Jollie's Cumberland Guide & Directory 1811
CHAP. IV. PUBLIC EDIFICES, INSTITUTIONS, &C.
CARLISLE, being a Bishop's see, has a cathedral, in which is performed the cathedral service: in the same edifice is performed the parochial service of St. Mary's1; and in a part of it the Chancellor of the diocese holds the consistory court. As this religious edifice is the chief ornament of the city, a more particular description of it is indispensably requisite.
From whatever part the traveller approaches the city, this venerable building is most conspicuous, being discernible at the distance of many miles. On a near approach, a view of the edifice, surrounded by lofty plane trees, has an effect beautiful and romantic. The parts now remaining shew that the old structure, when entire, was a noble and solemn edifice, of the form of a cross. The present building consists of the east limb of the cross, being the chancel, and the cross isle or transept, with the tower; the greatest part of the west limb of the cross having been pulled down in the civil wars, 1641: with the materials were erected a guard-house at every gate, and one in the market place, and two batteries in the castle. The circular arches and massive round columns, whose shafts are only 14 feet 2 inches high, and circumference fully 7½ feet, which remain of the west limb and transept, are of the heaviest order of the Saxon2 architecture; and at the first sight testify the different ages in which this part and the chancel were erected: indeed, the architecture denotes an earlier æra than the time of William Rufus, but there is no corroborating evidence to ascertain the mode of building, which might prove it of so ancient a date. The west end is said to have been in length 185 feet from the cross aile, of which 43 feet remain. The cross aile, from north to south, is 124 feet; in the centre is a tower, in height 127 feet, which originally supported a spire of lead. - it contains a ring of eight bells.
The choir is 137 feet in length, and, with the side
ailes, 71 feet broad; so that the length of the church when entire, was exactly 300 feet
within. The choir, is of fine Gothic architecture, with light columns, remarkably
beautiful. The stalls are garnished with tabernacle work. The organ is placed at the cross
screen, which contains but a narrow and low entrance. - By late repairs it is greatly
embellished, being wainscotted with oak, from the stalls round the whole east end of the
choir, in a simple stile, after the old
When the choir was rebuilt in the reign of Edward III indulgences were issued, the common and most effectual claim of assistance; which were of forty days penance to such laity as should, by money, materials, or labour, contribute to this pious work; and the Bishop's register abounds with letters patent, and orders for the purpose.
In the ailes on each side, are some strange legendary paintings of the history of St. Anthony, St. Cuthbert, and St. Augustine: one represents !he saint visited by an unclean spirit, who tempts him in a very indecent manner. Above every picture is a distich relative to the subject.
We shall give the following as a specimen of these very curious compositions.
LEGEND OF ST. ANTHONY.
2 Her is he babtyd Anton they hym call
3 As scolar to the kyrk here is he gayn
4 Here gayffith he to the kyrk boith land & rent
5 Here in Agelso to oon aulde man he wentt
6 Here makyth he breder as men of relig'
7 Here to the wylderness as amet he gone
8 The sprytt of fornycacon to hy' her doth apper
9 The devill thus hat hy' wounded wt lance and staf
10 Here Crist hath hym helyd the devill he dot away
11 Here comands he yis bests and ffast away ya
12 Here makyth he a well and water haith uptayne
13 Here commandith he bes tto mak hy' a cayf
14 Thus walkid he over the flode water doth hy` no der
15 Here departith anton to hevyn his soul is gone
16 Here in wilderns they bery hym that no man shud hym
17 Thus levyth he i wildernes xxii yere & more
In the middle of the choir is a monument of Bishop Bell, with his effigies in his pontificals, in brass, with an inscription on a marginal fillet of the same metal. Bishop William Barrow was buried in St. Catherine's chapel, on the south of the cathedral. Bishops John Best, Henry Robinson, Richard Senhouse, Thomas Smith, and Sir George Fleming, are also buried in this church.
As a more detailed account would be attended with but little pleasure in the reading, and too much extend the limits of this work, we refer the reader to the History of Cumberland3. We have annexed a ground Plan of the Cathedral, by consulting which may be found any particular monument, &c.
The whole of this noble edifice is of red freestone, ornamented with pilasters and pointed arches. There are some statues on the eastern turrets, but they are now mutilated, and gone to decay.
