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THe Shed – More Life, Laws and Legacies

THe Shed in Tullie House may now be closed but there’s still chance experience the Tudor themes from the last exhibition.  Our original Tudor building the ‘Guildhall’ is open for this week of the school holidays and again in May for the summer.

Eloise shares with us some information about the final Shed exhibition and the Guildhall.


THe Shed exhibtion of Life, Laws and Legacies

The final shed exhibition, Life, Laws and Legacies has ended with the Mayor and Mayoress coming to re-open our treasured Guildhall Museum, which is the third oldest building in Carlisle after the Castle and Cathedral.


The Dormont Book

The Dormont Book



For those of you who missed seeing the City’s wonderful Dormont Book, there is a copy of the weird and wonderful old laws kept in the Guildhall, where you can see some of our treasures from Carlisle’s Tudor past.


You can see the huge iron bound Muniment chest where the City’s documents and treasure were stored, and also the world’s oldest sports trophies are housed in the Guildhall Museum.

Racing Bells

Racing Bells



These horse racing bells date from 1599 and older, and were given as prizes by the Tudor mayor and Lady Dacre.


The Guildhall

The Guildhall

Come and explore this beautiful oak beamed building, with its wattle and daub walls, and feel like you can step back in time. The men who signed the Dormont Book sat in these very rooms nearly 450 years ago.


Inside the Guildhall

Inside the Guildhall

Isaac Tully, whose family built Tullie House was a member of the merchants guild here. He still owes the Guild 40 shillings fine for allowing his sister to work in his shop!


So overall, are we really just terribly Modern Tudors? Well, yes, I think we might be!


THe Shed – Last week to see it!

This may be the last week of THe Shed but we’re not winding down yet.


our party spread

This last Monday we held a celebration party to thank everyone who helped make the 16 different projects unique and worthwhile.   I’m still totting up the final numbers, but so far there have been over 200 people who have directly participated with several thousand who have come to see the exhibitions.  Once all the data is in I will blog about this some more.


the aftermath of fun and games in the Border Galleries


All of the people who were involved – and we had a contact for – were invited to come along and help us enjoy some yummy food and get into the party spirit in a special evening opening of the galleries.

We had a lovely comment on Facebook after the party, with Sarah, one of the contributors to Making a Festive Exhibition of Yourself saying

“Just wanted to say thank you very much for having us all this evening. The food was gorgeous and it was so nice being able to show Harry’s Daddy around the museum as well.”

If you have taken part and want to tell us about your experience then I’d love to hear from you #THShed or message us on Facebook or leave your comment below.

There is still time to come and see what you have been missing.  Life, Laws and Legacies with Carlisle’s original Tudor Dormont book is still on show alongside some review panels of some of our past projects alongside our fabulous museum collection objects in What’s in Store.

Make this last chance count!



What is THe Shed?  Click and find out.

What is THe Shed? Click and find out.

THe Shed – Terribly Modern Tudors

The newest exhibition Life, Laws and Legacies: Tudor Carlisle in Modern Perspective is up and running.  And we can brag about another first for THe Shed – this being the first time Carlisle’s Dormont Book (the original  handwritten document that lists all of Carlisle’s bylaws)  has been on show in Tullie House.  Project leader and guest blogger Eloise introduces the show

We’re now into March, and the final project has just gone up in The Shed! Come and explore Carlisle’s Tudor past through the Dormont Book, written in 1561, and help contribute to the exhibition with your own stories of life in Carlisle.

Tiny Tudor pointy hands

Tiny Tudor hands

It’s been a crazy few weeks getting the last of the materials together, from re-designing the information panels, to cutting up loads of tiny Tudor pointing hands! Thanks to Jill, Cathy, Ian and Cassie, we’re installed and ready for visitors!

The Dormont Book

The Dormont Book





Working with the Dormont Book has been a fascinating experience. I’ve always loved Tudor history, but reading some of the actual laws from Carlisle’s past has been a real eye-opener in learning just how much we have in common with the real people of Carlisle nearly 450 years ago.

Cathy installing our turbulent Tudor street scene!

Cathy installing our turbulent Tudor street scene!





From stopping your pigs escaping onto the street to women setting up their own businesses, the book is full of colourful examples of the laws which governed Carlisle, and the legacies of the early council and city officials who still play a part in modern society


See it in THe Shed until 29 March

THe Shed – Capturing Cumbria’s Voice

7 March to 23 March 2015

Steve and jenn

A brand new collaborative piece of work by two of Cumbria’s emerging artists is on now in THe Shed.

