Carlisle is one of thirteen of England’s historic cities which have collaborated to develop an innovative augmented reality (AR) product that is set to bring heritage to life. .
To give the products their own identity and make the offering consistent across all touch-points, illustrator Jonathan Chapman who has a BA in Fine Art painting from Newcastle University and a Masters at the Winchester School of Art was invited to develop a visual style for ‘Stories’.
Jonathan specialises in creating figurative images with big colours and lots of detail. This style of illustration is perfect to give the interactive app a unique and hand crafted identity and Jonathan has expertly crafted hero characters that act as guides at our destinations.
For example Julia Martia shown here - Julia is the wife of an elite cavalry officer and will act as your guide helping you throughout the Carlisle Stories. Furthermore, using illustration as a medium allowed the flexibility to create historical content when actual assets weren’t available.
More information on the App can be found in the Videos below.
Meet Julia Martia, William Shakespeare, the Venerable Bede, Sir Joseph Banks, and a cast of colourful figures ready to take you on a journey through the annals of history. Along the way, you'll discover some of England's tallest tales, horrifying histories, magical myths, and larger-than-life legends.
A city steeped in 2000 years of history
What is known of the ancient history of Carlisle is derived mainly from archaeological evidence and the works of the Roman historian Tacitus. The earliest recorded inhabitants were the Carvetii tribe of Britons who made up the main population of ancient Cumbria and North Lancashire, allegdly Carlisle existed before the arrival of the Romans and was one of the strongest British towns at the time. Further Information in
The period after Roman rule saw Cumbria organised as the native British kingdom of Rheged. King Urien and his son and successor Owain became the subjects of a great deal of Arthurian legend. Their capital has been identified as the Cair Ligualid which later developed into Caer-luel and hence Carlisle as we know it today.
Carlisle was an important stronghold warred over by the Kingdoms of Strathclyde and the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria. In 685, St Cuthbert, visiting the Queen of Northumbria in her sister's monastery at Carlisle, was taken to see the city walls and a marvellously constructed Roman fountain, this must be an early example of tourism. By the time of the Norman conquest in 1066, Carlisle was actually part of Scotland and therefore was not recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book.
This changed in 1092, when William the Conqueror's son William Rufus invaded the region and incorporated Cumberland and Carlisle into England. The construction of Carlisle Castle began in 1093 on the site of the Roman fort, The castle was rebuilt in stone in 1112, with a keep and the city walls. The walls enclosed the city south of the castle and included three gates to the west, south, and east called the Irish or Caldew Gate, the English or Botcher Gate, and the Scotch Gate respectively.
The rise of the Border Reiver
The conquest of Cumberland was the beginning of the Anglo-Scottish wars and the region centred around "Carlisle" changed hands a number of times. During the long years of war, the livelihood of the people living in the borders was devastated by armies from both sides who often reduced the borders to a wasteland.
When the countries were not at war, tensions remained very high with little common law administered on either side. It is no surprise that a great swathe of the borders became a wild and lawless frontier and became to be known as
The Debateable Land (who rules it?). The continuing threat of constant conflict offered little incentive to any kind farming. Why bother planting crops if they may be burned before they could be harvested? The reiving (raiding or plundering) of livestock was however a totally different matter, and so it became the principal business of the Border families.
The Reiver came from every social class from labourer to peer of the realm. He was a skilled horseman and fine guerrilla soldier, practised in the dark arts of arson, kidnapping and extortion. The Reiver rode a small sturdy pony known as a hobelar, which was noted for its ability to cover great distances over difficult ground at high speed. On his head he would typically wear a steel bonnet and a quilted jacket of stout leather sewn with plates of metal or horn to protect his body. Although the Reiver carried a variety of weapons including sword, dagger and axe, his preferred weapon was the ‘Lang Spear’ or Border Lance.
There was no social stigma attached to reiving, cattle rustling, feuding, murder, arson and pillaging was simply an accepted way of life and you were just as likely to be reived by a noble or high ranking officer of the area as by a commoner. The borders were divided into regions called "Marches" with an appointed Warden who was responsible for the security of the area and its people. Wardens were often high ranking members of the local families, so when a powerful Scottish Warden could go riding into England with up to 3000 lances (or vice versa) you can imagine how justice could be very rough and fleeting.
The Reivers became so much of a nuisance to the Scottish and English governments that, in 1525, the Archbishop of Glasgow Gavin Dunbar cursed all the reivers of the borderlands. The curse was detailed in 1,069 words, beginning: "I curse their heid and all the hairs of their heid; I curse their face, their brain, their mouth, their nose, their tongue, their teeth, their forehead, their shoulders, their breast, their heart, their stomach, their back, their womb, their arms, their legs, their hands, their feet and every part of their body, from the top of their head to the soles of their feet, before and behind, within and without." The curse can still be seen today (along with a multimedia history of the Reivers), engraved on the Bishops Stone, commonly called the cursing stone, at Tullie House Museum.
The death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603 and the union of the crowns with James VI of Scotland instigated a determined effort to suppress the reiving families. The borderer's were not quick to change their ways however and a great many were executed, sent to fight in European wars (where they were acknowledged as superb light cavalry), and whole families were exiled to Ireland. It was not until 1681 that the problem of the reivers was acknowledged as no longer an issue.
Writers like Walter Scott and the Border Ballads (local songs) have since romanticised the Reiver, but the truth was very different. Perhaps it is best summed up by the words they left behind:
Bereaved and Blackmail.
After the Union of the Crowns
Following the personal union of the crowns Carlisle Castle
should have become obsolete as a frontier fortress, but the two kingdoms continued as separate states. In 1639, with war between the two kingdoms ever present Carlisle was constantly central to any unrest, and when the English Civil War broke out in 1642 the castle was garrisoned for the king. It endured a long siege from October 1644 until June 1645 when the Royalist forces surrendered after the Battle of Naseby.
The city was occupied by a parliamentary garrison, and subsequently by their Scots allies. In 1646, the Scots, now holding Carlisle pending payment of monies owed them by the English Parliament, improved its fortifications, destroying the cathedral's nave to obtain the stone to rebuild the castle.
In 1707 an act of union was passed between England and Scotland, creating
Great Britain, and Carlisle finally ceased to be a frontier town. Peace was still elusive however and the tenth, and most recent siege in the city's history took place after Charles Edward Stuart took Carlisle in the Jacobite Rising of 1745. When the Jacobites retreated across the border to Scotland they left a garrison of 400 men in Carlisle Castle. Ten days later Prince William, Duke of Cumberland took the castle and executed 31 Jacobites on the streets of Carlisle.
At last Carlisle, the most
besieged city in the UK, found that elusive peace. Although the city continued to garrison soldiers, becoming the headquarters of the renowned Border Regiment, the city's importance as a military town decreased as the industrial age took over and the post of Governor of Carlisle as garrison commander was abolished in 1838.
To wander and explore the city is to
walk in the footsteps of momentous events