in 1861, 266,591. Some livings have recently been raised in status, as named in our articles on them; but all will be named here as they stood in 1861
The archdeaconry of Carlisle comprises the rural deaneries of Appleby, Brampton, Carlisle, Greystoke, Keswick, Kirkby-Stephen, Lowther, Penrith, and Wigton. The deanery of Appleby includes the rectories of Asby, Dufton, Kirkby-Thore, Long Marton, Newbiggin, and Ormside; the vicarages of Appleby-St. Lawrence and Appleby-St. Michael; and the p. curacies of Milburn and Temple-Sowerby. The deanery of Brampton includes the rectories of Bewcastle, Castlecarrock, Nether Denton, and Stapleton; the vicarages of Brampton and Irthington; and the p. curacies of Cumrew, Cumwhitton, Over Denton, Farlam, Hayton, Lanercost, Gilsland, Nichol-Forest, and Walton. The deanery of Carlisle includes the rectories of Arthuret, Kirkandrews-upon-Eden, Beaumont, Kirkandrews-upon-Esk, Kirkhampton, Kirklinton, Orton, and Scaleby; the vicarages of Burgh-by-Sands, Crosby-upon-Eden, and Stanwix; and the p. curacies of Carlisle-St. Mary, Carlisle-St. Cuthbert, Carlisle-Trinity, Carlisle-Christchurch, Upperby, Wreay, Grinsdale, Hesket-in-the-Forest, Armathwaite, Rockliffe, Houghton, Wetheral, Warwick, Holm-Eden, and Scotby. The deanery of Greystoke includes the rectories of Greystoke, Skelton, and Hutton-in-the-Forest: the vicarages of Castle-Sowerby and Dacre; and the p. curacies of Raughton-Head, Matterdale, Mungrisedale, Watermillock, Patterdale, and Sebergham. The deanery of Keswick includes the vicarage of Crosthwaite, and the p. curacies of Keswick-St. John, Borrowdale, Grange, Newlands, St. John-in-the-Vale, Thornthwaite, Wythburn, Bassenthwaite, Buttermere, Lorton, Threlkeld, and Wythop. The deanery of Kirkby-Stephen includes the rectories of Crosby-Garret and Great Musgrave; the vicarages of Brough-under-Stainmore, Kirkby-Stephen, and Warcop; and the p. curacies of Stainmore. Mallerstang, Soulby, and Ravenstonedale. The deanery of Lowther includes the rectories of Cliburn, Clifton, and Lowther; the vicarages of Askham, Bampton, Crosby-Ravensworth, Morland, Orton, and Shap; and the p. curacies of Martindale, Bolton, Thrimby, Mardale, and Swindale. The deanery of Penrith includes the rectories of Brougham, Melmerby, Ousby, and Great Salkeld; the vicarages of Addingham, Ainstable, Barton, Edenhall, Kirkland, Kirkoswald, Lazonby, and Penrith; and the p. curacies of Langwathby, Culgaith, Skirwith, Plumpton, Newton-Regny, Renwick, and Christchurch-Penrith. The deanery of Wigton includes the rectories of Aikton, Bolton, Bowness, Caldbeck, Kirkbride, and Uldale; the vicarages of Bromfield, Dalston, Thursby, and Wigton; and the p. curacies of Allonby, West Newton, Highet, Holme-Cultram, St. Cuthbert, St. Paul, Newton-Arlosh, Ireby, and Westward.
