Sources for Carlisle Castle

The following lists provide a summary of the main sources for our knowledge and understanding of Carlisle Castle.

Engraving of Carlisle Castle on its elevated site, flag flying

Carlisle Castle looking north-west, 18th-century engraving by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck

Primary Sources

The National Archives, Kew, holds the major documentary sources for the history of Carlisle Castle, including medieval building accounts, and documents relating to courts of law in Carlisle, the garrisoning of the castle, and building works in the castle up to the 20th century.

They are as follows:

Information on the royal works in the later Middle Ages can be found especially in the Exchequer Rolls (series E101, E150, E199, E364, E368 and E372).

There are more extensive unpublished sources for the history of the castle in the Exchequer Rolls (E), State Papers (SP), War Office (WO), Privy Council (PC) and Special Collections (SC) series. The following are of particular interest:

  • E 372/153, m. 2: repairs, 1308
  • C 145/82, no. 9: survey and list of dilapidations, 1318 
  • E 101/40/6, m. 1: payments for repairs to buildings and guns, 1385 
  • E 101/483/31: indenture between the king and John Lewyn, mason, to build a gatehouse (De Ireby’s Tower), 1378 
  • C 47/3/51, no. 2: survey and list of dilapidations, 1529 
  • LR 9/83: account of monies spent on repairs by Lord Scrope, 1597 
  • WO 55/1696, 5-7: survey and list of dilapidations, 1661.

Extensive sources for the post-medieval history of Carlisle can be found in the Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series.

Cumbria Archive Service has a smaller collection of material relating to the history of the castle, notably in historic maps, plans and photographs of the castle.

A further source is Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life, formerly the King's Own Royal Border Regiment Museum, housed in Alma block in the outer ward of the castle.

Material Sources

Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle, has the major archaeological archive for Carlisle, including major collections of Roman finds from the excavations on Castle Green.

The Roman Britain website has a good summary history of the settlement, and a collection of Roman inscriptions from Carlisle.

Watercolour of Carlisle by JMW Turner, showing the castle dominating the city (c.1832)

Watercolour of Carlisle by JMW Turner, showing the castle dominating the city (c.1832)
© Yale Center for British Art (Paul Mellon Collection)

Visual Sources

All the following key visual sources, listed here in date order, are reproduced in HT Summerson, Carlisle Castle (London, English Heritage guidebook, 2008):

  • Bird’s-eye map of Carlisle, c 1560, British Library, Cotton Aug I, I, 13 [reproduced p 32]
  • Plan of the siege of Carlisle by the Duke of Cumberland’s army on 21 Dec 1745, c 1746, Carlisle Library [pp 34–5]
  • R Carlyle, watercolour, c 1790, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle [showing the buildings of the medieval ‘palace’ against the north wall of the inner ward; p 11]
  • JMW Turner, wash drawing, 1797, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle [p 12]
  • L Clennell, watercolour, c 1810, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle [showing the Captain’s Tower from the inner ward; p 11]
  • L Clennell, engraving, 1813, Carlisle Library [showing the Captain’s Tower, half-moon battery and outer gatehouse; p 9]
  • WH Nutter, watercolour, 1835, Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life [p 37]

Secondary Sources

The Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society is the main society for the study of Cumbrian history. Numerous articles relating to the history of Carlisle and its castle can be found in the society’s Transactions, an index of which is given on the website.

Bain, JJ (ed), The Border Papers: Calendar of letters and papers relating to the affairs of the borders of England and Scotland preserved in Her Majesty's Public Record Office, 2 vols (Edinburgh, 1894)

Brown, RA, ‘Royal castle-building in England, 1154–1316’, English Historical Review, 70: 276 (1955), 353–98 [subscription required; accessed 31 October 2014]

Brown, RA, Colvin, HM and Taylor, AJ, The History of the King’s Works, vol 2: The Middle Ages (London, 1963)

Charlesworth, D, ‘Carlisle excavations’, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, new series, 74 (1974), 211–12

Charlesworth, D, ‘Roman Carlisle’, Archaeological Journal, 135 (1978), 115–37

Charlton, J, ‘Carlisle Castle’, Archaeological Journal, 115 (1958), 228–9 [accessed 31 October 2014]

Charlton, J, Carlisle Castle, Cumbria (English Heritage guidebook, London, 1985)

Colvin, HM, ‘Castles and government in Tudor England’, English Historical Review, 83: 327 (1968), 225–34 [accessed 31 October 2014; subscription required]

Colvin, HM, Hale, JR, Merriman, M, and Summerson, J, The History of the King’s Works, vol 4: 1485–1660, Part 2 (London, 1982)

Colvin, HM, Mordaunt Crook, J, Downes, K, and Newman, The History of the King’s Works, vol 5: 1660–1782 (London, 1976)

Curwen, JF, The Castles and Fortified Towers of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire North of the Sands, Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, extra series, 13 (Kendal, 1913)

Ferguson, RS, Carlisle Castle (Carlisle, 1875)

Ferguson, RS, ‘Carlisle Castle’, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, old series, 2 (1876), 56–95

Ferguson, RS, ‘Remarks and memoranda as to the subsoil, debris and ancient remains discovered in cutting the sewers of the city of Carlisle; Appendix’, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, old series, 4 (1880), 337–43

Fraser, GM, The Steel Bonnets: the Story of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers (London, 1971) [accessed 31 October 2014]

