Brougham Castle


Located in a valley near the River Eamont stands Brougham Castle. Surrounded by a moat on three sides, the castle was built upon the foundations of the former Roman fort Brocavum. The ruins of the Roman fort provided stone for construction and the earthworks were adapted for medieval use. The site was acquired by the Anglo-Norman landowner, Robert de Vieuxpont, in circa 1214 and the castle he built consisted of a stone keep and service buildings.


The gatehouse is made up of three structures – an outer and inner gatehouse with a courtyard in between. The original gatehouse (inner) had its own portcullis and gates with the additional gatehouse and courtyard added early in the 14th century by the lord of Brougham – Robert Clifford.


The gatehouses were designed to provide residential accommodation with each having two storeys above its gate passage. The roof of the entrance features vaulted ceiling ribs (above).


What remains of the lodgings for the garrison can be seen across the courtyard (above). The communal rooms of the castle, the buildings were originally three storeys high and provided shelter to substantial numbers of fighting men during military occupation.


During the ownership of Robert Clifford and in response to his involvement in the Scottish wars which started in 1296, the castle saw the addition of the gatehouse complex, top storey of the keep, the Tower of League and stone curtain walls. The castle became increasingly neglected during the the following centuries until Lady Anne Clifford restored much of the fabric from 1650.


The Tower of League (above) was built in circa 1300 by Robert Clifford. The tower occupies a commanding position at the south end of the castle and was used as a residence. Each of the four floors comprised of a single chamber with a latrine and fireplace.

Brougham Castle is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

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