Border Castles and Towers

 Carlisle   Castle 

Location: Within the city.


The castle was the principal defence on the main western invasion route and as a springboard for attack on Scotland.

Large parts of the castle are open to the public and you can explore countless passages and chambers. The prisons are especially interesting showing prisoner graffiti made during their confinement.

The views from the ramparts and towers are quite memorable.

The castle was attacked on many occasions. 
The most determined attempt to take the castle was made by Robert Bruce. Using every means available he battered at the Norman walls, but the defenders held. Bruce had to be content with laying waste the surrounding country and driving off the cattle.


The castle was besieged by the Scots nine times but only taken once.
In 1568, Mary, Queen of Scots was kept here for two months.
From 1644 to 1645 the castle was besieged by Parliamentary troops and was forced to surrender.
In 1745 it was occupied briefly by the Jacobites but they were ejected by the Duke of Cumberland.
The castle was extensively damaged and not restored until the 19th century.
See the postern gate which was forced to free Kinmont Willie the notorious free-booter.