Last Photographed: Sunday 10th July 2005
Brough castle dates back to Norman times and stands within the still earlier earthworks of a Roman fort built to protect a strategic route. It was abandoned after a fire in 1521 until being restored in the 17th century by Lady Anne Clifford. The castle was abandoned again upon her death in 1676 and plundered for its stone.
Brough Castle was a bit of an accidental discovery on the way to Cumbria to visit Long Meg. Having seen it signposted from the A66, I just couldn't resist swinging by for a visit. I was really glad I did, because it proved to be a great little castle.
It's always seemed strange to me that castles like Brough can be free to enter, whilst some of their less distinguished siblings can attract astronomical access fees. I'd have happily handed over a couple of quid to get into Brough. As it was though, no money needed to change hands, and I had the place to myself.
Like many of the smaller castles, there's not much left of Brough apart from the curtain wall and the remains of the keep. Despite this, the site retains a real charm. There's something about the way it meshes with the landscape that makes it feel more like a feature of the countryside rather than an imposition.
It would appear from the railings at various levels that at some point it was possible for the public to gain access to the top of the keep. This is now blocked, however, by a sturdy metal gate. These days, you'll have to make do with staring up and wondering just how much more blustery it could be at the top than it is at the bottom.