Brougham Castle

Moor Lane, Penrith, CA10 2AA
Brougham Castle

Brougham Castle

Now in the care of English Heritage and deemed to be an Ancient Monument, Brougham Castle near Penrith dates back to the 13th century. Sadly, the castle is now a ruin, but you can still climb the steps of the ancient keep and stroll through the grounds.

There are plenty of points of historical interest in the Penrith area, including Long Meg and Her Daughters and Brough Castle, so if history is of interest to you then you could make a day of exploring some of these fascinating sites.

Planning Your Visit

Contact Details:
01768 862 488 / Website
Please see official website
Seasonal Opening:
All Year (Nov-Feb: Weekends only)


Brougham Castle was first constructed by Robert I de Vieuxpont, who held the office of Sheriff of Westmoreland amongst others, and was an important landowner and administrator of the north during the reign of King John. The Vieuxpoint family also owned other castles including that at Brough.

Later, the castle and other lands would become under the ownership of the Clifford family as a result of marriage, and remained so until the death of Lady Anne Clifford in 1676. Under the ownership of the Clifford family the castle was expanded and its defences improved as tensions rose between the English and the Scots.

Following the death of Lady Anne Clifford who had spent much of her life restoring and maintaining her estates, Brougham Castle was deemed too expensive to maintain and gradually fell into a state of disrepair. Some attempts at repair were undertaken by the castle’s owners in the 19th century, but cost prohibited extensive works and the castle suffered from further decline.

During the early 20th century, the castle became popular with visiting tourists and its importance as an ancient ruin were recognised. Guardianship of the castle was passed to the Office of Works, now known as English Heritage, who undertook a limited amount of restoration work during the 1930s.

Things To See

The castle is a lovely place to spend an hour or two exploring its ruins. You can climb up to the fourth storey of the keep, though the stairs are uneven in places and you may not feel comfortable at the top if you are bothered by heights. There are also plenty of dark corners and passages to explore.

The castle sits on the banks of the river Eamont, and is an idyllic place for a picnic. At the reception building, there is a small display on the history of the castle and the roman ruins that have been found close to the castle’s location.

Useful Information

The reception sells a limited number of refreshments, as well as a guide book that covers both Brougham Castle and the nearby Brough Castle.

The castle grounds are accessible by wheelchair, but the ruins themselves are not accessible.


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