Carlisle, the county town of Cumberland, stands on a gentle eminence in a wide-spreading plain, at the influx of the Caldew and Petteril to the Eden - three streams that nearly encircle it. It is 299 miles NNW. of London, 101 miles S. of Edinburgh, 22 1/2 E. by N. of its seaport, Silloth, and 66 W. by S. of Newcastle. In spite of its hoar antiquity, 'merry' Carlisle as a whole is disappointingly modern, its gates having vanished, and almost the whole of the walls. The castle was founded in 1092, and now serves as a barrack. The remains of its Norman keep form a massive tower; but the part in which Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned (1568) was demolished in 1835. The cathedral, ranging in date between 1092 and 1419, comprises every variety of style from Norman to Perpendicular. The fragment of the Norman nave, long used as a parish church, is cut off from the choir, which, mainly Decorated in style, is one of the finest choirs in England, the exquisite tracery of its nine-light east window being of matchless beauty. There are monuments and other memorials to Paley, Dean Close, and Archbishop Tait's five children; and in Carlisle Cathedral Scott married Miss Carpenter (1797). The Eden, which has salmon fisheries, is crossed by a handsome five-arch bridge (1851). The manufactures include cotton, calico, hats, iron, and fancy biscuits; but the prosperity of the place mainly depends on its being a great railway centre. An ancient municipal borough, Carlisle since 1885 has returned only one member. Pop. (1801) 10,221; (1851)26,310; (1901)45,478. The Luguvallum of the Romans, and Caer-Luel (hence Carlisle) of the Britons, the town was destroyed by the Danes in 875, and restored by William Rufus in 1092.
From its position as a Border fortress, it has a wealth of martial memories - none more famous than the rescue of' Kinmont Willie' by Buccleuch from Carlisle Castle in 1596. During the Great Rebellion it twice surrendered to the Parliamentarians (1645-48); and in the '45 it was held by the Jacobites, thirty-one of whom were afterwards executed on Harraby Hill. See works by M. Creighton (1889) and R. S. Ferguson (1890).
Carlisle, capital of Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, 19 miles WSW. of Harrisburg by rail. It is the seat of Dickinson College (Methodist), and has United States barracks, machine-shops, a foundry, and manufactures of railway cars, carpets, window sashes, carriages, and shoes. It was shelled by the Confederates, July 1, 1863. Pop. 9620.