Set high into the walls of Carlisle Castle in north Cumbria is a carved stone that has had me puzzled for many years.
Inscribed with the capital letters W.D.B.S. No1 and featuring an upward facing arrow the origin of this stone, or concrete marker, is initially unclear.
Research done many years ago revealed little about this addition to the castles structure and if mentioned locally many people are unaware of its existence.
However, a recent internet search possibly indicates that it dates from the creation of the British War Department and marks the boundary of their control.
War department connection
If it is a War Department Boundary Stone (WDBS) it is possibly the first of a series outlining land used by the military around the city. These would be possibly be numbered sequentially.
The British War Department was created, according to Wikipedia, in 1794. It later became the Ministry of Defence (MOD).
The castle has never fallen out of use and has been continuously occupied since its foundation by King William II (‘William Rufus’, reigned 1087–1100) in 1092.
Do you know if any other WDBS can be found in the city? Let me know via the comments area below.
The stone I photographed can be found on the edge of the castle walls where Devonshire Walk joins Castle Way. In my picture you can just see the Irish Gate footbridge in the background.
Geograph – WD Marker stones