In the Abbey contiguous to the church, and in which the
church properly stands, are several venerable buildings, the deanery, fratery, &c. In
the latter building, the clergy have an excellent library; and in one part of the edifice,
is a confessional, or stone chair, where the monks were wont to receive the confessions
from the mouths of the penitents. Here considerable improvements have been made by the
Dean and Chapter, under the direction of the Rev. Mr. Markham. In this place are situated
the houses of the Prebends, who occasionally reside here.
Walter, the Norman, who came over with the conqueror, laid the foundation of the Priory, which he dedicated to the Blessed Virgin - it is said he became the head of the Society which he had instituted; but authors of great antiquity speak of this work as being incomplete at the time of his death; and that King Henry I. in the second year of his reign, took it under his patronage, finished it, and endowed it, A.D. 1101, and therein placed regular canons of the order of St. Augustine, appointing Athelwald his confessor and chaplain, the first prior. Athelwald, as noticed above, being made Bishop of this diocese, was succeeded in the priory by Walter, another of the King's chaplains, who had taken upon him the regular habit; and being a rigorous disciplinarian, he banished all the secular priests from that religious house.
The original possessions of their priory were very considerable; but the foundation of the see succeeding almost so immediately to that of the priory, there is no possibility of distinguishing them at this time. The property of the Prior and the Bishop were so blended, that several contentions and disputes arose till Gallo, the Pope's legate, at their mutual petition made partition of their lands. The castle of Linstock, in the parish of Stanwix, was, for a long series of years, the only palace of the Bishops of Carlisle4; and in 1293, Johannes Romanus, Archbishop of York, was entertained there, whilst he visited this diocese.
The following is the regular succession of Bishops:
1. Ethelwald. 2. Bernard. 3. Hugh abbot of Beulieu. 4. Walter. 5. Sylvester de Everdon. 6. Thomas de Vetriponte. 7. Robert de Chauncy. 8. Ralph Irton. 9. John Halton. 10. John Ross. 11. John Kirby. 12. Gilbert Welton. 13. Thomas Appleby. 14. Robert Reed. 15. Thomas Merks. 16. William Stickland. 17. Roger Whelpdale. 18. William Barrow. 19. Marmaduke Lumley. 20. Nicholas Close. 21. William Percy. 22. John Kingscott. 23. Richard Scroop. 24. Edward Storey. 25. Richard Bell. 26. William Sever. 27. Roger Leyburn. 28. John Penny. 29. John Kyte. 30. Robert Aldridge. 31. Owen Ogelthorp. 32. John Best. 35. Richard Barnes. 34. John Meye. 35 Henry Robinson. 36. Robert Snowden. 37. Richard Milburne. 38. Richard Senhouse. 39. Francis White. 40. Barnaby Potter. 41. James Usher. 42. Richard Stern. 43. Edward Rainbow. 44. Thomas Smith. 45 William Nicholson. 46. Samuel Bradford. 47. John Waugh. 48. George Fleming. 49. Richard Osbaldiston. 50. Charles Lyttleton. 51. Edmund Law. 52. John Douglas. 53. Hon. Edward V. Vernon (translated to the Archbishoprick of York.) 54. Samuel Goodenough, D. D. (the present Bishop.)5
The revenue of the Bishoprick of Carlisle is estimated in the King's Books at £531: 4: 11.
Out of the dissolved priory, Henry VIII. by letters patent, bearing date, May 8th, 1542, founded the body corporate of a dean and four prebendaries; and two years afterwards they received the royal grant to vest in them the possessions of the dissolved house of monks.
The city of Carlisle is divided into two parishes, - St. Mary's* and St. Cuthbert's#. In the former is contained the cathedral and parish church§, and in the latter -
ST. CUTHBERT'S CHURCH;
The next object most worthy of attention is
The castle consists of various works, but being a garrisoned place, and a very considerable depot of ordnance stores, we conceive it imprudent to describe it minutely. The donjon, a great tower, is square and very lofty, and the wall of vast thickness, being constructed agreeably to the old mode of defence: in the sides of this tower, in several parts, are placed the arms of England, but these seem to denote no more than reparations made by several sovereigns of England, - particularly Richard III. This work was formerly strengthened by a draw-bridge over a wide ditch, and defended by modern works; a half-moon battery mounted with cannon, and a very large platform also mounted under cover of the outer wall. By a well of vast depth constructed within the great tower, and said to be of Roman work, the supply of water for the garrison could not be cut off+. This well is not unlike that of Bambrough7 castle, in Northumberland. In the outer castle is a fine grass plot, a garden and governor's house, &c. A very elegant and spacious armory has within a few years been erected, capable of containing 10,000 stand of small arms.