The archdeaconry of Westmoreland comprises the rural deaneries of Aldingham, Ambleside, Cartmel, Cockermouth, Gosforth, Kendal, Kirkby-Lonsdale, Ulverstone, and Whitehaven. The deanery of Aldingham includes the rectory of Aldingham; the vicarages of Daltonin-Furness, Pennington, and Urswick; and the p. curacies of Dendron, Lindale, Staveley, Kirkby-Ireleth, Rampside, Walney, and Bardsea. The deanery of Ambleside includes the rectories of Grasmere and Windermere; the vicarage of Hawkshead; and the p. curacies of Ambleside, Langdale, Rydal, Brathay, Low Wray, Satterthwaite, Applethwaite, and Troutheck. The deanery of Cartmel includes the p. curacies of Cartmel, CartmelFell, Field-Broughton, Flookburgh, Grange, Lindale, Staveley, Colton, Finsthwaite, Haverthwaite, and Rusland. The deanery of Cockermouth includes the rectory of Plumbland; the vicarages of Aspatria, Bridekirk, Brigham, Dearham, Gilcrux, Isell, and Torpenhow; and the p. curacies of Allhallows, Great Broughton, Cockermouth, Embleton, Mosser, Setmurthy, Camerton, Clifton, Crosscanonby, Maryport, and Flimby. The deanery of Gosforth includes the rectories of Bootle, Corney, Gosforth, Waberthwaite, and Whicham; the vicarage of Millom; and the p. curacies of Drigg, Eskdale, Irton, Thwaites, Muncaster, Ponsonby, Wastdale-Head, NetherWastdale, and Whitheck. The deanery of Kendal includes the vicarage of Kendal; and the p. curacies of Kendal St. George, Kendal-St. Thomas, Burneyside, Crook, Grayrigg, Helsington, Hugil, New Hutton, Old Hutton, Kentmere, Long Sleddale, Natland, Selside, Staveley, Underbarrow, and Winster. The deanery of Kirkby-Lonsdale includes the vicarages of Beetham, Burton-in-Kendal, Heversham, and Kirkby-Lonsdale; and the p. curacies of Witherslack, Holme, Preston-Patrick, Crosthwaite, Crosscrayke, Levens, Milnthorpe, Barbon, Casterton, Firbank, Hutton-Roof, Killington, Mansergh, and Middleton. The deanery of Ulverstone includes the vicarage of Kirkby-Ireleth; and the p. curacies of Broughton-in-Furness, Seathwaite, Woodland, Ulpha, Ulverstone, Ulverstone-Trinity, Blawith, Coniston, Egtoncum-Newland, Lowick, and Torver. The deanery of Whitehaven includes the rectories of Dean, Dissington, Egremont, Harrington, Lamplugh, Moresby, and Workington; and the p. curacies of Arlecdon, Beckermet-St. Bridget, Beckermet-St. John, St. Bees, Ennerdale, Hensingham, Loweswater, Whitehaven-St. James, Whitehaven St. Nicholas, Whitehaven-Trinity, Whitehaven-Christchurch, Workington-St. John, Cleator, and Hayle.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].
A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848
CARLISLE, an ancient city and inland port, having separate jurisdiction, and the head of a union, situated in the ward, and E. division of the county, of Cumberland (of which it is the chief town), 302 miles (N. N. W.) from London, on the great western road to Edinburgh and Glasgow; containing 23,012 inhabitants. It was anciently called Caer-Luil, or Caer Leol, signifying “the city of Luil,” a British potentate, who is reputed to have been its founder. The Romans, on selecting it for a station, changed the name to Lugovallum, which is probably derived from Lugus or Lucu, a “tower” or “fort,” in the Celtic tongue, and Vallum, in allusion to Adrian’s vallum, which passed near. From its earliest foundation till the union of the English and Scottish kingdoms, the town suffered those shocks of incursive warfare to which, as a border town, it was peculiarly exposed, and by which it was repeatedly overwhelmed. In the reign of Nero, it is stated, by the Scottish historians, to have been burned by the Caledonians, during the absence of the Romans; who, in the time of Agricola, repaired it and constructed fortifications, as a barrier against the future attacks of the invaders. Soon after the final departure of the Romans, it was probably again destroyed; for, in the seventh century, we find that Carlisle was rebuilt by Egfrid, King of Northumbria, in whose reign it rose into importance. About the year 875, it was demolished by the Danes, and lay in ruins till after the Norman Conquest, when it was restored by William Rufus, who, in 1092, built and garrisoned the castle, and sent a colony from the south of England to inhabit the city, and cultivate the circumjacent lands. The construction of the defensive works, however, advanced but slowly; as, when Henry I. was here, thirty years afterwards, he ordered money to be disbursed for their completion. They were most probably finished by David, King of Scotland, who, in 1135, took possession of Carlisle for the Empress Matilda, and resided here for several years, the entire county having been subsequently ceded to him by Stephen: the Scottish historians attribute the building of the castle and the heightening of the walls to their monarch. After the disastrous battle of the Standard, in 1138, the city was the asylum of David, who occupied it with a strong garrison, and was here joined by his son; and in September of the same year, Alberic, the pope’s legate, arrived here, and found him attended by the barons, bishops, and priors of Scotland. This envoy obtained from the king a promise that all female captives should be brought to Carlisle and released before St. Martin’s day; and that in future the Scots should abstain from the violation of churches and the perpetration of unnecessary cruelties. In 1149, the city was the head-quarters of David, during the hostilities which he maintained against King Stephen; and in the following year, a league was here entered into against the latter monarch, by David, Henry Plantagenet (afterwards Henry II. of England), and the Earl of Chester; on which occasion Henry was knighted by the King of Scotland, and swore that when he should ascend the throne he would confirm to him and his heirs the territories held by the Scots in England. In 1152, David, and his son Henry, the latter of whom died this year, met John, the pope’s legate, at Carlisle; and in the following year, or the next after, the Scottish monarch expired in the city, and was succeeded by his son, Malcolm IV.
