An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1936.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


'Brough', An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland, (London, 1936), pp. 47-54. British History Online [accessed 21 June 2024].

. "Brough", in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland, (London, 1936) 47-54. British History Online, accessed June 21, 2024,

. "Brough", An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland, (London, 1936). 47-54. British History Online. Web. 21 June 2024,

In this section

12 BROUGH (G.c.)

(O.S. 6 in. XVI, S.E.)

Brough is a parish and village 8 m. S.E. of Appleby. The Roman station, the church and the castle are the principal monuments.


(1). Fort (Verterae) is situated 150 yards N.W. of the church on a high bluff overlooking Swindale Beck. To the N. the ground falls steeply to the beck; to the E. and W. the slope is slight; to the S.W. and S. the slope is steep with marsh 100 yards S. of the S. rampart. The N. half of the fort is occupied by Brough Castle. The longer axis is N. to S. and the internal dimensions are about 130 yards by 85 yards, giving an internal area of nearly 2½ acres. The N. and E. gates are entirely obscured by mediæval work; a gap in the W. rampart just S. of the middle marks the probable site of the W. gate; there is a causeway across the ditch at this point, but part of it at least is modern tip; about 20 yards E. of the middle of the S. side a slight depression in the rampart and a corresponding interruption of the ditch suggest a possible site for the S. gate. The rampart is distinguishable on the W. side and at the S.W. angle; elsewhere it has been robbed or overlaid by mediæval work. There are surface indications of a single ditch which has been partly widened in mediæval times, but near the S.E. corner and along the S. side it may retain its Roman profile. No internal buildings are visible. In excavating below the Keep, H.M. Office of Works found traces of one or possibly two rectangular buildings of Roman date, presumably barracks.

Brough Castle, Roman & Mediaeval Earthworks

Finds of pottery and stonework of the Roman period have been made by H.M. Office of Works in repairing the Castle. Of the pottery, two sherds date from the Flavian period and a few from the second and third centuries; the majority, however, belong to the late fourth century. The stones include fragments of two uninscribed altars and of two columns and two querns. In the last century (c. 1855–75) many fibulæ and other bronze objects were recovered from the bed of the river; others were found in cutting a watercourse near the Castle; a large number of lead seals were found at the same time. There is an inscribed slab in the church porch and a tombstone from Brough, with a Greek inscription, in the Fitzwilliam Museum. The following coins have been found: Republican, 1; Vespasian, 2; Julia Titi, 1; Domitian, 4; Nerva, 1; Trajan, 4; Hadrian, 4; Faustina II, 1; Crispina, 1; Gallienus, 2; Claudius II, 2; Victorinus (?), 1; Tetricus I (?), 1; Constantine I, 3; Constans, 1; Theodosius I (?), 1; Uncertain fourth century, 1; Barbarous and uncertain radiate, 2. (Now in Brit. Mus.)

Brough Castle, Roman Foundations Under Keep

[See: For inscriptions: C.I.L., vii, 1269 (lead seals); Eph. Epig., vii, 951–2; Journ. of Rom. Studies, xiv, 219. Finds; Pottery: C. and W. Trans. N.S. xxvii, 224; xxx, 81 ff; xxxiv, 217. Small objects: Proc. Soc. Ant., iii, 222; iv, 129; N.S. iii, 256; vii, 19, 142; C. and W. Trans., viii, 205; N.S., xxx, 81; Journ. of Rom. Studies, xiv, 219; Lead seals, C. and W. Trans. N.S., xxxv.]

Condition—Of earthworks, fairly good, probably much altered in the Middle Ages.