Steve Crook and Jenn Mattinson’s project uses photographs, sound effects and recorded interviews to create some fascinating insights into some of Cumbria’s residents.  For example, who knew that horse physiotherapy was practiced?  Now’s your time to find out!  Jenn as guest blogger tells us about their work:

Capturing Cumbria’s Voice  Social History in the making

We have been working on a project that explores the relationship between portrait photography, people’s stories and sound.

The lives of four folk from Cumbria was our focus. From a variety of social and economic backgrounds, Gordon, Ross, Dawn and Bob shared their passions, experiences, memories and personality through their willingness to be photographed and interviewed.  The result is a demonstration of how seemingly ordinary people living within our region are contributing to its unique social history.

The four selected profiles, that appear as a slideshow of images and sound, have been designed to capture interest from a wide ranging audience.  The people behind the profiles are very genuine, honest individuals at different points in their lives, expressing a real passion for their chosen subjects.  Themes include transport enthusiasm, aspirations to become a champion boxer, horse physiotherapy and a love of music.

In situ

In situ

Steve and I have married together a collection of artistic mediums – portrait photography, oral history, spoken word, poetry and sound effects – and hope that the result will reflect the ways in which different art forms can work together and complement each other to provide a slightly more unconventional way of showcasing and displaying artistic work.  This is our first artistic collaboration.




Here’s a little more about each artist:

Steve Crook’s photography belongs to a genre that combines portraiture and social documentation, inspired by the likes of Daniel Meadows, Tony Ray-Jones, Chris Killip and Larry Fink.  A great deal of his work is presented in the form of photostories or collections.  Recent projects include ‘Rare Breed’, a study of the members of Springfield Homing Club and ‘Jubilee, the way we were’, a series of portraits taken on the day of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  Steve is currently working with descendants of World War One soldiers to create a photographic link between those who fought and those they fought for.

Jenn Mattinson is a freelance Creative Practitioner, specialising in oral history, sound and media, theatre and reminiscence.  She is passionate about working creatively in local communities, with young people, adults, the older generation and in an intergenerational context.  Jenn is currently working with Morecambe Bay Partnership to facilitate and deliver a four year oral history project centred on the inshore fishing communities across Morecambe Bay.  She is also leading a series of creative arts sessions for older people in West Cumbria and for people living with dementia at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick.

See it in the Work in Progress area of THe Shed until the 23rd.



What is THe Shed?  Click and find out.

What is THe Shed? Click and find out.

THe Shed – #Photobomb!

The Roman in question

The Roman in question

There’s a fantastic opportunity to get your photographs on show in THe Shed.  Maybe you just prefer to see what everyone else has been up to…  Guest blogger Catherine tells you about the latest project to go on show and how you can get involved.

The latest instalment in THe Shed is our Roman Photobomb exhibition which was designed and co-curated by our Yak Yak youth panel.

Installation day

Installation day

The group are inviting visitors to take a mini roman to their favourite places in the county and then send us their photos to go on display in the museum.

Kate and Herdy

Mini Roman photobombs Kate and Herdy


Mini Roman taking a dip

Mini Roman with Safron

Mini Roman with Safron













The group also picked every-day objects with some significance to them, and our curator of archaeology found the Roman equivalents in our collection. In the exhibition, these objects sit side by side for visitors to make comparisons between old and new.

The exhibition is running for just one more week, so pick up a mini Roman today, and send us your photos to see your picture on display in Tullie House.

For more information about the Yak Yak youth panel, and how you can get involved, contact Catherine on, or visit our Yak Yak facebook page for more information.


What is THe Shed?  Click and find out.

What is THe Shed? Click and find out.

THe Shed – Entertain us!

What is THe Shed?  Click and find out.

What is THe Shed? Click and find out.

A few posts ago I mentioned that we’re putting together the plans for THe Shed end of show party.  We could do things the conventional way and ask an entertainer to come in do their stuff, but we do things THe Shed way so we’re handing over the entertaining to you!

What is your talent?

What’s your talent?

Do you (or someone you know) have a talent that you’d like to showcase at THe Shed party?  Perhaps you’d like to show a piece of your art work, perform with your a cappella group or play some original acoustic music.

Maybe you’re an actor and can perform a dramatic monologue or poetry, or are part of a dance troop.   Or something much

more interesting I haven’t thought of.  Whatever it is you can do – we want to help you to celebrate it.

Are you part of a dance group?

Are you part of a dance group?