In the 15th year of Edward II. Andrew Harcla, created Earl of Carlisle for his good services against Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, and his adherents, was seized in the castle, and suffered as a traitor$8. He was apprehended by Lord Lucy, accompanied by a few attendants, by stratagem.
Sir William Douglas of Lochmaben was kept in irons in the castle, - an uncommon act of severity toward a prisoner of war; but he was esteemed so enterprizing and dangerous an enemy by Edward III. that this was done at his special command.
The apartments are still shewn9 where the unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots was confined, after her defeat at Langside. During her imprisonment, the royal captive used a walk in front of the castle, which yet retains the name of the Lady's walk. Near the castle-gate were lately growing two stately ash trees, of uncommon size, said by tradition to have been planted by the fair hands of the Princess. We know not for what reason they were cut down. Though now no more, we have expressed them in the plate, as a memorial of the fact.
In the 20th year of Charles I. A.D. 1644, during the
siege by the Parliament forces, to which it was surrendered, a coinage of silver pieces of
three shillings value took place in the castle, from the plate of the inhabitants sent in
for that purpose. They are become very scarce, and bear a considerable price with the
This city had many royal grants and great privileges. The first that is pointed out is that of King Henry II. which was burnt in the devastation by the Scots, but is recited and confirmed by the charter of Henry III. It doth not appear when the first incorporation of the burgesses took place, or what was the original constitution. Several other charters, or rather confirmatory ones, were granted by various sovereigns - in the 21st Edward I.; 22d Edward III.; 5th Richard II.; 3d Henry VII.; 1st Henry VIII.; 5th Edward VI.; 2d Queen Elizabeth; and 2d James I. By the recital of the grant of Edward III. it seems, that preceding it, and even for time immemorial, the city had been governed by a mayor, bailiffs, and coroners; but when this body politic had its commencement, we have no evidence. This body corporate, then, consisting of a mayor, eleven aldermen, two bailiffs, two coroners, and twenty-four capital citizens or common council, were ordered to proceed to election in the following manner: "The mayor, aldermen, bailiffs, and twenty-four capital citizens, or the major part of them, in Guildhall assembled, on the Monday next after Michaelmas-day, shall have power to chuse annually one of the aldermen to be mayor; and in case of an equality, the mayor to have a casting vote; and the mayor so chosen shall be sworn into his office by the last mayor, if he be living; otherwise by the aldermen or major part of them; and shall continue therein till another shall he chosen and sworn." "In like manner, the two bailiffs and two coroners annually shall he chosen and sworn."
The following is the constitution of the body, viz.:
A body corporate and polite, by the name of the mayor, aldermen, bailiffs, and citizens of the city of Carlisle; to have a common seal.
On the death of an alderman, the mayor and surviving aldermen, or the major part of them, in Guild-hall assembled, shall chose another who shall be sworn by the mayor and continue for life.
Capital citizens dying, or for just cause removed by the mayor and aldermen, they shall chuse and swear another.
Mayor chosen and refusing to act, shall pay a fine - not exceeding £20, one of the twenty-four citizens chosen aldermen, refusing, £10, bailiff, £5, citizen, £5.
The recorder to be chosen by the whole corporate body, to continue during pleasure.
Town clerk so to he chosen.
The sword-bearer and three serjeants at mace to execute process . - The sword-bearer and one serjeant chosen by the new mayor, the other two by remaining part of the body corporate.
The corporate body may make bye-laws, to be enforced by corporal or pecuniary penalties.
The mayor, recorder, and two senior aldermen, to be justices of the peace.
The mayor clerk of the market, with power to execute the office by deputy.
The subordinate officers are three serjeants at mace, five bedals or town scavengers. The serjeants and bedals wear the corporation livery, (brown turned up with red) and their places are generally for life. The serjeants act as bailiffs in processes before the mayor's court, and to them is committed the execution of summons and writs of arrest for debt issued by it. - The City Goal is upon the head of the Scotch-gates.
In the year 1736 a subscription was entered into to build and endow a Presbyterian chapel. The sum, chiefly raised in Scotland was very considerable: and with it was built the chapel, minister's house, offices, and a good garden. Besides these erections there was a considerable sum to spare, which the trustees let out on interest. - Of late the chapel has undergone considerable repairs.