Brough, The Parish Church of St Michael


(2). Parish Church of St. Michael (Plates 9, 82) stands S.E. of the castle. The walls are of sandstone rubble and ashlar, and the roofs are covered with lead. The Nave was built about the middle of the 12th century, but seems then to have extended only as far as the fifth pier from the W. The Chancel was built or re-built probably c. 1300, and late in the 14th century the N. arcade of the nave was built and a N. aisle added; soon after, the N. arcade of the chancel was built, and subsequently the two arcades were joined up by an additional arch. Much work was done in the church early in the 16th century; the West Tower is said to have been added in 1513, and perhaps about the same time the North Aisle and Chapel were re-built and widened and the S. wall of the nave extended one bay to the E.; about the same time or soon after the chancel was remodelled or re-built, except the N. wall. The church was restored in 1880 and the North Vestry and South Porch are modern.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (33 ft. by 17 ft.) has a 16th-century E. window of three elliptical-headed lights in a square head with a moulded label. In the N. wall is a 14th-century doorway to an earlier and also to the modern vestry; it has moulded jambs and round head; farther E. is a skewed window of the same date looking into the chancel; it is of one square-headed light and has a 17th-century wooden shutter. The N. arcade is described under the nave. In the S. wall are three 16th-century windows, the easternmost is similar to the E. window; the other two windows are similar but of two lights and have each a shouldered rear-arch; below the middle window is a doorway of the same date; it has moulded jambs, round arch and label with disc-stops; the face of the arch is carved with running foliage. The chancel is ashlar-faced and has no structural division between it and the nave.

The Nave (71½ ft. by 23 ft. average) has, with the chancel, a N. arcade of seven bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the two easternmost bays are of late 14th-century date, the four western probably slightly earlier and the bay between is an insertion probably of 15th or early 16th-century date; the piers are octagonal and have moulded capitals and bases; the E. respond has an attached half column and the W. respond has a moulded corbel; the inserted third arch is of irregular form, and the third column is slighter than the others and is perhaps re-used material from elsewhere. In the S. wall are six windows in the lower range and one in the upper range; the first window is probably of the 16th century and is of two ogee lights in a square head with a moulded label; above it is a window of the same age and of two elliptical-headed lights in a square head with a moulded label; the second and fifth lower windows are of late 14th-century date and of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square head with a moulded label; the third window is similar but of three lights; the early 16th-century fourth window is of one four-centred light with a moulded label, the stops of which are carved with the initials Ihc and a capital M; the 12th-century sixth window is of one round-headed light; the mid 12th-century S. doorway (Plate 12) has a round arch of two moulded orders, the inner with beak-heads and the outer with cheveron-ornament; the label is defaced; the jambs have each a restored shaft with cushion-capital and moulded base; the abaci of the inner order have lozenge-enrichment.

The North Aisle (16½ ft. wide) has an early 16th-century E. window of two four-centred lights in a square head with a moulded label. In the N. wall are five early 16th-century windows, the easternmost similar to the E. window but of three lights; the second window is of three and the others of two ogee lights in square heads with moulded labels; all have been partly restored; the 16th-century N. doorway has moulded jambs and round head. In the W. wall is a window similar to the second window in the N. wall; below it is a break in the masonry indicating the extent of the earlier N. aisle.

The West Tower (12¾ ft. square) is of c. 1513 and of three storeys without external division, ashlar-faced and finished with an embattled parapet and anglepinnacles. The tower-arch is two-centred and of three chamfered orders continued down the responds to a high stop on the E. face. The W. window is of two rounded lights and one ogee light with uncusped tracery in a two-centred head, with moulded reveals and label. The second stage has a plain loop-light in the W. wall. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, two windows each of two ogee lights in a square head with a moulded label.

The Roof of the nave is probably of the 16th century, considerably repaired; it is flat-pitched and of nine bays with tie-beams and purlins. The flat pent-roof of the aisle has chamfered main timbers; there is a break in the roof opposite the second pier of the arcade; the work is of 16th or 17th-century date.