The counties of Cumberland and Northumberland having been ceded to Henry II. by Malcolm, in 1157, Carlisle was besieged in 1173, by William the Lion, brother and successor to Malcolm; but on hearing that William de Lucy, the justiciary and regent during the king’s absence in France, was advancing with a large army, he abandoned the enterprise. In the following year he again invested the place; and after a siege of several months, the garrison, being reduced to extreme distress, agreed to surrender the castle at a fixed period, if not previously relieved; from which engagement they were released during the interval by the capture of William, at Alnwick. In 1186, King Henry stationed himself at the city, with a strong body of forces, to aid the Scottish king in subduing Roland, a rebellious chieftain of Galloway. In 1216, Carlisle was besieged by Alexander, William’s successor, and surrendered to him by order of the barons in rebellion against John; but in the next year, after the accession of Henry III., it was given up to the English. In 1292, a great part of it was destroyed by a conflagration, originating in the vindictive malice of an incendiary, who set fire to his father’s house: the priory, the convent of the Grey friars, and the church, were all consumed, the convent of the Black friars escaping. The charters and public records being thus destroyed, the city was taken into the king’s hands, and the government vested in justices of assize. In 1296, Carlisle was besieged by the Scottish troops under the Earl of Buchan, who set fire to the suburbs, but, after remaining four days before its walls, were compelled, by the determined valour of the inhabitants of both sexes, to retreat; and in the year following it was summoned to surrender by William Wallace, who, unable to obtain possession, ravaged the surrounding country.
After the battle of Falkirk, in 1298, Edward I. marched with his army to Carlisle, where he held a parliament in September; and two years subsequently, he led his army through this city on a fresh expedition against Scotland. In 1306, that monarch appointed here a general rendezvous of his forces destined against Scotland, under Prince Edward; he arrived in person, attended by his queen, towards the end of August, and remained until September 10th. On March 12th, in the following year, the court was removed to Carlisle, where the parliament was then sitting. The king, though daily declining in health, did not relax in his efforts to subdue the Scots, but ordered all his vassals to assemble at Carlisle on the 8th of July. After celebrating his birth-day, he quitted the city on the 28th of June, being then so weak as to be unable to travel more than two miles a day, and died on the 7th of July, on reaching Burgh-on-theSands. An express having been sent to Prince Edward in Scotland, the new monarch came hither on the 11th of July, and two days afterwards received the homage of nearly all the principal men of the kingdom: he then returned to prosecute his expedition against the Scots, but, relinquishing the vigorous plans proposed by his father, he arrived at this city in the month of September following. In 1315, Carlisle was besieged by Robert Bruce, but was resolutely and successfully defended by its governor, Andrew de Hercla, afterwards Earl of Carlisle. This nobleman, in 1322, being accused of holding a treasonable correspondence with the Scots, was arrested by Lord Lucy, in the castle of which he was governor, degraded from his honours, and executed. In this year also, the Scottish army, commanded by Bruce, encamped for five days near the city, and burned Rose Castle, the episcopal residence. In 1332, Edward Balliol, after having narrowly escaped assassination at Annan, fled to Carlisle, and was hospitably received by Lord Dacre, then governor.
