Natural Eden Images Nature Photography by Stephen James Thompson
Natural Eden Images Nature Photography by Stephen James Thompson
Carlisle Castle, the stronghold of the Border


Carlisle Castle stands on a natural bluff that overlooks the rivers, Eden, Caldew and petteril.The City behind the Castle stands on a bed of glacial drift deposits laid down over shales and limestone of the lower liass @ period.There are small outcrops of glacial sand and gravel compacted by dark red boulder clay, a permo triassic debri.Carlisle has certainly been shaped by glacial movement,and the course of the Rivers.All this makes for a strategic Army base to protect a frontier.Before the Castle that we see today built in 1092, there stood a Roman fort which was first built of turf, and timber in the Flavian Era AD70s This important Fort on the frontier of the Roman Empire stayed in use until the 330s.Later in the second century the fort sight was moved slightly further South, and evidence has been found proving that it was built in stone.The Castle was built in 1092 by William Rufus on his march Northwards to defend England.At this time the build of the Castle would of been a Timber Palisade design.It wasnt until 1122 that the Castle took on the form that we see today, built in stone, the same stone used by the Roman soldiers to build the wall from the orders of Emperor Hadrian.At this time the keep would have been considerably lower, it was Henry VIII who ordered a new floor and crenellated top to be added to the keep in the 16th century.The Castle swung too and thro between England and Scotland before England got a firm grip of its masterful Empire.

The deep moat in front of the Castle

Andrew De Harcla Earl of Carlisle

Andrew De Harcla's stronghold

Sir Andrew De Harcla was by far the best military leader that Carlisle, through its long history had ever seen.Andrew was a noble Knight, and Keeper of Carlisle Castle he earned the highest title of nobility when he became the Earl of Carlisle, and the keeper of the Castle.It was in 1314 at the battle of Bannockburn that Sir Andrew De Harcla acquitted himself enough to gain praise from the Scottish victor, Robert Bruce.The following year Bruce attacked Carlisle with great determination and confidence on the back of his victory at Bannockburn.However with Sir Andrew De Harcla in charge of the well defended City, with his Kendal Archers all in Green, Bruce was beaton off after an eleven day stand off, so severe was the attack from the Archers on the Castles battlements that Bruce was forced to leave behind all of his equipment.After Sir Andrew had further success in battle in March 1322 showing his skill as a formidable leader, he was then appointed the Earl of Carlisle.This promotion placed him in a very perilous position as jealousy was rife amongst his rivals. 

Envy is the shadow of merit and merit pays the penalty of promotion...

Sir Andrew De Harcla wasnt long into his new position as Earl of Carlisle before the Jealousy of his close rivals started to flare up in a dangerous way.A number of rumours in royal circles suggested that Sir Andrew had been corresponding with Robert Bruce.It was said that Andrew had asked Bruce's sister to marry him, it was all nasty innuendo fanned by evil tongues.After a spate of other nasty rumours, Andrew was accused of treason, this was taken seriously by the royal government and Sir Andrew was swiftly executed.In reality Sir Andrew was promoting a truce with scotland that was for so long sought by the barons of England giving posthumous testimony to Sir Andrews statesmanship and humanity.Shortly after the execution of Sir Andrew there was a peace agreement between the two Countries as part of the quartered remains of the Earl hung from the very Castle that he was once the Keeper.  

The entrance to Carlisle Castle through the De Ireby gatehouse