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Gentleman's Magazine 1745 p.674
wall near this city standing, yet at Stanwicks, a small village just over the bridge, and in the channel of the river itself, there are plain remains of it.
That this city flourished in the time of the Romans, appears evidently from many antiquities frequently dug up here, and the common mention of it in Roman authors.
Upon the departure of the Romans, it was ruin'd by the Scots and Picts, who spoil'd and ravag'd it, and it lay bury'd in its ruins till about the year of Christ 680, when Egfrid rebuilt it, and encompassed it with a fair stone wall; and having repaired the church, restor'd divine worship, placed in it a college of secular priests, and gave it to St Cuthbert, bishop of Landisfern, and his successors, with all the lands 15 miles round.
Again, in the 8th and 9th centuries, the whole country was ruin'd by repeated incursions of the Danes and Norwegians, this city being laid quite desolate, some few ecclesiastics and chief inhabitants only excepted, and in this miserable state it continued 200 years. The Norman conquest, which happen'd in that time, better'd not its condition, for Wm the conqueror took no farther notice of it, than by his writ to subject it, and the rest of the county to the see of Durham. But Wm Rufus, his son, returning from the Scotch wars, after he had settled a peace with that nation, made a visit to Carlile, and being pleased with the situation, proceeded to repair the walls and castle, and rebuild the houses, sending thither first a colony of Flemings, (whom upon second thoughts he removed afterwards into North Wales and Anglesey) and then of English husbandmen out of the South, to teach them to till and improve their land, which before lay uncultivated.
Carlile being thus in some measure restored, K. Henry I. considering how good a barrier it might be made against the Scots, caused it to be well fortified, placed a garrison in it, dignified it with an episcopal see, and bestowed upon it many other privileges and emoluments, which his successors , even down so low as Q. Elizabeth, very much augmented. It was indeed often besieged by the Scots, and twice taken, viz. in K. Stephen's and K. John's days, but recover'd again by their successors K. Henry II. and III. and tho' it was burnt by misfortune 14 Richard II. and near 1500 houses destroyed, with the cathedral and suburbs, yet by the munificence of the succeeding kings it was again restored, and much improv'd in strength and beauty.
It is at present a wealthy and populous place, the houses are well built, and city walled in, having three gates, viz. the Caldo or Irish gate on the S. West, the Bother or English gate on the South, and the Rickard or Scotch gate towards the North. It is govern'd by a mayor, 12 aldermen, two bailiffs, &c. The assizes and sessions for the most part are held in this city.
It has but two parish churches, St Mary's and St Cuthbert's. St Mary's is the cathedral, and stands almost in the midst of the city, with a wall round it. * The Eastern part, which is the newer, is a curious piece of workmanship; the choir, with the isles, is 71 foot broad, is an exact piece of architecture, having a stately East window of 48 foot in height, and 30 in breadth, adorned with pillars of curious workmanship. The roof is elegantly arched with wood, and embellished with the arms of France and England quarter'd, the Piercy's, Lucy's Warren's, Mowbray's, and many others. In the choir are monuments of three bishops of this see, Bell, Robinson, and Smith, who are bury'd there. The West end, which is the lower, and was anciently the parish-church, was also a spacious building before the rebellion in 1641, but was for the greatest part demolished by those violent reformers, and the materials made use of for the building of guard-houses at every gate, erecting batteries in the castle, and setting themselves up private dwellings in the town; tho' it has been observed, their posterity never enjoyed them.
This observation is made by the reverend compiler of the Magna Britannia antiqua et nova, from whom the foregoing description is taken, except a correction of him with regard to the situation of the place, all our news papers following this writer (who might have informed himself better from honest Speed) having turned the city about and placed the English gate in the West and the Irish in the South.
This city was formerly esteemed the key of England against the Scots on the West side, as Berwick was on the East, and so far is a place of great importance. Notwithstanding it was well provided with cannon, ammunition, &c. it was soon taken by the rebels, for which many causes are assigned [(see]
* The tour thro' Great Britain says, that "a great part of it was built by St David, K. of Scotland, who held this county, together with Westmorland and Northumberland, in vassalage from the crown of England. He, and many of his successors, were great benefactors: but almost the whole nave, or west part of it, was demolished by the Scots, in the civil wars."
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gazetteer links
button -- Carlisle Cathedral
button -- Carlisle
button -- "Bother Gate" -- English Gate
button -- "Caldo Gate" -- Irish Gate
button -- "Rickard Gate" -- Scottish Gate

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