Room 22 in the Keep of Carlisle Castle reveals more of its stories and secrets in even greater detail and depth.
The chance discovery of twenty-five previously unknown medieval outline images, carved on the walls in Room 22 in the Keep of Carlisle Castle reveals an elaborate carving process – one entirely unsuspected – which the original illiterate and untrained garrison soldiers and local peasants were thought not to be sufficiently skilled to perform. Equally, the additional images lend even more support to the hypothesis that the earliest carvings were requested by the Castle’s governor, possibly King David I of Scotland, as decorations to the small room in his apartment complex on the second floor of the Keep in the late 1100s.
The book also traces the fortunes of the Barons of Gillesland – the Vauxs, the Moultons, the Greystokes and the Dacres – along with the adoption by these families of mythical heraldic animals – ‘supporters’ of their coats of arms, which later became known as ‘The Dacre Beasts’, now on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
A full account of the pictograms, featured on the stone blocks of Room 22, is offered – telling the spellbinding tales of such border heroes as Sir Andrew de Harcla, Sir James Douglas and his ‘Band of Brothers’ and, of course, Baron Thomas Dacre of Flodden Field fame. Also covered in detail are the stories of St. Sebastian and the ‘Black Death’, the ‘Bloody Battle of Towton’ and the Siege of Carlisle in 1460.
Carvings in the Great Hall reveal connections between the Bruces and Comyns at the turn of the 13th century as defending governors and attackers of Carlisle’s Royal Border Fortress. Other images hint at possible connections with other Reivers like Kinmont Willie and Hutcheon Graham, as well as the raids across the border by hundreds of Moss Troopers during ‘Ill Week’ in 1603 in the first days of James I’s reign.
Truly, Room 22 hints at more of its secrets on this second visit.
ISBN 978 07223 4649-5
Paperback – 148 pages