Carlisle Cathedral
Carlisle Cathedral
Carlisle Cathedral bears the scars of 900 years spent in this most tumultuous of regions. The exterior is red sandstone, which, with the scarred tower, has the effect of making the cathedral look more like a Border castle than a church! The cathedral suffered badly in the Civil War, when Parliamentary troops under General Leslie almost destroyed the nave, leaving only two bays standing.

The original nave was built by secular canons in 1092 as a collegiate church. That early church was built, but by 1123 the Augustinian order had taken over. The choir aisles are late 13th century, but the body of the choir was not completed until a century later.

The transepts and tower date from the 15th century. The glories of Carlisle are the east window, one of the best examples of decorated tracery anywhere, and the delicately carved capitals in the choir, depicting the seasons. The east window is believed to be the work of Ivo de Ragheton, who was also responsible for the west front of York Minster.

The 16th century Brougham Triptych
The 16th century Brougham Triptych

The barrel-vaulted choir ceiling is painted in vivid blue with gold trim. Medieval paintings in the north and south aisles and the choir represent the lives of the Apostles and saints Anthony and Cuthbert. The choir stalls and misericords are decorated with wonderful carvings dating from the early 15th century.

Other highlights include the extraordinary Brougham Triptych, found in St. Wilfred's Chapel. The ornate triptych is Flemish work, dating to the 16th century. Also within the Cathedral is an exhibit on ‘Christianity in Cumbria’, which traces the long history of the Christian religion in the area, from the days of the earliest Celtic missionaries from Ireland.

About Carlisle Cathedral
Address: The Abbey, Carlisle, Cumbria, England, CA3 8TZ
Attraction Type: Cathedral
Website: Carlisle Cathedral
Phone: 01228 548 151
Location map
OS: NY399 559
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express


HeritageWe've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.

Find other attractions tagged with:

15th century (Time Period) - collegiate church (Historical Reference) - Decorated (Architecture) -


Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest

Tullie House Museum - 0.1 miles (Museum) Heritage Rating

Carlisle, St Cuthbert's Church - 0.1 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Carlisle Guildhall Museum - 0.1 miles (Museum) Heritage Rating

Carlisle Castle - 0.3 miles (Castle) Heritage Rating

Warwick on Eden, St Leonard's Church - 4.2 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Wetheral, Holy Trinity & St Constantine Church - 4.4 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Wetheral Priory Gatehouse - 4.4 miles (Abbey) Heritage Rating

Wreay, St Mary's Church - 5.2 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Nearest Accommodation to Carlisle Cathedral:

Self Catering   -   B&Bs/Guesthouses   -   Hotels

Nearest Self Catering Cottages

  More self catering near Carlisle Cathedral

Show self catering cottages near Carlisle Cathedral

Nearest Hotels

    More Hotels near Carlisle Cathedral

Show bed and breakfasts near Carlisle Cathedral

Nearest Bed and Breakfasts

  More bed and breakfasts near Carlisle Cathedral