On a prominent site north of the city centre, Carlisle Castle has played an important role in the history of Carlisle for centuries.
First built by William Rufus (William the Conqueror's son), the castle is strategically located on the border between England and Scotland and has witnessed many attacks over its 900 years of history. In 1306, a parliament was held here by Edward 1 during his Scottish campaign. In 1567 it became a temporary prison for Mary, Queen of Scots, and in 1745 it was a place of incarceration for rebel soldiers loyal to Bonnie Prince Charlie during the Jacobite Rebellion.
Today the castle is in the safe hands of English Heritage and, given its turbulent history over the centuries, is remarkably well preserved. Explore the dungeons where the famous ‘licking stones' can be seen, visit the keep with its model of Jacobean Carlisle, browse through displays of military weapons, medals and uniforms at Cumbria's Museum of Military Life or wander at will among stone-lined passageways and rooms. Guided tours run daily.
The castle can be easily accessed from the city centre via the underpass at Tullie House. Disabled parking is permitted in the grounds of the Castle.