When Edward III. was in Scotland, towards the close of 1334, he sent Balliol and the Earls of Oxford and Warwick to defend Carlisle against the Scots: being joined by large reinforcements from the adjacent counties, they made a successful incursion into Scotland, and returned in triumph to this city, which, in the following year, was visited by the monarch himself, who, on the 11th of July, quitted it with his army for Scotland. In 1337, Carlisle was invested by a Scottish army, which fired the suburbs, burned Rose Castle, and pillaged the surrounding country; and in 1345, the entire city was burned by them, under the command of Sir William Douglas. In 1352, Edward III., in consequence of the importance of Carlisle as a frontier town, and of the numerous calamities it had suffered, renewed its charter, which had been destroyed in the conflagration of 1292. An attempt was made on the city in 1380 by some Scottish borderers, who fired one of the streets by discharging burning arrows, but were compelled to retreat by a report that a numerous army was approaching to its relief. It was attacked without success in 1385, by the united Scottish and French forces; and, two years afterwards, it was again attacked, but with the like want of success. In the year 1461, Carlisle was assailed by a Scottish army in the interest of Henry VI., which burned the suburbs; and this is the only event respecting it that occurred in the war between the houses of York and Lancaster. In 1537, during Aske’s rebellion, it was besieged by an army of 8000 insurgents, under Nicholas Musgrave and others, who were repulsed by the inhabitants, and afterwards defeated by the Duke of Norfolk, who commanded seventy-four of their officers to be executed on the city walls: Musgrave, however, escaped. In 1568, Mary, Queen of Scots, in the hope of finding an asylum from the hostility of her subjects, took fatal refuge in the castle. Next year, Lord Scrope, the lord warden, held Carlisle against the Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland, then in open rebellion; and in 1596, Sir William Scott, afterwards Earl of Buccleuch, attacking the castle before day-break, to rescue a noted borderer celebrated in the ballads of those times as “Kinmont Willie,” surprised the garrison, and triumphantly bore him away. In the following year, the city was visited by a pestilence, which destroyed more than one-third of the population, and occasioned great distress among the survivors. On the union of the two kingdoms, and the accession of James to the English throne, the importance of Carlisle as a frontier town having ceased, the garrison was reduced.
At the commencement of the civil war in the 17th century, the citizens embraced the royal cause. In 1644, the city was threatened by a force which had assembled from the circumjacent country, but which, being pursued by the posse comitatûs towards Abbey Holme, quickly dispersed and fled. At this period it afforded an asylum to the Marquess of Montrose and his army, who had retreated before the victorious arms of the Earl of Callendar. After the capture of York in July of the same year, Sir Thomas Glenham, with the garrison of that city, retired to Carlisle, where he assumed the command; and about the end of September, Sir Philip Musgrave and Sir Henry Fletcher, with the remnant of their forces, which had been defeated by the Scots at Salkeld, reached this place with some difficulty, being hard pressed by Gen. Lesley, who, however, did not then stay to invest the city, thus enabling the citizens to make ample preparations for a siege. In October he returned with part of his forces, and besieged the place; but the garrison and inhabitants made a vigorous defence, suffering incredible hardship from the scarcity of provisions: having held out until all hopes of relief were destroyed by the fatal issue of the battle of Naseby, they surrendered on honourable terms, on the 25th of June, 1645. During the siege, one-shilling and threeshilling pieces were issued from the castle, which, though very scarce, are still to be met with in the cabinets of the curious. In October, Lord Digby and Sir Marmaduke Langdale were defeated by Sir John Brown, governor of the city, at Carlisle Sands. On the general evacuation of fortified towns by the Scottish garrisons, this city was relinquished to the parliament, in 1647; but about the end of April, 1648, it was taken by surprise by a royalist force commanded by Sir Thomas Glenham and Sir Philip Musgrave; and soon afterwards, a considerable army was assembled for the king’s service, under the command of Sir Marmaduke Langdale, on a heath, five miles from the city: this army retreating towards Carlisle, the citizens, dreading the recurrence of a famine, petitioned the governor, Sir Philip Musgrave, to refuse it admittance. The Duke of Hamilton, arriving with his Scottish army early in July, superseded Musgrave in the command, which he conferred on Sir William Levingston; and the duke’s forces, which were quartered in the neighbourhood, having been joined at Rose Castle by those under Langdale, pursued their march southward. Musgrave, returning shortly after with his forces to Carlisle, was refused admittance by the new governor. Towards the close of the war, on the 1st of October, the city was surrendered by treaty to Cromwell, by whom it was garrisoned with 800 infantry and a regiment of cavalry. A garrison of 600 infantry and 1200 cavalry was afterwards established here, for the purpose of suppressing the insurrections of the moss-troopers. A dreadful famine, caused by the consumption of the garrison, in 1650, compelled the inhabitants to petition parliament for assistance. In 1653, the celebrated George Fox, founder of the Society of Friends, was imprisoned in the dungeons of the castle, on account of his religious tenets.
