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Thursday 23 August 2012

Georgian Carlisle – an exhibition at Tullie House, Carlisle

My daughter Tisha in an outrageous wig!
Georgian Carlisle

While I was staying with relatives in the Scottish Borders last week, I had the chance to visit an interesting exhibition about Georgian Carlisle at Tullie House in Carlisle which runs until 9 September 2012.

Georgian style

The exhibition starts with a dressing up area which includes wigs, hats and fans – a great way to get into the Georgian spirit!

Famous Cumbrians

The displays trace the development of Carlisle during the reigns of the Georgians, and include many original artefacts, such as coins, portraits and a lovely selection of Georgian costumes, as well as a model of Georgian Carlisle. It highlights the development of the textile industry and tells of famous Cumbrians such as the physician and naturalist Dr John Heysham, the Carlisle miser, Margery Jackson, and the poet Robert Anderson.

Tea drinking and duelling

As I had two small children in tow, I was pleased to find the exhibition child-friendly. There was a play area with a tea set which my granddaughter loved; she may not have understood the importance of tea drinking in Georgian times, but she spent enough time playing to enable me to whizz round half the exhibition unaccompanied! In addition, there were materials and a light to enable you to draw each other’s silhouettes, and mock duelling pistols.

A great place for children

Carlisle Castle from the Lookout
Normal entry prices to Tullie House apply, which are very reasonable – £5.20 per adult, £3.60 for concessions and only 50p for children. As well as the Georgian exhibition, there are several other galleries to explore, including an open area called the Lookout which overlooks Carlisle Castle and an interactive Roman zone. This is very child-friendly, with lots of dressing up and other hands-on activities and children receive a personalised Roman ID card if they complete the four computer-based activities.

Lecture on Georgian fashion

There is a lunchtime lecture on 4 September by Melanie Gardner, Curator of Art at Tullie House, called “Georgian fashion: a style revolution”, which examines the changes in fashion over the Georgian period.

Photographs by Andrew Knowles -

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