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Ordnance survey map of TULLIE HOUSE AND EXTENSIONS
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Carlisle (District Authority)
Non Civil Parish
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NY3956SE ABBEY STREET 671-1/6/33 (East side) 01/06/49 No.15 Tullie House and extensions (Formerly Listed as: ABBEY STREET (North side) Tullie House) (Formerly Listed as: ABBEY STREET (North side) Stable & Coachhouse block adjoining Tullie House)


House now part of museum; with library, school of art, museum and technical institution extensions now also part of the museum. House dated 1689 on lead rainwater head, for Thomas Tullie (later Dean of Carlisle); mid C18 alterations and additions. Extensions inscribed on foundation stone LAID BY BENJAMIN SCOTT ESQ JP MAYOR OF CARLISLE MAY 26TH 1892; completion date of 1893 over library entrance; by CJ Ferguson of Carlisle; later minor alterations and additions. The buildings extend from Abbey Street to Castle Street in an F-shape with attached gate tower, the lower arm of the F being the original house. ORIGINAL HOUSE: red sandstone ashlar (possibly over brick) on chamfered plinth, with V-jointed calciferous sandstone quoins and dressings; painted (wooden?) eaves modillions and cornice. Graduated greenslate roofs with coped right gable; rebuilt calciferous sandstone ashlar ridge and end chimney stacks. 2 storeys, 7 bays of double pile. Central panelled double doors in bolection surround and pulvinated frieze and console-bracketed broken segmental pediment. Sash windows with glazing bars in calciferous sandstone architraves on moulded sills, under alternating segmental and triangular pediments. Left return is hidden by 1892-3 extensions. Right return wall is of painted incised stucco, the valley between the roof is hidden by a heightened gable wall. Rear 3 bays are thought to be a 1730s or 1740s extension, with sash windows in painted stone surrounds. Right, large staircase sash window with glazing bars, could be in an C18 enlarged surround. INTERIOR has been extensively altered in the mid C18, but some of the painted panelled walls could be late C17. Panelled doors in painted wooden architraves and internal panelled shutters. Original oak staircase has turned and carved barley-twist balusters, ball newel posts and heavy moulded handrail; dado stair panelling. Fireplace in ground floor was revealed in recent renovation. Upper floor: oak full-height panelled room is mid C18, with carved fluted pilasters and Corinthian capitals; wooden cornice. This room also has 2 identical C18 white marble fireplaces with elaborate cast-iron grates. Moulded plaster ceiling cornices, some of which could be C17. Other bedroom fireplaces have been covered but retain cast-iron grates; one in a bolection surround. EXTENSIONS: Red sandstone; graduated greenslate roofs with some skylights. 2 and 3 storeys of numerous bays, comprising a GATE TOWER (librarian's house) now storerooms, facing onto Castle Street. Red sandstone ashlar on moulded plinth with string courses, pilasters and open parapet with carved lettering TULLIE HOUSE. 3 storeys, 3 bays. The left bay is recessed and carried up to form clock tower with copper-domed cupola and weather vane. Other 2 bays have left through archway with scrolled wrought-iron gates incorporating the city arms; 2- and 3-light cross-mullioned windows; 3- and 4-light mullioned windows on the upper floor. Over the entrance is a panel inscribed PUBLIC LIBRARY, MUSEUM AND SCHOOL OF ART. Low rear right-angle range links this with the library. PUBLIC LIBRARY (with art gallery over) is of quarry-faced red sandstone with ashlar dressings on moulded plinth and eaves cornice. 3-storey, 2-bay entrance hall has doorway facing the gatehouse; 2- and 3-light stone mullioned windows. Adjoining is the main library wing 2 storeys, 7 bays in L shape. Projecting 2-bay reading room has canted bay windows and blind panels above, carried up from basement with metal grille over the void. 5-bay newspaper room has tall casement windows in eared architraves with cornice and blind panels above. MUSEUM is also L-shaped, linking with the old house and library. Separately listed on 13/11/72 as the Stable Block. Entrance hall block has panelled double doors and fanlight in stone surround under pediment; above is a scrolled oval panel. Return has stone mullioned windows. The Natural HISTORY gallery extends towards Abbey Street and has 7 windows similar to those on the newspaper room with panels above. The 3-bay facade on Abbey Street has off-centre loading bay with panelled and glazed double doors in large segmental-arched quoined surround. Over it is an oval panel of carved city arms. Tall casement windows with glazing bars in stone architraves and panelled aprons under pediments. The rear wall facing towards Annetwell Street is of brick; part was knocked through for a library extension in 1936-7 (now demolished). A new Heritage Centre, to form part of Tullie House, is in progress at the time of survey (1989). INTERIOR of both entrance halls have stone cantilever staircases with scrolled wrought-iron rails incorporating shields of the city arms and moulded wooden handrail; decorative dado tiles in greens and browns, some of the tiling carried into the library. Some original doors in library and museum retain their etched glass names. For details of the history of this site, the house and its occupants see Bruce Jones CWAAS, Trans.NS LXXXVIII; C. Roy Hudleston, Cumberland News (1954); and for the 1891-2 fight to save the staircase in the proposed museum and library development see CJ and RS Ferguson correspondence in the Jackson Collection of Cumbria County Library. Illustrated in Pevsner (1967). Garden wall, gates and railings listed separately. (Cumb. & West. Antiquarian & Archaeological Soc., New Series: Jones, Bruce: LXXXVIII: Before Tullie House: P.125-148; Cumberland News: Hudleston, C Roy: 8 October 1954: P.3; Jackson Collection (Cumbria County Library); Pevsner N: Buildings of England : Cumberland and Westmorland: 1967-: PL.48).

Listing NGR: NY3976856027


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Cumberland and Westmorland, (1967), PL 48
'Cumberland News' in 8 October, (1954), 3
'Transactions Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society' in Transactions Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 88, (), 125-148


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 20 Sep 2006
Reference: IOE01/16110/20
Rights: Copyright IoE Lorna Freeman. Source Historic England Archive
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