During the rebellion in 1745, the vanguard of the young Pretender’s army encamped, on Nov. 9th, within four miles of Carlisle, which was garrisoned by the militia of Cumberland and Westmorland. Being joined on the following day by the main body, they summoned this place to surrender, and on the 13th commenced the siege, which was conducted by a body of forces under the Duke of Perth, who compelled the place to surrender on the 15th, when the mayor and corporation, on their knees, presented to the young Pretender the keys of the city, and proclaimed his father king, and himself regent, with all due solemnity. The rebel army remained here for several days, during which much dissension prevailed among its leaders; and then resumed its march southward, leaving in the castle a garrison of 150 men. But it was compelled to retreat on the approach of the Duke of Cumberland, part retiring into the castle here, and the remainder pursuing its flight across the border; and the duke, having laid siege to the city, forced the garrison to surrender at discretion. The officers of the rebel troops were sent to London, where having suffered death as traitors, their heads were sent down and exposed in the public places of the city. Cappock, whom the Pretender had created Bishop of Carlisle, was hanged, drawn, and quartered; and nine others concerned in the rebellion were executed in the city.
Carlisle is pleasantly situated on a gradual eminence, at the confluence of the rivers Eden and Caldew, which, with the Petterel, almost environ it. The four principal streets diverge from the market-place, and have several minor ones branching from them; they are well paved, and lighted with gas by a company formed pursuant to an act obtained in 1819, who erected works at the cost of £10,000. The houses in general are regular and well built. A very handsome bridge of white freestone was erected over the Eden, in 1812, from a design by R. Smirke, jun., at an expense to the county of about £70,000; it consists of five elliptical arches, and is connected with the town by an arched causeway. Two stone bridges, each of one arch, were built over the Caldew, on the west side of the city, in 1820; and a bridge of three arches over the Petterel, about a mile from the town, was erected a few years since. The Castle is situated at the north-west angle of the city, on the summit of a steep acclivity overlooking the Eden. It is of an irregular form, and consists of an outer and inner ward; the former, two sides of which are formed by part of the city wall, is quadrangular, and contains no buildings of importance, except an armoury, in which 10,000 stand of arms were formerly deposited, and which is now converted into barracks for the infantry of the garrison, the cavalry being quartered on the innkeepers. The inner ward is triangular, and contains the keep, or dungeon tower, into which the armoury has been removed; it is square, and of great strength, having a circular archway leading from the outer into the inner ward, and is, no doubt, that portion of the castle built by William Rufus. The other parts are evidently of later date, and correspond with the times of Richard III., Henry VIII., and Elizabeth, by all of whom the castle was repaired and partly rebuilt: a great part of the buildings erected by Elizabeth has been taken down. It is the head of the ancient royal manor of the soccage of Carlisle, now held by the Duke of Devonshire as grantee of the crown, and which includes part of the city, and 500 acres of land in its immediate vicinity. The environs abound with genteel residences: the view embraces the course of the river Eden, as it winds through a fertile and well cultivated tract of country. In 1818 and 1819, a subscription was begun for the relief of the poor, who by this means were employed in completing and forming various walks near the town, the most interesting of which are, the promenade on the slope and summit of the hill on which the castle stands, a terrace-walk on the opposite bank of the Eden, and a raised walk along the south margin of that river.