Maybe you rap

Maybe you rap

So if you’d like to get involved this is what you need to do:  Make a video or take a picture and tweet it using #THShed.  If we, or @tulliehouse followers, really like what you’re doing you can come and take part.  If your talent relates to Carlisle and/or Tullie House then all the better.


There are a few things to note:

I’ll tweet from @tulliehouse on Thursday 12 March to ask if you’d like to come along and perform on the party night on Monday 23 March.

There isn’t a lot of space and we can’t make lots of noise so bear this in mind.  We can make room for up to 7 people in a group and please assume there will be no access to electricity or a PA system.

Don’t be shy, entertain us!

If you don’t want to get involved in this way then you can follow the videos on @tulliehouse or come and see our brand new exhibition Roman Photobomb in THe Shed.

Bye for now.  Claire.



THe Shed – All change (again)

As ever there’s another quick turn around happened and another round the corner.  So I would encourage you to come and see the wonderful work presented by the Great Art Quest in its last week and our apprentices’ display in its first.

Our ever-changing Shed

Our ever-changing Shed

I’ll start with Great Art Quest, as it’s been on display for a little over two weeks now and it’s fair to say that there’s been a very warm response from visitors to this project, one visitor stating:

Well done to all the talented children who made the fantastic art work for Art Quest.  Love them all x

This enthused response is reflected by the guest blog post by the project’s lead, Anna.  See if her enthusiasm for the project can tempt you to come along.

The Great Art Quest exhibition in THe Shed is up and running! On the 26th January we had a Celebration Day with all the teachers, pupils and artists involved in the exhibition – the children had the chance to see each other’s work and perform their storytelling pieces in our Lecture Theatre.

Visitors have been so impressed with the quality of the children’s work, and we’ve had some great comments left for us.  Five primary schools took part in the project and created these pieces:

Morland Area C of E Primary School

Morland Area C of E Primary School’s multimedia work

Morland Area C of E Primary School created this amazing sculpture inspired by one of the paintings in our collection, ‘The Rift within the Lute’ by Arthur Hughes. Listen carefully when you visit and you’ll hear the lady’s thoughts!

Newtown Community Primary School

Newtown Community Primary School’s chimney


Newtown Community Primary School made Dixon’s Chimney out of wooden printing blocks, with the words printed on the hanging related to industry and Carlisle’s history.

Alston & Nenthead Primary Schools’ mobile




Alston & Nenthead Primary Schools were inspired by Edward Burne-Jones’ ‘The Battle of Flodden Field’, and made this set of pieces made from paper pulp and metal foil, along with this beautiful mobile.

Kirkby Thore's fabulous textile piece

Kirkby Thore’s fabulous textile landscape

And finally, Kirkby Thore used our collection of landscapes as inspiration for this incredible textile piece showing the view of their local area.


The exhibition will be on display until Sunday 15th February, so if you’ve not had a chance to take a look you still have a few days left!


If you saw yesterday’s Meet the Staff blog then you’ll know that Cassie and her colleagues have been hard at work this week installing their own display in THe Shed.  As part of the Work In Progress area Cassie, Claire and Katie reveal their insights into life as a Tullie House apprentice.

Apprentices hard at work

Tullie’s apprentices hard at work



Meet the Staff – Cassie Smith – Apprentice Curatorial Assistant

IMG_0876Cassie Smith, one of our apprentices, gives us an insight into what she does here at Tullie House. To find out more about the apprentices they currently have a display in THe Shed.

How long have you been working at Tullie House?

I’ve been the Curatorial apprentice at Tullie house since the end of March 2014.

Talk us through your average working day.

On a day-to-day basis I research moments in history – at the moment it is World War One, I do my apprenticeship work, create graphs and input data. I also work in other areas of the organisation for example helping out at events and creating ‘treasures’ on the Treasures of Cumbria website.

What is the best part of your job?

My favourite part of my job is when I get to handle the artefacts. To me, it’s something so special as I never thought I’d get to do something like this.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

As I’m an apprentice, I think the hardest and most challenging part of my job would be balancing my apprenticeship work and my job. It can sometimes get out of hand if you’re given a lot of work to do and you have assignments to write up as well.

Do you have a favourite spot in Tullie House?

My favourite spot is, and always has been ever since I was little, the Wildlife Dome. I love the changing sky and the sounds. I used to sit on the benches for what seemed like ages watching the cycle over and over again.

What is your best Tullie House memory or experience?

