Brough Castle

Church Brough, CA17 4EJ
Brough Castle

Brough Castle (Supergolden /

Brough Castle sits on the eastern edge of Cumbria, between the Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines. Once part of the key defences against the Scots, the castle now lies in ruins.

The castle is managed by the English Heritage and is free to enter. Surrounded by the lush green pastures of the Eden Valley, it’s a delightful spot to stop at and enjoy a picnic on a warm summer’s day.

Planning Your Visit

Contact Details:
0370 333 1181 / Website
Seasonal Opening:
Open Daily 10am-5pm (April-Sept), 10am-4pm (Oct-March), Closed 24-26 Dec & 1 Jan


Brough Castle 1775

Brough Castle 1775 (Francis Grose /

The castle was built at the end of the eleventh century on the site of the Roman fort Verteris. The fort was part of a chain of forts that the Romans established in order to protect the route between Carlisle and York, and it was left in ruin once the Romans left Britain. In 1092, the areas known as Cumberland and north Westmorland, that included what is now known as the village of Brough, were part of the Scottish Kingdom. However, that year, King William II of England invaded and took the area for England. The first castle was built around this time, using the Roman ditches that remained from the fort.

Less than 100 years later, in 1174, William I of Scotland invaded northern England and in the process the castle was destroyed. It was rebuilt after the war, and during the 13th century, the Clifford family became the owners. They also owned the nearby Brougham Castle. In 1521, the castle was once again destroyed, this time by an accidental fire following a Christmas feast. It was restored by Lady Anne Clifford in the mid 17th century, but shortly after restoration works were completed it suffered a terrible fate once more, being destroyed by a second fire. It has laid in ruin ever since, and was donated to the state in 1921.

Things to See

Brough Castle Gatehouse

Brough Castle Gatehouse (George Ford /

This is a ruined castle, so there are no rooms to explore, but merely the remains of an empty shell. You can see how part of the castle was laid out and step into some of the ruined rooms. There are information boards around the ruins that tell of the castle’s history right from the Roman times.

Some parts of the castle are at risk of collapse and there is a gate blocking access to the upper levels for this reason. The castle sits on a ridge with commanding views of the surrounding countryside.

Useful Information

There is a small gift shop that sells hot and cold drinks along with a limited selection of snacks and there are also toilet facilities here. Next to the castle, you will find Brough Castle Ice Cream Parlour and Tea Room. This is a separate business and it has a small play area. Visitors are advised that live stock are present on the site. This could be a concern for pregnant women.


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