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learn all about Brougham Castle before you visit

  • places to visit
May 4, 2019

Enjoy a peaceful escape to Cumbria at Thanet Well Lodge Retreat and learn all about the local history of Brougham Castle. This striking castle is only a 20 minute journey from Thanet Well Lodge Retreat and offers a unique look into the history of Penrith. Surrounded by the raw beauty of the Lake District, you can enjoy a picnic and take in the scenic setting of the River Eamont.

Brougham Castle was originally built in the early 13th Century and has been added to and resorted over the centuries. Currently, the Great Keep survives, along with the ‘Tower of League’ and the unusual double gatehouse, you can explore it all!

the history of Brougham Castle

The castle was founded by Robert de Viexpont in the early 13th Century, who was one of the only lords in the area to be loyal to King John, during a time when he was most unpopular in the kingdom.

The Viexpont family were well known and well connected, they owned land all over the North West of England and has spectacular castles in both Brough and Appleby. Robert de Viexpont built the original great keep out of stone and an enclosure out of wood.

However, his grandson lot the castle in 1264, being declared a traitor and having all the family’s property confiscated by King Henry III. The property was eventually returned and stayed within the family until 1269, when it passed through marriage to the Clifford family.

In 1269 the War of Scottish Independence broke out and Brougham Castle was known as a formidable barrier against the invasion and was an important military base for Richard Clifford, the First Baron de Clifford.

During this time, the Baron made impressive fortifications to the castle, including stone walls as an outer defence, and adding a large, stone gatehouse.

Brougham through time

Over the centuries, Brougham intermittently served as a family residence before falling into disrepair. Restoration began at the castle in 1643, when Lady Ann Clifford inherited the property, however after Lady Ann’s death, the 6th Earl of Thanet inherited the castle and he eventually sold all the furnishings, leaving the castle completely empty by 1714.

As the castle was too costly to maintain, it was left to decay until the English Heritage Society took over care of the property. The castle is now listed as a ‘scheduled monument’, which means it is a ‘nationally important’ historic building and archaeological site and it is protected against any and all unauthorised change.

Brougham Castle’s beauty has inspired many creatives over the years, including a painting by JMW Turner and it was even mentioned in The Prelude, a famous poem by William Wordsworth.

opening times & prices

Brougham Castle is located a 20 minute drive from Thanet Well Lodge Retreat, at Moor Lane, Penrith, CA10 2AA

The castle is open every day, 10am – 6pm

Prices for 2019

Ticket Type Cost
Family (up to 5)


Spend the day exploring Brougham Castle and discover the maze of complex passages and spiral staircases within the stone keep.

The stunning setting, next to the crossing for the River Eamont, allows for the perfect place for a picturesque picnic (I do love alliteration!).

You can also enjoy views over the Eden Valley from atop the tower, as well as views of the ruins of the old Roman fort, Brocavum adjacent to the castle.

Enjoy beautiful lodge-style accommodation boasting unrivalled views of the Lake District at our Thanet Well Lodge Retreat, where our self-catering holiday lodges offer everything you could need. Including fully equipped kitchens, large living spaces with comfortable sofas and flat screen TVs, sumptuous beds with plenty of storage and beautiful bathrooms. Some of our holiday lodges also boast hot tubs, so you can soak up the surrounding nature in style.

Book your holiday to Thanet Well Lodge Retreat today and explore Penrith’s rich history.

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