Gilyard-Beer, R, ‘De Ireby’s Tower in Carlisle Castle’, in  Ancient Monuments and their Interpretation: Essays Presented to A J Taylor, ed M Apted, R Gilyard-Beer and AD Saunders (Chichester, 1977), 191–210

Goodall, JAA, ‘The great tower of Carlisle Castle’, in Carlisle and Cumbria: Roman and Medieval Architecture, Art and Archaeology, ed M McCarthy and D Weston, British Archaeological Association Conference Transactions 27 (Leeds, 2004), 39–62

Hogg, R, ‘Medieval town wall, Carlisle’, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, new series, 62 (1962), 326–7

Howard-Davis, C, The Carlisle Millennium Project: Excavations in Carlisle 1998–2001, vol 2:  The Finds (Oxford, 2010)

Hutchinson, W, The History of the County of Cumberland, vols 1 and 2 (1794; reprinted Wakefield, 1974, ed CR Hudleston) [accessed 31 October 2014]

Jefferson, S, History and Antiquities of Carlisle (Carlisle, 1838) [accessed 31 October 2014]

Jefferson, S, An Account of Carlisle During the Rebellion of 1745 (Carlisle, 1844)

Kirby, JL, ‘The keeping of Carlisle Castle before 1381’, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, new series, 54 (1954), 131–9

Martindale, JH, ‘The postern door of Carlisle Castle’, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 2nd series, 14 (1914), 292–4

McCarthy, MR, ‘Luguvalium (Carlisle): a civitas capital on the northern frontier’, in The Archaeology of Roman Towns: Studies in Honour of John S Wacher, ed P Wilson (Oxford, 2003), 145–55

McCarthy, MR, ‘The Roman town of Luguvalium and the post-Roman settlement’, in Carlisle and Cumbria: Roman and Medieval Architecture, Art and Archaeology, ed M McCarthy and D Weston, British Archaeological Association Conference Transactions, 27 (Leeds, 2004), 93–103

McCarthy, MR, Summerson, HRT and Annis, RG, Carlisle Castle: a Survey and Documentary History, English Heritage Archaeological Report 18 (London, 1990)

Mounsey, GG (ed), Carlisle in 1745: Authentic Account of the Occupation of Carlisle in 1745 by Prince Charles Edward Stuart (London and Carlisle, 1846) [accessed 31 October 2014]

Nanson, W, ‘Carlisle during the siege of 1644–5’, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, old series, 7 (1884), 48–63

Neilson, G, ‘The keep of Carlisle’, Notes and Queries, 8th series, 8 (1895), 321–3 [accessed 31 October 2014; subscription required]

Nicolson, J and Burn, R, The History and Antiquities of the Counties of Westmorland and Cumberland, 2 vols (1777, reprinted East Ardsley, 1976)

Oates, J, ‘The last siege on English soil: Carlisle, December 1745’, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 3rd series, 3 (2003), 169–84

O’Neil, BHStJ, ‘Stefan von Haschenperg, an engineer to King Henry VIII, and his work’, Archaeologia, 91 (1945), 137–55 [subscription required; accessed 31 October 2014]

Parker, FHM (ed), The Pipe Rolls of Cumberland and Westmorland, 1222–1260, Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, extra series, 12 (Kendal, 1905)

Peers, C, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 2nd series, 18 (1918), 235–7, and 19 (1919), 165–7

Platt, C and McCarthy, M, Carlisle Castle (London, English Heritage, 1992)

Prevost, WAJ, ‘Two Jacobite prisoners in Carlisle in 1746’, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 2nd series, 64 (1964), 319–25

Simpson, WD, ‘The Warkworth donjon and its architect’, Archaeologia Aeliana, 4th series, 19 (1941), 93–103

Smith, G, ‘Account of the rebels’ march into England and the loss of Carlisle’, Gentleman’s Magazine, 16 (May 1746), 233–5 [accessed 31 October 2014]

Spence, RT, ‘The pacification of the Cumberland borders, 1593–1628’, Northern History, 13 (1977), 59–60

Storey, RL, ‘The wardens of the marches of England towards Scotland, 1377–1489’, English Historical Review, vol 72, no. 285 (1957), 593–615 [subscription required; accessed 31 October 2014]

Summerson, HT, Medieval Carlisle: the City and the Border from the Late Eleventh to the Mid-Sixteenth Century, 2 vols, Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, extra series, 25 (1993)

Summerson, HT, ‘Medieval Carlisle: cathedral and city from foundation to Dissolution’, in  Carlisle and Cumbria, Roman and Medieval Architecture, Art and Archaeology, ed M McCarthy and D Weston, British Archaeological Association Conference Transactions, 27 (Leeds, 2004), 30–31

Summerson, HT, Carlisle Castle (English Heritage guidebook, London, 2008; revised edn 2010) [buy the guidebook]

Tough, DLW, The Last Years of a Frontier (Oxford, 1928)

Tullie, IA, Narrative of the Siege of Carlisle in 1644 and 1645 (Carlisle, 1840; reprinted Whitehaven, 1988)

Watson, GPH and Bradley, G, Carlisle Castle, Cumberland (London, 1970)

Wilson, J (ed), The Victoria History of the County of Cumberland, vol 2 (London, 1905) [accessed 31 October 2014]

Zant, J, The Carlisle Millennium Project: Excavations in Carlisle 1998–2001, vol 1: The Stratigraphy (Oxford, 2010)

 

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