31 March 2002
Once commanding the western end of the Anglo-Scottish border, in its 900-year history this castle has seen countless sieges as both the English and Scots make their claims to it. It was under the orders of Henry I, in 1122, that the existing defences at Carlisle Castle were refashioned and work on the first buildings in stone began. The city walls and the stone keep were constructed over the next decade, the keep surviving today as the oldest building in the fortress. One small cell has elaborate wall-carvings, probably made by the prisoners of Richard of Gloucester in about 1480. These were not the last prisoners to be held at the castle. Mary Queen of Scots was confined here in 1568 and, in 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie's supporters were defeated at Carlisle Castle by the Hanoverian Army and it became their prison.
English Heritage Handbook 2002
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