Carlisle is the county seat of Nicholas County, Kentucky. It is located at the junction of Kentucky Route 32 and Kentucky Route 36, about halfway between Lexington and Maysville. The population was 2,010 at the 2010 census.
Carlisle was founded in 1816 when John Kincart donated land to facilitate the relocation of the county seat from Ellisville, 5 miles (8.0 km) to the north. The town was probably named for Carlisle, Pennsylvania, hometown of Kincart's father. The fourth, and final, courthouse was built in 1893-1894 which is still in use today as are most of the buildings along Main Street and Courthouse Square which were built in the 1890’s and 1900’s.