The duty of the chapel was for many years performed by the Rev. Robert Milne, from Aberdeen, who published in Carlisle an octavo volume of Lectures on the Antediluvian World. - Unfortunately, however, a considerable part of Mr. Milne's hearers differing with him as to sentiment, entered into an agreement with the Rev. George Thomson, a native of Galloway, who ministered to his congregation in a very incommodious chapel in Abbey-street. - Mr. Thomson, we must say, was an excellent scholar; and his "Spirit of General History," which was published in an 8vo. form, has gone through two large editions, and the work is now exceedingly scarce. - Its utility is so generally recognized, that it is in contemplation to present to the public another edition, for the use of academies, &c. - Mr. Thomson died, 7th August, 1810. - The present minister of the Fisher-street meeting-house is the Rev. A. Henderson.
The late Dr. Henry, author of the History of Britain, preached in a separate building, in the year 1748, and exercised his pastoral functions here for twelve years.
In the year 1780, another dissenting chapel was established. It was promoted by subscription, and was endowed by Lady Glenorchie, who was likewise a liberal contributor. The chapel is a neat and plain edifice, and has a very respectable congregation.The Rev. C. Hill is the minister; and through his pious endeavours many poor children are taught, gratis, on the Sabbath, to read and write.
In the year 1786, a Methodist Chapel, in Mr. Wesley's connection, was erected. It was first put forward by Mr. Bushby, of Alexandria, in the province of Virginia, (a native of Carlisle.) - It is situated in Fisher-street, and the Members of this Society, whose praiseworthy exertions have conduced so much to the morals and virtue of the lower orders of society, have been encreasing in numbers ever since the establishment. - The Society teaches a number of children on the Sabbath, gratis.
A Catholic chapel was also first established by Mr. Fairbairn in 1799; and was put on its present footing in 1801, by the exertion of the present worthy clergyman, Mr. Joseph Marshall, who has filled his station with credit to himself and advantage to others.
In 1804, an Act of Parliament was passed for lighting the streets and avenues, and flagging the foot-paths &c. This act was very spiritedly acted upon, and we can now boast, that there is not a city or town in the kingdom better regulated in this respect.
In places of consequence, and especially in mercantile towns, fire-engines are indispensible; and in this respect Carlisle is not deficient, having two public engines; but, unfortunately, there are no fire-men attached to them. - We think it necessary to mention, that they are kept behind the east walls; the keys of the place are kept by Mr. Thomas Thompson, in the Old Turk's Head lane, Scotch-street; and by Mr. James Goodfellow, St. Cuthbert's-lane, English-street.
THE COUNTY GAOL.
Having gone thus far, we shall in this place notice the place appointed by law for salutary restraint and correction of offences. - The County Gaol is old and much out of repair; and it has been for a considerable time past in contemplation to build a new one. As the plan of a new erection is, we understand, in a state of considerable forwardness, in connection with the new buildings on the site of the citadel, a short account may suffice.
The present building, situated at the head of English-street, is a mean edifice; but the court is commodious and spacious©, being 85 yards by 36; a part of which is railed off for the use of the felons. The chapel was built in 1734. There are five rooms for master-side-debtors, and as many on the common-side; - two low rooms for felons, and two over these for females. There is no furniture belonging to the prisoners but what is found by the unfortunate persons confined there, who are allowed merely straw for their beds.
Of this city, though not numerous, are respectable. Near the English-gates were charity houses, built by the corporation, in which decayed freemen, or the widows of those deceased, were allowed to live gratis; but these are now taken down, in order to admit of the projected improvements on the site of the citadel.
There is one endowed school, situated in the Abbey, founded by Bishop Thomas Smith¥. There is also a charity school for clothing and educating the daughters of poor freemen; and several Sunday schools which are well supported. - There is likewise the greatest prospect of the blessing of education being universally diffused by means of a school, which is proposed to be erected on the Lancastrian plan; though for two years past a number of children have been instructed on this system. This praiseworthy object was first suggested here by J. C. Curwen, Esq. M.P. for this city.
There is also a school of industry, where 30 girls are taught sewing, writing, reading &c. This school is supported by private subscription. - Besides this, 12 girls have been educated and clothed by two worthy ladies for many years. And last, though not least, is a Female Visiting Society, founded in 1803, and supported by private subscriptions and donations. The ladies (subscribers) visit the poor families of the place, in rotation, and supply them with money, clothes, and fuel, according to their several necessities, to the annual amount of above £150. besides giving them religious and moral instruction.
