Carlisle History


Carlisle began as a Roman town called Luguvallium. However in the 4th century Roman civilisation declined. St Cuthbert founded a monastery among the ruins of Carlisle in 685. In 876 the Vikings captured Carlisle held the town until the 10th century when the Saxons captured it. Carlisle was rebuilt and revived by King William Rufus in 1092. He built a wooden castle.

In the Middle Ages Carlisle was strategically important because of its position near the Scottish border. In the 12th century stonewalls were erected around the town and the castle was rebuilt in stone and strengthened in the mid-12th century. From 1135-1154 Carlisle was in the hands of the Scots. In 1349 the Black Death devastated the population of Carlisle and it did not recover fully until the 16th century.

In 1541 Henry VIII rebuilt and strengthened the castle. Henry replaced the southern gate of Carlisle with a citadel with 2 towers. In 1642 came civil war between King and parliament. Carlisle was staunchly loyal to the King. The city was under siege from October 1644 to June 1645 and Carlisle was starved into surrender.

In the 1870s sewers were dug under Carlisle and the first telephone exchange in Carlisle opened in 1885. In the early and mid-1980s The Lanes were rebuilt. 

On Saturday 8 January 2005 Carlisle suffered from severe floods.