One Family’s Heritage

Exploring England #28

When Lady Anne Clifford came to stay at Brougham Castle in the autumn of 1670, she was continuing a long family tradition dating back to the 13th century. Located near the River Eamont near the Cumbrian town of Penrith, the castle was one of four owned by the Clifford family and even then, it had an impressive history. Built in the early 13th century, it played host to Edward I in 1300 and was an important strategic site in the wars with the Scots and during the English Civil War. After restoring the castle in 1643, Lady Anne stayed many times and died here in 1676.

The centre of Brougham Castle has always been its magnificent stone keep, a three storey tower with spiral staircases, hidden passages and stylised carvings.

On the third floor, a walkway inside the walls circumnavigated the entire building, joining one room to the next. After climbing the narrow steps to the top, we followed in Lady Anne’s footsteps as we walked around the tower. Inside we could see the structure of the building, and from the outside windows we looked out over the remains of later additions and the surrounding countryside.

Back down in the paved courtyard, we were awestruck again by the sheer size of the castle keep. It was easy to imagine how happy Lady Anne must have been when she passed through the gatehouse to her family home on that long ago October day.

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Heritage

29 thoughts on “One Family’s Heritage

    • I loved that we could go right inside and climb up to the top quite safely. And there was a lot of information to tell us about what we were looking at too. I would highly recommend this area, Anabel. There’s plenty to see and it’s so pretty.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I enjoy the photo from the 3rd floor the most showing the structure. You seem to be somewhat brave to climb up a seemingly dilapidated building but amazingly beautiful structure though. I almost couldn’t help notice that it is the 24th down under while in South Africa it is the 23rd. Normally I do not notice this, but give me the oppurtunity to tell my daugter that it is already my birthday… πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s always so fabulous to have a personal story to accompany history – and ruins are no exception. I always marvel at the craftmanship that built so solidly and so well that only time and neglect and the odd sacking brought to ruin. It’s nice to share the thought of Lady Anne returning home….. ❀

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    • The castle was inherited by the Earl of Thanet, and in 1714 he decided it was too expensive to maintain so it was left to deteriorate. I like that now it is still in its original state instead of being restored. We could see all the medieval stonework. Lady Anne was the first “Grand Designs” lady – she had four castles and renovated and extended them all.


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  4. That is one huge crumbly castle. It is interesting that they did not restore. it. Even in 1741, it was too expensive. Can you imagine what it would be today? Another great post. I always learn something new. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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