Brough Castle
Brough Castle is a ruined castle in the village of Brough, Cumbria ( grid reference NY791141), England. It is currently administered by English Heritage. The Castle consists of a large mound, on which there is an extensive range of buildings, with a circular corner tower, and the remnants of an older four storey keep.

Brough was the site of the Roman fort of Verterae. Verterae, or Verteris, was built to control the lands of the Brigantes and guard the Roman road linking Carlisle with Ermine Street (the modern A66. The Roman fort covered a much larger area than the present castle and is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument .

The Early Castle
The first castle was built by William Rufus in the 1090s, as a stone motte and bailey in the north part of the former fort. One of the first stone castles to be built in Britain, the walls show the herringbone pattern typical of Norman architecture. Brough Castle first came under serious attack in 1174, during a raid on England by the Scottish king William the Lion, in support of the Revolt of 1173–1174. The castle's defenders eventually surrendered when William burned it down, destroying all but the base of the keep The current keep dates from the 1180s, when Theobald de Valoignes rebuilt the remains of the castle. King John gave the castle to Robert of Vieuxpont in 1203, and he continued to refortify, constructing an upper hall over the courtyard.

The Cliffords
In the 1268 the castle passed to the Clifford family, the barons de Clifford, who also owned Brougham Castle in the area. Robert Clifford began to enlarge and improve the castle, building the circular tower at the south east corner, known as Clifford's Tower, around 1300. A new upper hall, and associated chambers, was built by his grandson Roger around 1350. The Cliffords lived here until Christmas 1521, when fire again destroyed the castle. After lying derelict for nearly 140 years, Lady Anne Clifford began a programme of repairs and rebuilding at Brough in 1659. A stone plaque commemorating her efforts was erected in 1663. She spent considerable periods of time here, but after her death in 1676 the castle ceased to be occupied.

Following the death of Anne Clifford, the castle passed to the earls of Thanet, who made their home at Appleby Castle in Appleby-in-Westmorland. Brough castle began to decline accordingly. A sale was held in 1715, raising £55 from the auctioning of the roof and fittings. Much of the stone was plundered, mostly in 1763 when Brough mill was built. Even the commemorative plaque was reused, under the water-wheel. An engraving of 1739 by the Buck Brothers shows Brough Castle still standing, but by the time it came under the protection of the Ministry of Works in 1920, it was only just saved from total collapse. It is now cared for by English Heritage.

  • English Heritage
  • CastleXplorer

English Heritage sites in Cumbria Dating from Neolithic/ Bronze Age Dating from Roman Britain Dating from the Middle Ages Dating from the 17th Century onwards

Building Activity

  • updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via Annotator
  • updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via