Fittings—Altar: In pavement at E. end of nave— slab with remains of two of the five consecration-crosses, mediæval. Bells: four; 1st dated 1687 with initials of vicar and churchwardens; 3rd given by Anne Countess of Pembroke, 1670, but recast in 1887; 4th with a corrupt black-letter inscription, probably 15th-century. Brasses and Indents. Brasses: Loose in vestry—(1) to [Thomas] Blenkynsop and Katherine his wife, 1[4]74, mutilated inscription only. In tower —on N. wall, (2) to Joseph Fisher, M.A., vicar of the parish and Archdeacon of Carlisle, 1704, inscription only. Indents: In nave—three slabs with indents of inscription-plates. Chair: In chancel—with turned front legs, shaped arms and panelled back, late 17th-century. Churchyard Cross: S. of church—square base and fragment of octagonal shaft, mediæval. Coffin-lids: Incorporated in S. porch—two slabs with crosses and shears and two with ornamental crossheads, probably late 13th-century. Communion Rails: with turned balusters, top rail with initials and date I.F. 1704, rails rearranged and adapted. Desk: In tower—panelled with sloping top and square posts, fluted rails to front, 17th-century. Door: In second storey of tower—of plain battens with strap-hinges, 17th-century. Glass: In N. aisle—in second N. window (Plate 42), figure of St. John the Baptist, nimbed and crowned female head, figure of bishop and attendant priests, tabernacle work and fragment of inscription, Crucifixion, shield with emblems of the Passion, foliage and quarries with the initials Ihc and the monogram M.R., 15th-century. In vicarage—heads of crowned woman, bishop, angels, roundel with falcon and a shield-of-arms dated 1638. Monument and Floor-slab. Monument: In churchyard—on E. wall of chancel, to Thomas Gabetis, 1694, tablet with entablature, pediment and scrolled bracket. Floor-slab: In nave—to Gabriell Vincent, steward of Lady Anne Clifford, 1665–6. Niche: Over N. doorway— rectangular recess cut in round-headed stone, date uncertain. Panelling: Incorporated in reredos—a number of 17th-century arcaded and enriched panels. Pulpit: of stone (Plate 53), semi-octagonal, with moulded under edge and plinth, date 1624 carved on one face, but pulpit probably earlier. Seating: In vestry—bench with one 17th-century shaped standard. In N. aisle—two 17th-century stools and forming lobby to N. doorway, high pew (Plate 60) with close lower panels, upper part fitted with turned balusters, head with inscription "Chr. Harison parochus et rectoriæ firmari' S.S. fieri fecit Deo O.M. gratias in ætern, 1682." Scratchings: On chancel and parts of nave, N. aisle and tower, numerous masons' marks. Miscellanea: In porch—slab with part of a Roman inscription. In vestry—detached gable-cross, mediæval.



Brough Castle

(3). Brough Castle, ruins and earthworks, stands within the N. part of the Roman station, the earthworks of which, deepened and altered, formed part of its defences. The walls are of local rubble with sandstone dressings and ashlar. At the W. end of the enclosure remains have been discovered of a tower of herring-bone masonry apparently at a slight angle with the existing keep. These remains were found in 1925 in sinking shafts within and without the existing keep, and the points on the inner and outer faces then uncovered seem to indicate a rectangular structure with walls 15–16 ft. thick. A layer of black earth intervened between these foundations and those of the Roman building below them. The date of this structure must remain uncertain, but the use of herringbone work indicates a date not much later than 1100. The N. curtain-wall incorporates some herring-bone masonry no doubt of the same period, and the line of the existing curtains towards the W. indicates that they were laid out when the earlier keep was still standing. Other parts of the existing curtain may also belong to this period though they show no herring-bone work. The existing Keep dates probably from the last quarter of the 12th century, after the taking of the castle by William the Lion in 1174. Repairs are mentioned in the Pipe Rolls of 1199–1201. The round S.E. tower is probably an early 13th-century addition, and at the same period a hall seems to have been built against the E. curtain; the foundation of its W. wall has been found under the courtyard; the Gatehouse was perhaps built about the same time. Parts of the curtain appear to be also of 13th-century date. The S.E. range was built in the 14th century, and probably in the 15th century the gatehouse was reconditioned and a range added in front of the S.E. range. The castle fell into ruin after a fire of 1521 and was repaired by Lady Anne Clifford, Countess of Pembroke, in 1660–2. At this date the S.E. tower and the S.W. angle of the keep were largely re-built, the kitchens added against the N. wall, the stables against the S. wall and the range against the earlier S.E. range largely re-built; the staircase to the great hall was also re-built. After the death of the countess the castle fell rapidly into decay; materials were removed from it in 1695 and c. 1763; in 1792 the S.E. angle of the keep fell. The S.W. angle of the keep fell in recent years. The castle is now in the charge of H.M. Office of Works.

