Carlisle Castle History
1080s, the earliest fortification was
built on this site for William II, son of
William the Conqueror, a wooden fort
There were ongoing battles between the
Scottish and English for this area, with
Hadrian's Wall passing close to the castle.
Little remains of Hadrian's Wall or Roman
From 1122, a stone castle was built here
for Henry I of England, along with a wall
that runs around the old city, about one and
a half miles in distance.
1135, the Scots took control of Carlisle
and the castle, at a time when Scotland and
England were fighting over the border between
the two countries.
1157, Henry II of England regained control
of Carlisle and the castle.
1216, Carlisle and the castle were
captured by the Scots of King Alexander II.
The Scots only held the castle for a few
1296, John Comyn led his Scottish forces
in an attack on Carlisle and the castle. The
guardian of Carlisle castle, Robert de Brus,
managed to defend the castle, then force the
Scots back over the border.
Robert de Brus was a Borders area Noble,
who normally fought on the side of the
English. He married the widow Marjorie of
Carrick, southwest Scotland, in 1271.
The son of Robert de Brus and Marjorie of
Carrick, Robert the Bruce, became King of
Scotland during the Scottish Wars of
Independence from 1296 - 1328.
1315, King Robert the Bruce of Scotland
led his forces to Carlisle. The city and
castle managed to withstand that attack.
The following 300 years see Carlisle
Castle used by the English to control the
Borders area, keeping the Scottish forces
from taking over English land.
1642, the English Civil War broke out with
Carlisle backing the Royalists.
1644, a Scots army working with the
Parliamentarians, took control of the city
after an eight month siege.
The end of the war in 1651, with a
Parliamentarian victory, allowed repairs to
the war damage castle and town.
1745, Jacobite forces loyal to Prince
Charles Edward Stuart, captured Carlisle
Castle and the city.
December 1745, English troops forced the
Scots out of Carlisle, one of the last
battles between the English and Scots in
16th April 1746, Battle of Culloden, by
Inverness northern Scotland, saw the Jacobite
forces of Bonnie Prince Charlie defeated by
the loyalist troops of George I, the last
battle on the British mainland.
Since 1746, Carlisle Castle has been used
to house the military such as the Border
Regiment, King's Own Royal Border Regiment,
and Territorial Army.
2014, Cumbria‘s Museum of Military Life
was opened in the centre of Carlisle Castle,
covering 300 years of courage, loyalty and
service, with exhibits and interactive