The Cursing Stone – Carlisle

Since the installation of the ‘Cursing Stone’ in Carlisle it has become the focus for many things going wrong or for events of biblical magnitude in the local area.

Installed as part of the Millennium Gallery underneath Castle Way, the granite art work has been blamed for the outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease, the Carlisle floods and many other local tragedies.

Cursing Stone in Carlisle

Cursing Stone in Carlisle

The artwork  was made by Andy Altman and  designed by artist Gordon Young.

It sits at the end of an 80 metre path which bears the names of all the Reiver families.

Gordon was born in Carlisle and is from an ancient Reiver family.

It features just over 300 words from a 1,069 word curse which dates back to the 16th Century,  a curse made against robbers, blackmailers and highwaymen who blighted the area 500 years ago.

This text comes from what is said to be one of the worlds longest curses.

The curse was first invoked by the Archbishop of Glasgow, Gavin Dunbar, in 1525 against cross border families, known as the “reivers”, who lived by stealing cattle, rape and pillage.

It is known as the ‘Monition of Cursing’.

Priests in all of the parishes of the border lands were required to read out the curse.

During 2005 Carlisle City Council discussed the removal of the stone to outside the City boundary or even to destroy it.

It is not clear how much the stone weighs as reports vary from between 7-tons and 14-tonnes.

Further information

Has an art installation cursed Carlisle? A number of locals are blaming a stone sculpture for a series of local calamities. Tanya Gold visits the stricken city in an attempt to lift the spell
Archbishop to lift ‘evil’ curse linked to foot and mouth
AN “evil” 16th-century curse inscribed on a giant stone in Cumbria – the centrepiece of a £6.7 million millennium exhibition – is to be “exorcised” by an archbishop after clergy complained that it generated “spiritual violence”.

%d bloggers like this: