Cursing Stone & Reiver Pavement
Carlisle, 2003


As part of Carlisle’s millennium project, a new underground extension was built to connect Tullie House Museum with Carlisle Castle. The brief was to create a cultural link between the two sites.

The theme of the Boarder Reiver families became the focus of the work (Gordon Young was born in Carlisle and from an ancient Reiver family) as the Archbishop of Glasgow’s infamous curse of 1525 was re-presented. Aimed at the Reiver families known for terrorising the region, the curse was read out by priests in every parish in an attempt to curb the illegal activities.

Inscribed into a large 14 ton granite boulder his ‘ Mother of all Curses’ sits at the end of an 80 metre path which bears the names of all the Reiver families. Even before its installation, the stone caused controversy, being cited as a possible ‘shrine for devil worship’ and even being blamed for the outbreak of foot and mouth disease.


In collaboration with:
Typography – Why Not Associates
Implementation – Russell Coleman

Carlisle City Council