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Carlisle Cathedral is inside the south-east
corner formed by Castle Street and Paternoster Row. Henry I granted
land here to what became an Augustinian priory, possibly replacing
a Celtic foundation. In 1133 the priory church was designated a
cathedral. What had begun as St Mary's (Old) Church became
the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity. The
heart of the old church came to form the nave of the cathedral (the
east end is shown here).
The break in the cathedral wall at the meeting of
Paternoster Row and Castle Street immediately to the north of the
cathedral's western end once led to the old entrance into St Mary's.
On the other side of the north transept window another vestry covers
the original entrance into the church. Extensions and rebuilds took
place up to 1380 and the tower was completed by 1419. St Mary's
(New) Church was built in 1870 to replace the lost 'old' church (see
St Mary's Priory stood within the grounds
of what is now the cathedral and its ancillary buildings. It may
have replaced a much earlier monastery that had been visited by St
Cuthbert in 685. Henry I granted land here for a religious community
in 1102 and in 1122 invited the Augustinian order to take over and
form a priory. In 1133 the priory church was designated a cathedral
(see above). The priory was dissolved in 1541 and its foundation
recreated as the cathedral church.
St Sepulchre's Hospital seems to have
been a vigorous institution in the 1200s, but the lack of detail
regarding it makes it impossible to specify its precise location or
even its later history. At a date between 1309-1327 John de Crosseby,
master at St Nicholas' Hospital outside the city walls (see links),
sent a petition to the king in council about certain arrears due
on lands that had been leased to the hospitals by Henry III.
Nothing more about it is known.
St Mary's (New) Church was the replacement
for the old church of the same name that had been incorporated into
the cathedral construction (see above). The site given to the
new church was what is now a green space immediately outside the
cathedral gates, and on the southern side. It was built in 1870 but
its parish was combined with that of St Paul in 1932 and, with
post-war church attendances tumbling, it was demolished in 1954. The
site is now a garden.
Abbey Close Quaker Meeting began in 1653
in the cathedral grounds, although where is not known. Quakers in
Carlisle were amongst the earliest in the country to have a meeting
house. This one was visited by George Fox in the same year,
following a spell in prison in Carlisle Castle. Meetings continued
to be held with difficulty - they were sometimes locked out of the
meeting house and had to use the cathedral instead. Their premises
were withdrawn from use in 1660.
Eaglesfield Dominican Abbey is sometimes
marked on maps at the southern side of the present cathedral but in
fact seems never to have existed. 'Egglesfield', or Eaglesfield,
abbey was a tiny extra-parochial district, later a civil parish,
near the cathedral, which existed between 1858-1904. Roughly, it
seems to have consisted of the south-east corner of the abbey
precinct, and the land between St Cuthbert's Church and the west
walls, and including the tithe barn.
St Cuthbert's Church stands at the
northern end of Blackfriars Street, on its western side, and flanked
along the south by Heads Lane. St Cuthbert is said to have visited
Christians in Carlisle in 685, at which time there was a monastery
operating amid the remains of the Roman town. The church of St
Cuthbert is believed to have been founded around this time. It
stands not on an east-west alignment but square to the Roman road
north through Carlisle (now the A6).
The present building is certainly not the
original one. In fact it is thought to be the fourth, having been
built in 1778-1779 (although the inscribed weather vane insists on
the first of these two dates). The first was rebuilt in 870, and
that was replaced in 1090. That version was clearly upgraded over
time: a window of the 1300s survives in the current building which
was altered again in 1880. Today it also houses a Methodist
congregation, while the graveyard was closed in 1854.
Elim Pentecostal Church was located on
the western side of West Walls, about eighty metres north of St
George's United Reformed Church (looking north here along the wall).
In 1927 the Elim congregation moved here, taking existing secular
buildings that had previously been used by the Fawcett School
between 1892-1914. They remained here until 1979 when they moved
to St Paul's Church on Lonsdale Street. The West Walls premises
was later demolished.
All photos on this page by Steve Bulman
of 'The Churches of Britain and Ireland'.