A subscription library was established in 1768, and a newsroom has been added to it: in Jan. 1830, some ground was purchased opposite the Bush Inn, for the erection of a new subscription library and newsrooms, which have been since built. A commercial newsroom was opened in 1825; and an academy of arts, for the encouragement of native and other artists in sculpture, painting, modelling, &c., was instituted in 1823; but the latter has been discontinued. A mechanics’ institute was established in 1824; and a literary and philosophical society has more recently been formed, for which an appropriate edifice has been erected by a proprietary company. The theatre, which was built about 30 years since, is constantly open during the races, and at other stated periods. The races were commenced about the middle of the last century, and the first king’s plate was given in 1763; they continue to be held in the autumn upon a fine course called the Swifts, situated on the south side of the Eden, and are generally well attended.
The trade principally consists in the manufacture of cotton, spinning and weaving being carried on to a considerable extent. There are about 300 power-looms in the town, and from 1600 to 2000 hand-looms in the town and its immediate vicinity, employed in the manufacture of handkerchiefs, checks, and ginghams, of various kinds, not only for the home trade, but for export to nearly all parts of the world. The manufacturers here have also branch establishments for weaving in the other towns of Cumberland, and along the borders of Scotland; some of the larger houses extend their operations even to the north of Ireland and to Lancashire. Altogether there are eight spinning factories, which employ 1400 hands and contain 110,000 spindles: a considerable part of the yarn spun is used by the manufacturers of Carlisle, and some exported. Among the other concerns are, four iron-foundries, four tan-yards, a hatfactory, four whip-manufactories, some extensive marble-works, and three breweries. Here is also one of the largest baking establishments in the world, consisting of a cluster of substantial structures, built of the red sandstone of the district, and surrounding a quadrangular court-yard. A steam-engine of 50-horse power is employed, and the quantity of wheat ground annually produces 157,000 stones of flour, or about 8000 bags, all of which are baked into bread and biscuits on the premises: the number of persons employed is between 80 and 90; and a reading-room, library, schoolroom, and a warm-bath have been fitted up for their benefit. In 1819, a canal was begun from Carlisle to the Solway Firth, at Bowness, a distance of eleven miles, and finished in 1823, at an expense of about £90,000; by means of which, vessels of 100 tons’ burthen can come up to the town. Steamers ply regularly between the port and Liverpool and Belfast, conveying the produce of the town and neighbourhood, and bringing in return general merchandise for the use of the inhabitants, and also goods for transit across the island to Northumberland and Durham. The Newcastle and Carlisle railway, 60 miles long, and which cost nearly a million sterling, was opened June 18th, 1838; there is a railway from Carlisle to Maryport and towns beyond, and a line has been opened to Lancaster. The station and depôt of the Newcastle railway are situated about a quarter of a mile to the south of the city, and close to the London road; they are nearly contiguous, and occupy together an area of about six acres. An act was obtained in 1845 for the formation of a railway called the Caledonian, to Glasgow and Edinburgh; and another act was passed in 1846, enabling the company to erect a central station here, for the line, and for the Maryport railway, the Lancaster railway, and, if desired, the Newcastle railway. The market days are Wednesday and Saturday; and fairs for cattle and horses are held on Aug. 26th and Sept. 19th, during the continuance of which all persons in the city are free from arrest under process from the court of record. There are also fairs, or great markets, on the Saturday after Old Michaelmas-day, and on every Saturday following till Christmas; these are held on the sands, near the bridge across the Eden. In April is a great show-fair for cattle, when prizes are distributed by the Agricultural Society. The Saturdays at Whitsuntide and Martinmas are hiring days for servants.
