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The fort became the nucleus of a prosperous town named Luguvalium, which by the mid-2nd century was one of the most important military bases in Roman Britain.After the end of the Roman occupation of Britain, Carlisle may have been the administrative capital of the Romano-British kingdom of Rheged.Unlike most medieval castles, it has been continuously occupied since its foundation by William II in 1092.From the 18th century to the 1960s it was the headquarters of the Border Regiment, one of the oldest in the British army. It may not display all the features of this and other websites.To improve security and online experience, please use a different browser or update Internet Explorer.Henry I (r.1100–35) visited Carlisle in 1122 and ordered that it be ‘fortified with a castle and towers’.

Carlisle’s position on the border between England and Scotland made it a vital stronghold and border defence, and also vulnerable to crises in Anglo-Scots relations.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later Richard III (r.1483–5), was among the notable figures who filled the role.

After 1538 England’s diplomatic isolation was emphasised by Scotland’s renewed alliance with France.

One of the most determined sieges was that in 1315 by Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, following his victory over the English at the Battle of Bannockburn the previous year.

The Scots failed to take the castle, however, and they retreated with the loss of only two English lives.

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