There has been a fortress or castle at Carlisle since Roman times, the remains of which are underneath the present structure, it was easy to get to and there is a big car park where you can sit for the whole day for a mere £2.50. It is also close to the town should you wish to visit, I don't recommend that.
As you would expect the site has seen many sieges by the Scots through the centuries, usually unsuccessful and been visited by many important personages, David I King of Scots died there, Mary Queen of Scots stayed for a couple of months and the famous Border Reiver Kinmont Willie made a daring escape from the place. Edward I used Carlisle as a base for his forays into Scotland. It is perhaps best remembered as an outpost of the Jacobite's during the '45 Rebellion, the 'old hen coop' as the Duke of Cumberland described it surrendered after only a week of bombardment, its occupants shackled and imprisoned in extremely harsh conditions, soon to be joined by further Jacobite's captured after the Battle of Culloden. At least 31 of these unfortunates were hung, drawn and beheaded on Carlisle's Gallows Hill the rest sent to the colonies.
The castle is also home to the Border Regiment which has gone through many changes and amalgamations from the 34th and 55th Foot in 1881 to end up as the 3rd Battalion, Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's Lancashire and Border), now there's a mouthful and a sad end. Nonetheless the museum is crammed full for such a small building and if you are in the area I recommend a visit, in fact militarily it was better than my visit to the politically correct Army Museum in London.
|28mm Napoleonics, beautiful exhibit.|
|"You there, the man in the blue T-shirt.................|
We were fortunate to witness an inspection of veterans and young cadets accompanied by a very smart band on the parade ground during our visit. Despite everything you cannot stop your heartbeat quicken as boots crunch gravel and standards are borne aloft while stirring tunes are played, good on the young ones and the old grognards.
|A wee present to myself.|