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The History of Carlisle

City Centre

See also
Roman History
The history of Cumbria is bloody, more so than most English counties, and Carlisle has had more than its fair share of war and devastation from Roman times onwards, mainly due to its proximity to the border with Scotland..

The Romans came to the area that is now Carlisle around 80AD under the leadership of Agricola, and established a fort from which they could mount raids to the north against the Scots. The fort named Luguvalium was built with earth and wood and occupied the site where the Cathedral now stands. As part of his famous wall across the country the Emperor Hadrian built a new fort at Carlisle named Petriana. It was the largest fort on the Wall, with a garrison of 1,000 cavalry and was the headquarters of the Wall system as a whole.

When the Romans eventually left around 400 AD the Wall and its forts fell into ruin. In time the name Luguvalium was shortened to Leul and the Celtic prefix 'Caer' (meaning castle or fort) was added to give the name Caerluel and finally Carlisle.

After the departure of the Romans Cumbria was fought over by various local tribes and invaders. The Danes in particular destroyed Carlisle, killing all its inhabitants. For 200 years thereafter the settlement remained largely depopulated.




Copyright EDGE 1997