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Castles in Cumbria.The historic buildings of Cumbria open to the public.Places to visit in Cumbria and the Lake DistrictThe castles of the Lake District.


Brougham Castle near Penrith

Brougham Castle near Penrith.

Welcome to the EDGE Guide to Brougham Castle. Pronounced 'Broom', Brougham Castle was founded by Hugh de Morville sometime between 1157 and 1173.

No mention is made of the castle until 1228 after the death of Robert de Vipont into whose possession the castle had passed in 1203.

At some point between 1228 and 1269 the Castle was allowed to fall into decay.

In 1269 Brougham Castle passed into the Clifford family's hands. A licence to crenelate, (that is to allow the building to have stronger defences and specifically battlements), was granted in 1309, this was just as well - the Scots continued to raid into Cumbria and Brougham castle was directly in their path.

The rest of the C14 was a troubled and bloody, the castle suffering as a result of the raids and was more or less ruined by the Scots.

The Keep at Brougham Castle.

It was left in a poor state of repair until the C16 when the 2nd Earl of Cumberland rebuilt it.

Brougham was occupied and presumably kept in good condition until the English Civil War. The 'Roundheads', (Oliver Cromwell's army), destroyed its defences in 1648.

In 1660 Lady Anne Clifford began her restoration work and chose to make Brougham Castle her home.

The cobbled interior & ruined Chapel.

Her grandson and heir Thomas Tufton, 6th Earl of Thanet, removed stone from the castle for use on the gentrification of Appleby Castle after Lady Anne's death.

Brougham is one of the most impressive castles in the county, a large and generally well preserved ruin in the care of English Heritage and open to the public.

The Castle overlooks the River Eamont which flows into Lake Ullswater a few miles to the west. The river bank at the foot of the Castle walls is a popular place for picnics.

Nearby is the village of Eamont Bridge, where a battle was fought between the retreating Jacobite army of 'Bonnie' Prince Charlie in the 1745 Rebellion and the English forces in pursuit.

Eamont Bridge is also home to King Arthur's Round Table and Mayburgh Henge, both ancient sites of interest.

Map of Castles in Cumbria.