I have many memories of Tullie House by my favourite one is a recent one. I’d just started my job here and was asked if I could help out at the Steampunk night. I think that will always be my favourite memory as there was so much going on and I loved being a part of it and helping out.

Outside of Tullie House, what is your favourite thing to do/favourite place in Cumbria?

I think my favourite thing to do outside of Tullie House is cycling or reading graphic novels.

Do you have any advice for people interested in pursuing a career in a museum?

Being able to work and learn at the same time has been very beneficial for me and before this, I had no idea I wanted to work in a museum. Being able to gain a qualification through an apprenticeship I think, is the best way to go as you’re not only gaining skills and a qualification, but you also have a job and are gaining experience as you learn.

Describe Tullie House in five words.

I would describe Tullie House in 5 words as: Unique, fun, friendly, entertaining and interesting.

Join in our celebration

Remembrance 100 - Our first Shed project co-curated with students from Trinity School.

Remembrance 100 – Our first Shed project co-curated with students from Trinity School.

Although there are a couple of exciting displays still to come, we’ve been putting the finishing touches to our plans for the End of Show party.  (Not to give the game away, but there’ll be a shed theme!) This will be our opportunity to celebrate with and thank everyone who got involved in some way.  Perhaps you lent us an object, participated in a project or told us about your favourite object when you’ve visited the gallery – if we can, we’ll be in touch.  So, as long as you have left us your contact details then you will receive an invitation to our party.

A Day in Cumbria built a timeline comparing events in Cumbria on the 5 Dec in 1914 to the 5 Dec in 2014.

A Day in Cumbria built a timeline comparing events in Cumbria on the 5 Dec in 1914 to the 5 Dec in 2014.

Another way to get involved is if you’ve seen a Shed exhibit that you’ve enjoyed – why not share your comments, pictures or videos with us.  You may have the opportunity to be included in the end of show event!  You can leave a comment below or send them via

Over Christmas some families joined us to 'Make a Festive Exhibition of themselves'

Over Christmas some families joined us to ‘Make a Festive Exhibition of themselves’

If you don’t have the opportunity to join us for the party, not to worry, we’ll have a new display and ‘happenings’ from 16th March for all to get involved with in the Work in Progress area.  Watch this space.

All this talk about endings is a little premature as there are many fab things we can still get to see right now.  This is the last week to see Georgie Clough’s work in situ, the Great Art Quest is on this and next week and new information is being added about or collection objects all the time.

Young local artist Georgie Clough's work was displayed in THe Shed.

Young local artist Georgie Clough’s work displayed in THe Shed.

We’d love to see you there!


The results of The Great Art Quest are in THe Shed

Another week and another brand new exhibition for you.  This time round, a series of collaborative art works made by school pupils from across north Cumbria. I was blown away by the quality and variety of the work when I first saw them all installed so I encourage you to come and see what I’m talking about.  To give a little more background to this fascinating  project, the co-ordinator Anna has written this week’s blog for us:

Our latest exhibition in THe Shed opened – Great Art Quest! In September 2014, Tullie House was selected as one of four organisations to take part in The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Art’s national ‘Great Art Quest’ programme.  Great Art Quest aims to get children inspired by their local gallery and for our project we worked with 88 Year 5 & 6 pupils from five local primary schools: Alston Primary School, Kirkby Thore Primary School, Morland Area C of E Primary School, Nenthead Primary School, Newtown Community Primary School.

The schools explored the Fine Art collection in Old Tullie House, from paintings and printed textiles to sculpture and metalwork. The visit was facilitated by local artist Karen MacDougall and storyteller Ian Douglas. Working over a number of sessions at school, Karen helped the children produce large scale art works inspired by three common themes that they drew from their visit to Tullie House: landscape, people and stories.  The pieces include a sculpture of Dixon’s Chimney made out of wooden printing blocks, a two metre long woven hanging and a life-sized wire model of a lady covered in a carpet of flowers! Ian worked with the children on physical and verbal responses to the work, including riddles, short stories and recordings of the ‘thoughts’ of elements of the landscapes. He has also worked with the children to create short performances that explore some of the themes of their pieces.

Installation was remarkably stress free, mainly due to the expertise of Cathy and Eloise! Here are a few photos from the installation, with Cathy mid-staple, Cathy mid staple

Karen constructing Dixon’s Chimney Karen dixons chimney

and one of the finished pieces – a mobile made from metal foil featuring answers to riddles created by pupils from Alston & Nenthead!


The exhibition will be on display until Saturday 14th Feburary, we hope to see you there.

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