The archaeology collection consists of over 12,000 man-made objects that date to before the end of the Tudors in 1603. The majority of these come from the northern part of Cumbria and Carlisle, but some objects in the collection come from much further afield.

The oldest object in the archaeology collection is a hand-axe dating to 10,000 BC. The majority is much more recent. The Prehistory collection includes material from the polished stone-axe ‘factory’ in the Langdale area of the central Lake District. The Early Bronze Age is represented by funeral pottery and metalwork. There are only a few objects that date to later prehistory. The Roman collection covers the City of Carlisle, called Luguvalium Carvettiorum by the Romans, and the western end of Hadrian’s Wall located within Cumbria. The Early Medieval period is again sparsely represented, but includes two important Viking burials. The post-conquest Medieval material includes pottery and religious objects as well as rare wooden and leather finds.

The museum also holds an extensive collection of coins dating from the beginning of the Roman period through to the late 20th century. This includes several excavated hoards from the Roman and Medieval periods.

Middle and New Stone Age

Lenticular flint arrowhead

The Prehistory collection begins in the Middle Stone Age (Mesolithic), about 8,000 to 4,000 BC. It includes much material collected from the west coast of north Cumbria including such sites as Drigg and Eskmeals. Material representing the New Stone Age (Neolithic), about 4,000 to 2,500 BC, includes...

Bronze Age

Stone spearhead mould

The Bronze Age collection contains a range of metalwork, from axe and spearheads to examples of gold jewellery. There is also a large collection of funeral pottery, showing a range of forms from beakers to incense containers that were buried in graves. Unusual items in the collection include a...

Roman Carlisle and Hadrian's Wall

Tullie House’s large collection of Roman artefacts includes an internationally important set of organic (mostly wooden and leather) objects from excavations of the fort and town located under present day Carlisle, as well as an outstanding collection of inscribed and sculptured stones. The museum...

Early Medieval Carlisle

Tullie House holds a small Early Medieval collection, representing Anglo-Saxon and Viking settlement in the area near Carlisle. This includes a number of fragments from carved stone crosses, as well as two warrior burials that contain iron weapons and a small number of decorated items, including a...

Later Medieval to Tudor

Bone manicure set

The Later Medieval collection contains a number of rare organic objects of wood and leather, as well as a large collection of pottery. There is also a range of religious material, from ring brooches to a reliquary, representing the importance of the church in Medieval times. The museum also holds a...


Curatorial Team

Our team works with items, except geology, which have been excavated or are older than four hundred years. We also manage paper archives relating to excavations. This includes:

  • Prehistory
  • Romans
  • Vikings
  • Medieval inhabitants
  • Reivers

If you have any queries about our collections, or are interested in booking a talk or a tour from a member of our curatorial team (charges apply), please contact us at or (01228) 618773.


Tullie House also hosts a member of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, who can advise on objects that have been found by members of the public (including treasure objects). Our Finds Liason Officer, Lydia Prosser, can be contacted at  


Telephone: (01228) 618773