The Prince was here

Well obviously he didn’t stay in M & S, although that would have been an interesting scenario!

I have walked past here so many times and yet never noticed this plaque. Highmore House, which stood on this site before it was demolished in 1895, was a large and rather smart 18th century family home.

The story
Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Young Pretender, arrived in Carlisle in 1745 and took the city with little show of force due to the apparently deplorable state of the city defences. He stayed at Highmore House and left a small garrison to guard the city before heading south towards London to claim the British throne. A month later he was back, hotly pursued by the Duke of Cumberland’s army. Carlisle was quickly retaken by the Duke, who also stayed at Highmore House (a plaque commemorating this is on the wall further along). There’s a picture of what the house was like here.

This wouldn’t really have been a significant picture, as the plaque only refers to a site rather than an actual building. However, when I looked at the building itself, I was quite taken with it. One of the earliest M&S stores was built here in 1909 as a Penny Bazaar, but then in 1935 this new building was opened. It features on the M&S history website as typical of the 1930s stores that were grander than the previous ones and reflected the architecture of the time. I think it’s rather fine.

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