On the week of the Scottish referendum for independence, Carlisle Castle is in Jacobite hands once more.
However, Carlisle people need not fear because on my walk this morning I spied some of the Duke of Cumberland’s men in their famous red coats and black tricorn hats on their way to rescue the Castle.
These costumed men are part of the cast for the Outlander tv series which is being filmed at Carlisle Castle this week.
1745 Jacobite uprising
Carlisle Castle, the most besieged castle in the British Isles, features in this time of great turmoil on the Scottish / English border.
The Jacobite rebellion of 1745 had much support in the then English county of Cumberland and when “The Young Pretender”, Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) returned from exile in Europe, he and his supporters took the Scottish capital of Edinburgh and headed on south to take the border fortress of Carlisle Castle.
On the 13th November 1745 Carlisle Castle was surrendered to the Jacobites but only a month later on the 21st December, the Duke of Cumberland’s army re-took the city of Carlisle and it’s Castle.
Jacobite soldiers were incarcerated in the dark, damp castle dungeons under the most dreadful of conditions.
They were chained and forced to lick the stone of the walls in order to obtain some moisture.
Those indented stones can be seen today by visitors brave enough to enter the darkest recesses of the castle.
In 1746 the Jacobite prisoners were hung, drawn and quartered at Gallows Hill in Carlisle and The Capon Tree at nearby Brampton.
In April 1746, The Jacobite cause ended when the army was massacred by the English government’s “Redcoats” led by the Duke of Cumberland at the Battle of Culloden. Bonnie Prince Charlie fled again to exile in Europe.
The American TV series, ‘Outlander’ is based on the international best-selling books by Diana Gabaldon.