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 Castles of England - Brough Castle

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near Brough, Cumbria, England

Brough Castle is located in the village of Brough, Cumbria, England. The motte and bailey castle was built on the site of a former Roman fort. The Castle is now in ruins. There is the remains of a gatehouse, once three storeys high. There is some sandstone paving in the courtyard, and the remains of stables. The ruined keep used to have four corner turrets, the basement was a storehouse and still has some plaster on the walls. The upper floors and stairs of the keep have gone. The remains of a brewhouse, bakehouse, and kitchen can be seen in a corner of the courtyard. There was an inner and outer range of buildings in the southeast corner. There is also a circular tower in the south east corner, known as Clifford's Tower that contained Lady Anne Clifford's chambers. The castle is open to the public, and there are information panels explaining the layout of the site.

Brough Castle was built by William Rufus in the 1090s as a stone motte and bailey castle. It was one of the first stone castles to be built in Britain. The stonework of the walls show a herringbone pattern common in Norman architecture. Brough Castle was captured and burned down in 1174 by the Scottish king William the Lion during he Revolt of 1173-1174. All that was left was the base of the keep. The keep was rebuilt in the 1180s by Theobald de Valoignes. King John gave the castle to Robert of Vieuxpont in 1203.

In the 1268 the castle passed to the Clifford family, the barons de Clifford, who also owned Brougham Castle. Robert Clifford extended the castle building a circular tower at the south east corner, known as Clifford's Tower, around 1300. The Cliffords also added a new upper hall and associated chambers around 1350. The Cliffords lived at Brough Castle until 1521, when fire destroyed the castle. After lying abandoned for about 140 years, Lady Anne Clifford began to restore the castle in 1659. After her death in 1676 the castle was left uninhabited, and passed to the Earls of Thanet, who lived at Appleby Castle in Appleby-in-Westmorland. Brough castle began to decline and the roof and fittings was removed in 1715. Much of the stone was taken for building Brough mill in 1763. The castle came under the protection of the Ministry of Works in 1920. It is now cared for by English Heritage.

Other Castles in the Area
  Appleby Castle, Cumbria
  Barnard Castle, Co. Durham
  Bolton Castle, North Yorkshire
  Bowes Castle, Co. Durham
  Brougham Castle, Cumbria
  Pendragon Castle, Cumbria

Pendragon Castle
Brough Castle, Cumbria. Built on the site of an old Roman fort, in about 1100

Photograph by David Medcalf. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Pendragon Castle
Brough castle was built to the south of a Roman fort or camp, in this case called Verteris, which was built to keep the northern Brigantes tribe in check

Photograph by George Ford. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Pendragon Castle
The keep of Brough Castle, from the moat.

Photograph by Martyn Gorman. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

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