Raffles, Cumbria

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The minor road from the Raffles Estate and new housing areas meet the A595. Looking north-east towards Carlisle centre.

Raffles or the Raffles Estate is a suburb of Carlisle, Cumbria, United Kingdom. The estate consists mainly of council built and Housing association properties, and in 1994 had a population of 5,800. Nearby areas include Belle Vue, Newtown, Sandsfield Park and Morton West.


Raffles was built during the 1920s and 1930s and was highly sought after as a place to live by council tenants of the time.[1] By 1994 the area had deteriorated; a report published in The Independent on Sunday in April 1994 condemned the estate as a no-go area with a high level of crime. One resident was reported to have said "If you've got a problem in Raffles, get a shotgun".[2]

By the first decade of the 21st century the housing estate had undergone significant redevelopment and modernisation.[3] The £9 million redevelopment plan got underway in 2004 and saw many of the original council properties demolished and replaced with new housing stock. This was completed in three stages,[4] the last building phase being finished in 2009. In 2010 Carlisle Police discovered a large amount of heroin at a house on the estate, described as one of the largest to be found in the area in recent years.[5]

Notable residents[edit]

Helen Grant, the current MP for Maidstone and The Weald and the Conservative Party's first black female MP, grew up on the estate.[6] Author Margaret Forster (1938–2016) was born there.[7]


  1. ^ "The Raffles Estate: Then and Now". BBC Cumbria. BBC. 13 November 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "No-Go Britain: Where, what, why". The Independent on Sunday. Independent Newspapers Ltd. 17 April 1994. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  3. ^ Legg, Matthew (17 February 2009). "New homes for rent on Carlisle's Raffles estate". Cumberland News. Retrieved 12 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "Lovell to start work on £9m Carlisle housing regeneration scheme". CountracJournal.com. 15 January 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2010. 
  5. ^ Thorpe, Caroline (20 July 2010). "Humble Helen". Inside Housing. Retrieved 19 August 2010. 
  6. ^ Whittle, Julian (7 May 2010). "Ex-Carlisle mum wins ‘safe’ seat to become Tories first black woman MP". News & Star. Retrieved 27 September 2010. 
  7. ^ The Guardian: Margaret Forster, award-winning author, dies at 77 (accessed 8 February 2016)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°53′29″N 2°58′01″W / 54.89137°N 2.96708°W / 54.89137; -2.96708