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La Pergola Restaurant, Carlisle

The La Pergola is one of Carlisle’s oldest and probably one of best known of its Italian restaurants and can be found in the basement of a beautiful Georgian building at 28 Castle Street. Over the years the building on Castle Street has been used for many purposes but it is thought that the ghost of a maid haunts the basement restaurant.

I have not been able to account for the whole of the buildings history, in fact I have only found a few details. In 1831 the Quaker, Jonathan Dodgson Carr moved to Carlisle from Kendal and set up a biscuit shop in 28 Castle Street, baking out of a brick oven. He was not restricted to Castle Street for long and by 1837 he had built a biscuit factory at Caldewgate which received a Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria in 1841 and started a long association (175 years) with Carr’s biscuits and Carlisle.

The Castle Boutique opened as a coffee shop in the basement of 28 Castle Street during the 1960’s and during the 1970’s an Italian restaurant opened there. It became La Pergola in 1991.

Above La Pergola are the offices of a chartered structural engineers.

The ghost is thought to be a maid that connected to the building above. A review of the restaurant stated she had been ‘'sensed' and on occasion seen over the years.’

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