Tullie House

Image Source: Vivienne Crow

Carlisle’s award-winning Tullie House is home to a broad range of both permanent displays and touring exhibitions. Located between the city’s beautiful medieval cathedral and its red sandstone castle, the museum and art gallery forms an integral part of any visit to Carlisle, bringing the region’s fascinating, often bloody history to life in a way that’ll capture the imaginations of adults and children alike.

Artefacts cover every period in the area’s history, from prehistoric times and the original Roman city of Luguvalium through to the lawless Border Reivers and the so-called State Management Scheme which saw the brewing, distribution and sale of alcohol nationalised in the twentieth century. The museum also has large natural history and arts collections.

An underground gallery links Tullie House with the castle. This is where you’ll find the granite ‘Cursing Stone’, bearing the curse made by the Archbishop of Glasgow against the Reivers in 1525. “I curse their head and all the hairs of their head... I curse them going and I curse them riding; I curse them standing and I curse them sitting...” The tirade runs to more than 1000 words. 

The museum is located in a Jacobean mansion with a modern frontage, its rear entrance reached via an attractive garden that’s open to the public. There’s a spacious cafe, popular with local families, as well as a gift shop.