[Tuesday - 05/04/99] Brougham Castle (pronounced 'Broom'), was founded by Hugh de Morville sometime between 1157 and 1173 AD. Situated just two miles outside Penrith, Brougham lies in the former historic county of Westmorland. A Roman fort originally occupied the site of the current Brougham Castle. The site was later taken by the Norman family of Vieuxpont to build their own castle, the ruins of which can still be seen.
By 1268, Brougham Castle had passed to Robert Clifford, whose father Roger had become Lord of Brougham when he married Robert Vieuxpoint's great-granddaughter. Robert Clifford was an important figure in the Scottish Wars which started in 1296, and he carried out much work at Brougham to stregthen the defences.
In 1643, Lady Anne Clifford inherited the Clifford Estate. In 1649, when she was 60 years old, she moved North, and spent the next 26 years rebuilding various churches and castles. Through her efforts, Brougham Castles was restored to its former glory. Lady Anne died at Brougham Castle, in the room where her father had been born, in 1676. Sadly, after her death, the castle quickly fell into ruin.
We wandered all through the impressive ruins of the 13th century fortress. The keep is the oldest part of the castle still standing with the bottom three stories dating from about 1175. You can walk all around the rooms which include the castle's hall on the first floor. On the second floor is the lord's chamber, in which Lady Anne slept when she stayed here, and in which she died. On the third floor is a passage all the way round within the walls, and from various points you can get impressive views of the other castle buildings and the surrounding area.
Brougham is one of the more fun and spectacular places we visited with some mysterious (and frighteningly large) bird's nest blocking our passage up on of the stairwells. The Castle overlooks the River Eamont which flows from Lake Ullswater a few miles to the west. The river bank at the foot of the Castle walls is a popular place for picnics and grazing sheep!
Last modified on Wednesday, November 26, 2008|
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