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.

Brough Castle


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.