on December 12, 2010
Tullie House museum and art gallery is a lovely little museum in Carlisle that is so often overlooked by visitors to the city which is a shame as it has some interesting exhibits about the history of both the City and the surrounding area. It is located directly across from the Castle with a very busy road seperating the two. The council have come up with two clever ways of joining the cities two main attractions and that is by way of the specially commissioned millenium bridge or the much more fun and interesting underground walkway. The undeground walkway is a must regardless of whether or not you are visiting the castle also as here is where you will find the large cursing stone which has developed a certain reputation within the city since it's unveiling. The cursing stone is a large round granite sculpture that was commisioned for the millenium and it is inscribed with the words of a 16th centuary curse. Ever since it's unveiling the city has been plagued with disasters ranging from foot and mouth to flooding. The stone is quite impressive to look at and it is interesting to see that superstition still happens even today. The walkway also has a glass wall that allows you a glimpse into the museum and also a few other sculptures and makes an interesting little walk. The museum itself is housed in a Grade 1 listed building which means that it is of high historical importance and has been extensively extended throughout the years to accomodate the ever growing collection it houses. When you enter there is a side exhibit hall which houses regular temporary exhibits which can range from paintings to installation art. This is free to visit or at least it was on my last vsit to the museum. Once you have visited the temporary exhibit hall you can then go into the museum proper and this costs £4.00 for adults, £2.50 for those who are entitled to the concession and it is free for anyone under he age of 18. The museum is open all year round with the exception of christmas day and boxing day and the closing time ranges from 4:00 pm to £5:00 pm depending on when in the year you visit. The museum mainly houses collections that have significance to the surrounding area and this includes art work by local artists and an extensive nature collection that concerns the wildlife and geology of Cumbria and the surrounding area. As interesting as these are the main reason to visit Tullie house in my opinion is for the excellent exhibits on Roman Carlise and the cities past as bloody battle ground between the English and the Scots. This is truely fascinating stuff and being Scottish I loved finding out about the strife over the city and how it had changed hands so many times and I had no idea about it's bloody past. Tullie house truely is a lovely museum and great for both adults and children alike. They seem to have carefully though out the museum and there is plenty to see and do and especially for children there are loads of interactive pieces so they can become more involved. If you are visiting the area then I really think it would be a shame if you missed out on visiting Tullie house as you could easily spend a whole day there and maybe even learn something new.
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