Carlisle, Cumbria: History in Old Images

Old photo of The Market Place, Carlisle, Cumbria, 1890s

Enjoy a glimpse of history through old images of Carlisle, in Cumbria, England, UK.

Old Maps of Carlisle

The illustration of Carlisle’s streets and landmarks in an 1806 publication shows only a portion of the city, but with lots of detail about the buildings and structures, and layout of the plots of land.

The map below it shows the city’s layout and streets in 1891.


In the 1850s

By the 1850s, the interest and fascination for England’s historic places had long been recognised, and an increasing number of books and prints brought images of these ancient structures to homes around Britain and beyond.


The 1880s and 1890s

By the 1880s, the trade in books about history or historical places was well established. Photography was now almost 60 years old, but illustrations still dominated handbooks about places around Britain, even as filmmakers began to record Victorian streets and communities.

But as the twentieth century dawned, photography for commercial distribution was about to take centre stage.


Market Place in the 1890s

The next image, and the two closeups, are of the 1890s photo of Carlisle’s town centre. There is so much activity going on and the buildings are beautifully ornate, that it justifies a pause to admire this moment from the past.


Old Postcards of Carlisle


A Video of Vintage Postcards of Carlisle

“Postcards from Old Carlisle” – 0ldcarlisle on YouTube


Videos of Old Carlisle Photos

More short videos of vintage film and old photos of Carlisle:

Carlisle 2, Turning Back Time 2 – daverobe1 on YouTube

CARLISLE CUMBRIA UK – old photos & soundtrack – Zigatone on YouTube

Old Carlisle. Then and Now part 2 – Oldcarlisle on YouTube

Carlisle.. Then and Now – 0ldcarlisle on YouTube


Edwardian Denton Holme

The Huntley Film Archives collection contains a short film from 1911. It records the workers of Denton Holme, an inner city area of Carlisle in Cumbria. 

The streets are bustling with people, with the occasional bicycle and horse and cart. 

Because the men, women and children were curious about the filming, their faces and clothing are captured clearly for posterity. For the majority, this would be the only time in their lives they were filmed.

Workers of Dentonholme, Carlisle 1911, Archive film 977.. – HuntleyFilmArchives on YouTube


Prince Philip Visit 1958

This film from British Movietone records the 1958 Royal Visit of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, to Carlisle. Queen Elizabeth II was unable to attend because of illness, so was represented by her husband.

After arriving by royal train, Prince Philip was greeted at Carlisle station by a number of local dignatories including:

  • Colonel Sir Robert Chance,  BA, JP, Lord Lieutenant of Cumberland – who in 1944 donated Chances Park to the City of Carlisle
  • Councillor Irving Burrow, the Mayor of Carlisle

Prince Philip was then driven in an open car through the streets to a formal ceremony where he received flowers from a young girl called Pauline Farish. Then there was a historical procession, with local people parading in a range of costumes. Some even appeared on horseback. 

He then visited the Mitre Hotel for lunch with the city council.

In the afternoon, a childrens’ event took place at Bitts Park.

Many people turned out to cheer the royal visitor in all the locations shown.

The Duke Visits Carlisle – British Pathé on YouTube

Royal Visit to Carlisle – 1958 – British Movietone on YouTube

The same year, both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited the city together.

Queen and Duke Visit Carlisle (1958) – British Pathé on YouTube


Building the Marshalling Yard 1961

Between 1959 and 1963, a new marshalling yard was built in Carlisle as part of the British Rail modernisation programme. Marshalling yards were used to separate wagons and allow a change of crew at a time when freight was commonly transported by rail. 

British Pathé recorded some of the building activity in 1961. Several of the men are seen working.

Marshalling Yards Under Construction – Carlisle (1961)” – British Pathé on YouTube


Carlisle Railway Station 1960s

YouTube channel agdenyer uploaded this 1960s 8mm cine film, which includes shots of Carlisle Kingmoor MPD (Motor Power Depot) and Carlisle Station.

“British Railways Steam 1960’s Carlisle Station & Kingmoor MPD” – agdenyer on YouTube


Carlisle Power Station

Back in the late 1960s or early 1970s, the Carlisle power station was captured on a cine film home movie. It was uploaded by YouTube channel doctordiesel77.

Carlisle power station” – doctordiesel77 on YouTube


Carlisle in the Early 1980s

This footage from Tony Marshall shows the city in the early 1980s, possibly 1982 or 1983. 

“Carlisle – early 80s. Lanes demolished + panorama from top of Civic Centre” – Tony Marshall on YouTube


Carlisle’s Buses (1988)

YouTube channel DaveSpencer32 uploads videos from across the UK showing bus transport from the past few decades. This footage shows buses travelling about in the city back in 1988.

“CARLISLE BUSES 1988” – DaveSpencer32 on YouTube


Carlisle Railway Station 1989

Two pieces of footage show the city’s railway station in 1989. 

47570 + 87021 at Carlisle Station in 1989 – Felixjaz on YouTube

Rails in Carlisle 1989. 85/86/87/90 passing through – Mike Wilcock on YouTube


Carlisle Scooter Club 1980s/90s

Two video montages of old photos of the Carlisle Scooter Club in the late 1980s and early 1990s also show a number of locations in the background.

“Carlisle Scooter Club late 80’s+early nineties” – davemicjack on YouTube

“Carlisle scooter club Part 2” – davemicjack on YouTube


River Eden 2009

It’s estimated that the Cumbrian floods of 2009 caused £276m of damage.

YouTube channel naturearoundme caught the moment the River Eden in Carlisle was running very close to the outer flood defences.

“Flooding in Carlisle, Cumbria – Nov 2009” – naturearoundme on YouTube


More Pictures of Old Carlisle

Old Carlisle in Cumbria, England, enjoyed through historic photos, vintage pictures & archive film. Browse history in these fascinating old images of a bygone era on my Pinterest Board.


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