Castles and Lady Anne Clifford.
Castles – I love them whether they are ruinous or still intact and being lived in.
This series of blogs features on four castles all previously owned by the Clifford family of Cumbria – 3 ruinous and one intact. All are within travelling distance of each other in a day by car with sufficient time to have a good look at them (dependant on where you are travelling from).
I have paid a visit to these castles on more than one occasion and usually first stop on my trip is Pendragon Castle, located south of Kirkby Steven and north east of Sedburgh. North of Kirby Steven is Brough Castle, then heading west to Appleby-in-Westmoorland to Appleby Castle before heading further west to Brougham Castle (pronounced Broom). There are other castles along this route and close by but these are the castles that really interested me as they all have a deep history before being brought back to life by the great Lady Anne Clifford. A blog detailing the life of Lady Anne is also included at the end.
All four of the castles where originally built as defensive structures and apart from fire they were pretty much impenetrable. Brough, Brougham and Appleby are all built of previous sites of defence, Roman forts being visible at Broom and Brougham and evidence of the same at Appleby. It’s likely that a defence was also at Pendragon due to its location and the legend of Uther Pendragon and his son King Arther. Although gunpowder was introduced in the 14th century this had no major impact on castles until well into the 15th century when improved artillery and cannons became powerful enough to break through stone walls. Castles continued to be built or restored during and after this period but these were now more as stately country homes. Moats modified and filled with decorative water features. They were now intended to impress and dominate their landscape.