Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
This article is about the English city. For other Carlisles see Carlisle (disambiguation).
Carlisle is a city in the extreme north west of England, some 10 miles from the border with Scotland in the county of Cumbria. It is part of the City of Carlisle local government district, and acts as the administrative centre for both the district and the county. It was the historic county town of Cumberland.
Carlisle has a compact, historic centre, including a fine castle, unique museum, excellent cathedral, and intact city walls. The law courts are also of architectural interest.
Because Carlisle was the last English town before the Scottish border, in the days when the two countries were separate kingdoms, it developed importance as a military stronghold, and Carlisle Castle is still relatively intact. Built in 1092 by William Rufus, and having once served as a prison for Mary, Queen of Scots, it still houses the The King's Own Royal Border Regiment. Because of the frequently changing position of the Anglo-Scottish border during the Wars of Independence, Carlisle has a distinct Scottish ambience, despite being in England.
Carlisle is an ancient city, and the seat of the diocese to which it gives name. It is situated on a slight rise, in the Cumberland Ward, at the confluence of the rivers Eden, Caldew, and Petteril.
An important centre for trade, it is located 56 miles W of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 71 miles N of Lancaster, 90 miles S of Glasgow, 93 miles SE of Edinburgh, 119 miles NW of York, and 300 miles NNW of London, at 54 deg. 52 min. north latitude, and 2 deg. 50 min. west longitude.
The city is linked to the rest of England via the M6 motorway towards the South, and the M74/A74 towards Glasgow and the North. Carlisle is also a principal station on the West Coast main railway line.
In January 2005 Carlisle was hit by strong gales and heavy rain, and on Saturday 8 January 2005 all roads into the city were closed due to severe flooding, the worst since 1822, which caused three deaths .
Trade and industry
The Tullie House Museum, an award-winning museum, tells the story of the Border country, including much material on Hadrian's Wall, the Roman defensive structure which runs close to the city, and many items of Roman architecture. Tullie House used to house an excellent lending and reference library, but that has now been placed on top of a supermarket in the lanes. (The lanes are Carlisle's main shopping area in the centre of the city). Carlisle cathedral has the largest east window of any cathedral in Europe, but the western end of the cathedral was demolished by Oliver Cromwell to shore up the castle. Carlisle also has a first-class racetrack.
Carlisle used to have largest train marshalling yard in Europe, now closed.
Curse of Carlisle
In 2005, the locals of Carlisle began to blame certain misfortunes such as the recent flooding and their football teams bad performance on a 16th century curse. The curse was first invoked by Archbishop Dunbar of Glasgow in 1525 against cross-border families, known as the Border Reivers, who lived by stealing cattle, rape and pillage. For the millennium celebrations, the local council commissioned a 14-tonne granite artwork inscribed with all 1,069 words of the curse.
In March 2005 Liberal Democrat city councillor Jim Tootle, hoping to break the curse, proposed the stone either be moved outside the city boundaries or destroyed altogether. A council meeting on March 8 rejected Tootle's proposal, a move welcomed by council leader Mike Mitchelson, who had earlier questioned whether moving the stone was a good use of council funds.
January 2005 floods:
- "Carlisle 'cut off' by flood water" at BBC News – 8 January, 2005, 13:15 UTC
- "Floods leave homes without power" at BBC News – 8 January, 2005, 23:31 UTC
16th Century curse
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