The city is a borough by prescription: it received its first charter from Henry II., and others were subsequently granted previously to that bestowed in the 13th of Charles I., by which the corporation was regulated, till, by the act of the 5th and 6th of William IV., cap. 76, the government was vested in a mayor, ten aldermen, and thirty councillors, and the city was divided into five wards. The mayor is a justice of the peace ex officio for two years, and the total number of magistrates is ten; they meet for business on three days in each week. The freedom of the city is inherited by birth, and acquired by an apprenticeship of seven years to a resident freeman. The citizens first exercised the elective franchise in the 23rd of Edward I., since which time they have regularly returned two members to parliament. The right of election was formerly in the free burgesses previously admitted members of one of the eight fraternities, whether resident or not, in number about 1000; but by the act of the 2nd of William IV., cap. 45, the non-resident voters, except within seven miles, were disfranchised, and the privilege was extended to the £10 householders: the limits of the city, also, were enlarged for elective purposes, from 80 to 1800 acres. The mayor presides at a court of record every Monday, for the recovery of debts to any amount, and at a quarterly court for the recovery of debts under forty shillings; these courts are held in the town-hall, in the centre of the town. The powers of the county debtcourt of Carlisle, established in 1847, extend over the registration-districts of Carlisle, Brampton, and Longtown. There are eight fraternities or companies, viz., Merchants, Tanners, Skinners, Butchers, Smiths, Weavers, Tailors, and Shoemakers; who hold a general meeting on Ascension-day. The assizes for the county, and the Christmas and Midsummer quarter-sessions, are held in the new court-houses, erected in 1810, by act of parliament, at an expense of £100,000, from a design by Robert Smirke, jun., on the site of the ancient citadel that flanked the eastern gate; and consisting of two large circular towers, one on each side of the entrance into the city, in the decorated style of English architecture. From one of the court-rooms is a subterraneous passage, for conducting the prisoners to and from the county gaol and house of correction, a noble pile of building, completed under the same act, in 1827, at a cost of £42,000, and surrounded by a stone wall 25 feet high; it occupies the site of the convent of the Black friars, and serves as a prison both for the city and county. Carlisle is the principal place of election for the eastern division of Cumberland.
The diocese of Carlisle originally formed part of that of Lindisfarn; but the see being removed from the latter place to Durham, and considerable inconvenience being felt on account of the distance of Carlisle from that city, Henry I., in 1133, constituted it a distinct bishopric, and appointed to the episcopal chair Athelwald, his confessor, who was prior of a monastery of Augustine canons founded here in the reign of William Rufus, by Walter, a Norman priest, and completed and endowed by this monarch. By the act of the 6th and 7th of William IV., cap. 77, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners named therein were empowered to carry into effect the report of two bodies of commissioners previously appointed by the crown, by which it had been proposed that the diocese of Carlisle should consist of the old diocese, of those parts of Cumberland and Westmorland which were in the diocese of Chester, of the deanery of Furness and Cartmel, in the county of Lancaster, and of the parish of Alston, then in the diocese of Durham. The bishop, or his chancellor, exercises sole ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the benefices, the powers of the archdeacon having been anciently resigned to him for an annual pension, in consequence of the smallness of the diocese rendering their concurrent jurisdiction inconvenient. The revenue of the priory above mentioned, in the 26th of Henry VIII., was estimated at £482. 8. 1. This monarch dissolved the monastic establishment in 1540, and instituted a dean and chapter, composed of a dean, four prebendaries or canons, and a number of minor canons, and endowed the body with the whole, or the greater part, of the possessions of the dissolved priory, constituting the bishop, by the same charter, visiter of the chapter: he also appointed a subdeacon, four lay clerks, a grammar master, six choristers, a master of the choristers, and inferior officers. The advowson of the canonries has, since 1557, belonged to the bishop, who has also the patronage of the archdeaconry and chancellorship. The dean and four canons compose the chapter, which has the patronage of the minor canonries; the deanery is in the gift of the Crown.
The Cathedral, dedicated to St. Mary, is a venerable structure, exhibiting different styles. It was originally cruciform, but the western part was taken down, in 1641, to furnish materials for the erection of a guardhouse; and during the interregnum, part of the nave and conventual buildings was also pulled down, for repairing the walls and the citadel: it has a square embattled central tower, and the east end is decorated with pinnacles rising above the roof. The interior consists of a choir, north and south transepts, and two remaining arches of the nave, walled in at the west end, and used as a parish church. The choir is of decorated English architecture, with large clustered columns enriched by foliage, and pointed arches with a variety of mouldings; the clerestory windows, in the upper part, are filled with rich tracery, and the east end has a lofty window of nine lights, of exquisite workmanship, exhibiting great elegance of composition and harmony of arrangement, which render it superior to almost every other in the kingdom. The aisles are in the early English style, with sharply pointed windows and slender shafted pillars; the remaining portion of the nave, and the south transept, are of Norman architecture, having large massive columns and circular arches, evidently built in the reign of William Rufus. There are monuments to the memory of some of the bishops, and one to Archdeacon Paley, who wrote some of his works while resident in this city, and who, with his two wives, was buried in the cathedral.