The Carlisle Dispensary was first established on the 1st July, 1782. Since that time many thousand poor persons have been cured or relieved. It is situated at the head of Abbey-street, immediately above the Abbey-gates.
St. Mary's Workhouse is situated on the west side of the castle, without the Irish-gates, and was built in 1780. It is a large and commodious building, with a spacious yard adjoining: it is now kept very clean, is well-aired, and the poor are very comfortably supported.
The Workhouse of St. Cuthbert's was built two years since, at Harraby-hill, on an extensive plan: the accommodation for the destitute is highly creditable to the parish.
Without the English-gates of the city there was formerly an ancient hospital, dedicated to St. Nicholas, and said to be of royal foundation, though by what sovereign is not known, it was instituted for the reception of thirteen lepers. It was granted to the prior and convent of the cathedral church, 17th Edward IV.; and afterwards 33d Henry VIII. made part of the endowment of the dean and chapter, under whom the site of the hospital is now held by lease.
* It comprehends Scotch-street, Fisher-street, Castle-street, and Abbey-street, within the city; Caldewgate, Rickergate, Cummersdale, Newtown, Newby, Wreay, Middlesceugh, and Braithwaite without.
# It comprehends English-street, within the city, and Botchergate, Botcherby, Carleton, Brisco, Upperby, Harraby, and High and Low Blackhall, without.
§ The parish church is damp, cold, and incommodious; nothing could be more desirable to the parishioners than a suitable place, where they could perform their religious exercises with comfort. A new burial ground is also much wanted, the present one being crowded to excess.
+ In cleansing this well, lately, a medal10 was found, of a composition resembling a mixture of tin and copper. This is now in the possession of Serjeant Robinson, of the Forfarshire militia.
$ From that time the title was never restored until the Restoration, when Charles Howard, son of Sir William Howard, in the 13th of Charles II. was created Lord Dacre of Gilsland, Viscount Howard of Morpeth, and earl of Carlisle; in which honours he has been succeeded by his immediate descendants to this time.
& The accommodation being very indifferent, an Act was some little time ago obtained for building court-houses, &c. on the site of the citadel, adjoining the English gate. The work has been begun on a very extensive plan. The citadel was a very large building composed of a strong square tower, connected to two large bastions, by curtains; and was built by Henry VIII.
£ According to Prynne, the first members for Carlisle were called in the 30th of Edward I.; but Nicholson and Burn give the name of members in Parliament of the 23d of that reign. The members are elected by free burgesses, about 700 in number, who are all of them enrolled among those of the following free trades:- Merchants, Tanners, Taylors, Skinners, Smiths, Weavers, Shoemakers, Butchers. - The trades hold their annual meeting on ascension-day.
© During the time of persecution for religious principles, in the reign of the Stewarts, the limits of the prison were very much confined; but a great number of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, being imprisoned here, the Society purchased a track of ground adjoining, in order to conduce to their comfort and convenience. The courtyard is now as spacious as most in the kingdom. - Mr. Richard Jackson is the present gaoler, and the Rev. Mr. Mark, chaplain.
¥ Bishop Smith was born at Whitewall, in Westmorland, and in 1684 was elected to the see of Carlisle. The following are the sums expended by this good bishop in public Buildings and Charities:
Jollie's Cumberland Guide & Directory 1811
1. St. Mary's occupied the nave
(western arm) of the cathedral. A separate church dedicated to St. Mary was subsequently
built in the cathedral grounds, but this is now gone.
2. Modern scholarship makes no claims to Saxon i.e. pre-Norman masonry in Carlisle cathedral.
3. Perhaps the History And Antiquities Of The Counties Of Westmorland And Cumberland, by J. Nicolson and R. Burns, 1777.
4. Subsequently it was Rose Castle, near Dalston.
5. Compare with the list given in Mannix and Whellan, which is slightly different.
6. Duersm may be an old name for Lindisfarne or Durham (with which St. Cuthbert was associated in life, and death), but I am otherwise unfamiliar with it.
7. Bamburgh, on the east coast of Northumberland.
8. For more on the crimes and fate of de Harcla, see Ancient History of the City, from Mannix & Whellan.
9. Demolished in 1834.
10. Shown in the plan of the cathedral, above.
Photos © Steve Bulman.
19 June 2015
© Steve Bulman