Dacre: St Andrews Church

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In the village of Dacre stands the parish Church of St Andrew. Constructed of sandstone rubble walls, the church dates to the late 12th century. With 13th century additions, the building was rebuilt in 1810 and features battlemented parapets which date to the 19th century. The church has a west tower of three storeys with an inscription above the entrance noting that the steeple was rebuilt in 1810.

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The church has an open timber roof which dates to the 17th century

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The three bay chancel retains 12th century narrow round-headed windows and has a late 17th century communion rail with twisted balusters.

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The nave features the original 12th century unmoulded round-headed tower arch and has two light clerestory windows. The four bay arcades date from the early 13th century and differ from one another. The north arcade is earlier having arches with slight chamfers and piers that are mostly round while the south arcade arches have normal chamfers and octagonal piers.

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Engraved window memorial to Sylvia McCosh of Dalemain

In the chancel of the church is an engraved window (above) by Sir Laurence Whistler as a memorial to Sylvia McCosh. Whistler was a poet, writer and glass engraver who revived the technique of line engraving on both sides of the glass. This intricate engraving creates an illusion of perspective in his depiction of landscapes and was a popular technique during the 17th and 18th centuries. Sylvia McCosh of Dalemain was instrumental in bringing the gardens of Dalemain House back to life following the war. She had successfully nurtured small plants and seedlings since childhood and faced with the task of bringing a dormant garden to life again, she introduced many plants which flourished in her garden in Lanarkshire, including Meconopsis grandis, and over one hundred varieties of old-fashioned roses. Before her death in 1991, Sylvia started a campaign for a pipe organ in the church to replace the 19th century organ that had been removed in the 1970’s. Following extensive fundraising, the new organ was finally installed in 2002.

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The Church of St Andrew is Grade I Listed.

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Mallerstang: Pendragon Castle

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Located to the north of Outhgill in the Vale of Mallerstang are the remains of Pendragon Castle. Reputedly founded by Uther Pendragon, father of King Arthur, the castle was built next to the river Eden in the 12th century. The fortified tower house is important as a Late Norman pele tower and apparently built to stand on its own.

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Originally built by Hugh de Morville in 1173, the castle passed into the ownership of the Clifford family who obtained a licence to crenelate in 1309. The castle was destroyed by the Scots in 1341 and subsequently rebuilt in 1360. The Clifford’s continued to live in the castle until 1541 when it was again destroyed by fire. Lady Anne Clifford restored the castle in 1660 and following her death, the building gradually fell into ruin.

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Fallen masonry has revealed a north entrance with a spiral stair either side of the passage which was closed by a portcullis and Pevsner records vaulted mural chambers in the walls. The castle was eventually dismantled in circa 1685. Pendragon Castle is set in the stunning landscape of Mallerstang and is both a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade I Listed.

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Mallerstang: Church of St Mary

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The 20th century east window

Located along the B6259 in the parish of Mallerstang is the Church of St Mary. The Chapel of Ease was founded in the 14th century and was extensively rebuilt in 1663 for Lady Anne Clifford. The single storey building is constructed of coursed squared rubble with a graduated slate roof.

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South porch with semi-circular head and continuous cavetto moulding

The inscription over the south porch (above) details the work of Lady Anne Clifford and is recorded in Roman capitals of typical 17th century character. The inscription reads: “This chapple of Mallerstang after itt had layne ruinous and decayed some 50 or 60 years was newe repayred by the Lady Anne Clifford Countesse Dowager of Pembroke. Dorsett & Montgomery. In the year 1663 who allsoe endowed the same with lands which she purchased in Cawtley near Sedbergh to the yearly value of eleaven pounds for ever. Isiah Chap 58. vs 12. Gods name be praised.”

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The east window (above) was inserted in 1926 and depicts the Virgin Mary and Child surrounded by northern saints, including the Monk of Whitby, Caedmon. The church features a panelled polygonal pulpit which dates to 1798.

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20th century east window detail

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17th century window north wall

The north windows and south doorway date to the rebuilding by Lady Anne Clifford in the 17th century while the south windows date to 1768 when the church was later restored.

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The Church of St Mary is Grade II Listed.

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Chimney & belfry to west end of the church

Brougham Castle

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

Brougham: Stone Panel

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On display in the visitor centre at Brougham Castle is the above stone panel which was set up in the castle by Lady Anne Clifford. The panel commemorates her 17th century reconstruction of the castle with an inscription from the verse of Isaiah which she chose to describe her work as a restorer. The verse reads “And they that shall be of thee shall build up the old waste places: thou shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shall be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.”

Brough Castle

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Situated in an elevated position above Swindall Beck is Brough Castle. Constructed on the site of the Roman fort of Verteris, the oldest parts of the castle dates to circa 1100AD. With the constant threat of attack from the kings of Scotland during the 12th century, Brough Castle underwent several rebuilds and strengthening of its defences during its history.

The 13th century Clifford’s Tower (above) was built by Roger de Clifford with the addition of Tudor windows which were inserted by Lady Anne Clifford. The tower structure is D shaped with three storeys which stands upon a plinth. Much of the outer wall of the tower was rebuilt in 1660 by Lady Anne Clifford.

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What remains of the gatehouse (above) which dates to 1200AD and was the work of Robert de Vieuxpont. The gatehouse was originally three storeys high and was added to the castle following damage sustained by the Scots in 1174.

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The hall range lies in the south east corner of the courtyard and is thought to have been first built by Roger de Clifford. Above a series of vaulted ground floor rooms a first floor hall was added.

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The 14th century outer walls survive relatively intact whereas the courtyard rooms survive only at ground floor level.

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The south east view of the keep (above) which was built on the site of a former tower. The tower is thought likely to date to the late 12th century and built by Theobald de Valoines during the period when Brough was in royal ownership.

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The interior of the keep (above left) shows some of the surviving 17th century wall plaster. The basement was used as a store room, a hall was on the first floor with the top floor partitioned to form two chambers.

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View across the courtyard shows the cobbled surface which was excavated in the 1920’s. What remains of the stables, built by Lady Anne Clifford, can be seen on the right. The stables were positioned between the gatehouse and the keep and stood along the south wall. Brough Castle and what remains of the Roman Fort Verteris are a Scheduled Ancient Monument.