Walking Group with the Cracker Packers

My bookcase is starting to feel the strain of reading material that I have accumulated over the years. Part of the reason is the number of walking guides that I have acquired. The most used are the Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells by Alfred Wainwright [7 books] and a number of Cicerone Guides on local walks. My latest book is ‘Carlisle History Tour’ by Billy FK Howorth, first published in 2018 by Amberley Publishing of Stroud. It’s a gem!

After reading Billy’s book, I realised that there was much more to Carlisle than the Castle, Walls, Cathedral, Station, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams, so I decided to plan a walk that visited many of the locations in his book.

Chapel of St.Alban's West Walls and the railway

other side of B5307, Newtown Road. Walk through this park area to reach Wigton Road [A595]. Cross and turn left to head past the Cracker Packers statue to turn right into Shaddongate to Dixon’s Chimney [originally 305 feet tall]. Turn left into Junction Street, Charlotte Street, past Nelson Bridge to reach Victoria Viaduct. Continue to Carlisle Railway Station, to view The Botchard and English Gate [the main southern entrance to the City], The Citadel and Botchergate.

Now proceed to Lowther Street where you see the famous Congregational Church, The Gretna Tavern [now a bank], the site of Her Majesty’s Theatre [now a car park] and beyond you see the former Carlisle Grammar School building. From here, pass through The Lanes Shopping Centre and enjoy a lunch break in one of the many cafes, or a packed lunch in Market Place.

St. Cuthbert's Church

Carlisle History Tour Walk – 6 Miles appoximately. Start at the Rickerby Park Parking Area, off Brampton Road [Grid Ref NY414570]. Head west on the path on the north side of River Eden to view Rickerby Park, Eden Bridge and Gardens, then cross the bridge onto the south side of river to walk on the Hadrian’s Wall path into Bitts Park to view The Queen Victoria Monument. Exit via the path to The Castle near the Bitts Park Car Park onto the path in front of the Castle. Enjoy the view of Carlisle Castle [first built in 1092] and the structure opposite that was Irish Gate. Pass over the railway, River Caldew and Little Caldew on Bridge Street to pass Sainsbury’s to reach Carr’s Biscuit factory [now McVities].

Here at Caldewgate, see if you can find where Holy Trinity Church was located – look at the park on the


From here, walk down the path to the right of Marks & Spencer [original building here was Highmore House] to St. Cuthbert’s Church [where there is a pulpit on rails] and then on to The West Walls, Carlisle Cathedral, the site of St. Mary’s Church, The Archway, Abbey Street, Tullie House. Head back to

Market Place via Castle Street to see The Crown and Mitre Hotel, The Guild Hall, The Old Town Hall, The Steel Monument, The Market Cross and tucked behind the Old Town Hall is The Chapel of St. Albans. The chapel was constructed during the 14th century. Unfortunately, it was never consecrated and worship there was forbidden. Over the centuries, St Alban’s Row underwent few changes, becoming a home to many small businesses including a popular oyster shop.

War Memorial Bridge, Rickerby Park

From here, I suggest a quick look down Scotch Street, where The Scotch Gate and Prison once stood, then turn left into West Tower Street to pass The Covered Market to head down to Hardwicke Circus to see The Creighton Memorial. Return to Rickerby Park to see The War Memorial Bridge and The Cenotaph which is located near the parking Area.

I’ve highlighted the locations featured in Billy’s book in bold print. However, there are others which don’t quite fit into my walking tour – they are Port Carlisle, The Old Cumberland Infirmary, Fusehill Workhouse and Warwick Road.

I think Billy Howorth has produced a superb piece of work with just the right amount of historical information and images – see what you think!

The Guildhall Explore and discover! Stan

ISSUE 437 | 21 NOVEMBER 2019 | 8

Queen Victoria Monument at Bitts Park

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