790 years of history, and counting

Place of Heritage

Rose Castle is unique in its 790 year history with a three-fold combination of being the palace of the bishops of Carlisle, an episcopal manor castle within the Carlisle diocese and, from 1350 until 1650, a major border fortress.




Richard Bell (1478-95), the twenty-fifth bishop of Carlisle spent substantial sums of money on building work at Rose Castle.

After the Civil War, Edward Rainbow (1664-1684), the forty-third bishop of Carlisle remodelled Rose Castle in a style that lasted over 150 years.

Today fresh renovation is underway...

More information on the 2019/2020 refurb

67 Bishops

King Henry I created the diocese and cathedral of Carlisle in 1133.

King Henry III gifted 'La Rosa" to Walter Mauclerk (1223-46), the fourth bishop of Carlisle for his services in 1230, having served as treasurer of England from 1227.

Discover the Bishops at Rose Castle and their hand in history.

Tell me more about the Bishops!


Back in September 1300 Bishop John Halton (1292-1324), the ninth bishop, entertained King Edward I and his court at Rose Castle.

Read memories of Rose Castle by the poet Samuel Coleridge and by Dorothy Wordsworth after their visit with William Wordsworth on Tuesday 16 August 1803...

What are your memories of Rose Castle?

Explore timeless memories


Sarah Snyder as founder director of Rose Castle Foundation has the vision of using historical Rose Castle, itself a witness to border warfare and conflict, as a safe space to bring people of opposing views together to learn better how to "disagree well". 

Rose Castle Company is committed to opening the Castle up for a variety of group stays, using the Castle as a "space to re-imagine".

Our Future Vision

Stay in touch

We are keen to engage with friends and neighbours in the community who have a special heart or interest in Rose Castle.

We share an inheritance of history and identity in Rose Castle which has survived many sieges and destruction in times of war, and also strong community and pastoral care from a line of Bishops through 800 years.

Please get involved, or hear more about the castle's history and the current renovation plans via our Rose Castle Heritage Newsletter.

Rose Castle Heritage Newsletter

Once a month we hope to delight you with a couple of historical stories about the Castle along with fresh news on the building programme underway through 2019 and 2020.