Carlisle is comprised within the two parishes of St. Mary and St. Cuthbert, which respectively contain, including parts without the city, 13,576 and 10,965 inhabitants. The living of St. Mary’s is a perpetual curacy; net income, £90; patrons, the Dean and Chapter; appropriators, the Bishop, and the Dean and Chapter. The church is part of the nave of the cathedral. The living of St. Cuthbert’s is a perpetual curacy; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter; net income, £157, with a glebe-house. The church, dedicated to St. Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarn, is a plain edifice, built in the year 1778, at the cost of the inhabitants, upon the site of the ancient structure. Two district churches, namely, Trinity, in the parish of St. Mary, and Christ-Church, in that of St. Cuthbert, were completed in Sept. 1830, at an expense of £13,212, of which £4030 were subscribed by the inhabitants, and the remainder granted by the Parliamentary Commissioners; the first stone of each was laid on Sept. 25th, 1828: they are in the early style of English architecture, each having a tower surmounted by a spire. The patrons of both are the Dean and Chapter. Upperby and Wreay, also, form separate incumbencies. There are meeting-houses for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, Wesleyans, and Presbyterians; and a Roman Catholic chapel. The Grammar School was founded by Henry VIII., on instituting the dean and chapter, and has an endowment of £120 per annum, of which the dean and chapter contribute £20; the remainder arising from an estate in the parish of Addingham, purchased in 1702, with a gift of £500 by Dr. Smyth, a former bishop: the management is vested in the Dean and Chapter. Dr. Thomas, Bishop of Rochester, left £1000 stock, directing the dividends to be applied to the benefit of two sons of clergymen, instructed here, and sent to Queen’s College, Oxford; if not claimed by clergymen’s sons from this school, they are given to others from St. Bees. Dr. Thomas, Dr. Tully, and the Rev. J. D. Carlyle, a learned orientalist, received the rudiments of their education here; the last is interred in the church of St. Cuthbert. A general infirmary for the county has been erected; and there are various benevolent societies, schools for the poor, and charitable donations. The union of Carlisle comprises 19 parishes or places, and contains a population of 36,084.
Near the city was an hospital dedicated to St. Nicholas, founded prior to the 21st of Edward I., for thirteen leprous persons, and which, at the Dissolution, was assigned towards the endowment of the dean and chapter. In the city walls, near the castle, an ancient vaulted chamber, having a recess at each end, and accessible only by an opening through the wall, has been discovered; it is supposed to have been a reservoir, or fountain, in the time of the Romans. In the reign of William III., a Roman Triclinium, with an arched roof, still existed, which, from an inscription on its front which Camden read “Marti Victori,” is supposed to have been a temple in honour of Mars. A large altar was lately found, inscribed Deo Marti Belatucardro; and, a few years since, a præferculum, ten inches and a quarter high, having the handles ornamented in bas-relief with figures sacrificing. In the castle-yard is a bas-relief of two figures hooded and mantled. Carlisle confers the title of Earl on the family of Howard.
Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848
The history and antiquities of Carlisle : with an account of the castles, gentleman’s seats, and antiquities, in the vicinity; and biographical memoirs of eminent men connected with the locality Author: Jefferson, Samuel, 1809-1846
History, directory and gazetteer of the counties of Cumberland and Westmoreland : with that part of the lake district in Lancashire forming the lordships of Furness and Cartmel, and a history of the Diocese of Carlisle
Church of England parishes in Cumbria : largely based on Wm. Parson and Wm. White, ‘A history, directory, and gazetteer of Cumberland, Westmoreland with Furness and Cartmel, 1829’ Author: Cumbria Archive Service