The castle is an interesting example of one of the smaller border fortresses, and retains much of its 12th-century keep.

The Keep (97½ ft. by 81 ft. externally), called the Roman Tower in the 17th century, is a rectangular structure (Plate 83) with clasping angle buttresses. It is of three stages, the lowest of c. 1170 and the other two of slightly later date. The N. wall stands over a fragment of a structure probably part of the earlier keep; the wall above it has been refaced; this wall has a loop-light divided internally by a wedge-shaped block of masonry perhaps inserted in the 17th century to take the end of a partition; farther E. is a round-headed doorway, formerly giving access to a staircase in the thickness of the N. wall, but now broken through to the outside. Against the E. wall are remains of the external staircase to the keep-entrance at the first-floor level. The S. wall retains the jambs of an inserted 17th-century fireplace, and in the W. wall are remains of a 17th-century window. The second stage has in the N. and S. walls original windows altered externally in the 17th century and having square heads; the mullion of the N. window has gone. In the E. wall there are little or no traces of the main doorway, which is represented by a gap in the wall. In the W. wall is a 17th-century window with remains of the original window to the N. of it. The third stage is approached by a staircase in the E. wall; in this wall are traces of a window; in the N. wall is a partly original window of two round-headed lights in a square outer order. The window in the S. wall is perhaps also original; it is of two square-headed lights with semi-circular outer orders or arches springing in the middle from a pier with attached shafts and a plain capital. There are remains of an original window in the W. wall. The top stage was originally occupied by the gabled roof of the tower which ran E. and W. with the ridge just below the parapet; the marks of this roof remain on the E. and W. walls. The stage was later formed into a fourth storey with a flat roof; there are remains of windows in both the E. and W. walls. The S.W. angle of the keep, re-built in the 17th century, has almost completely fallen; the S.E. angle has been mostly reconstructed with the old materials and there is a broad gap in the adjoining E. wall, from top to bottom. Remains survive of three of the small angle-turrets.

The Curtain-wall between the keep and the gatehouse survives in part and against it on the inside was a range of building probably the stables built by Lady Anne Clifford in 1662; the walls are standing up to about 2½ ft. high. The Gatehouse is standing in part some 35 ft. high and was of three storeys. It is a 13th-century structure with a pair of 15th-century buttresses on the outward face brought to a V-shaped end. Both the outer and inner arches of the gatehouse have been destroyed, but the W. springing of the inner arch remains, with the springing of three ribs of a barrel-vault. The E. wall encloses a staircase which apparently superseded an earlier staircase, which was filled in when the later stairs were built. There is a 16th or 17th-century fireplace in the W. wall of the top floor. The abutments of the former drawbridge over the moat have been found but are not now visible. The curtain-wall, E. of the gatehouse, forms part of the 14th-century S.E. range which contained the great hall and a range of cellars beneath it. The three cellars had barrel-vaults of which only that over the W. chamber remains complete; the two western chambers have each a garde-robe in the curtain wall and an angle-fireplace of 17th-century date; the E. chamber has a loop in the S. wall and a wall-staircase entered by a doorway in the N. wall; the adjoining 14th-century doorway retains the shouldered corbels of its former lintel. The E. wall of this chamber is presumably earlier than the rest of the range as it retains parts of a plinth on the W. face. The Great Hall above this range of cellars retains only its S. wall with two 14th-century windows each of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label; the mullions and parts of the tracery are missing; near the E. end of the wall is a single-light square-headed window and remains of a garderobe. Above the hall was a third storey which retains the openings of two windows; Buck's view shows these to have been of two foiled and transomed lights in square heads; at the E. end of the wall are remains of a garde-robe over the one in the floor below. The S.E. Tower or Clifford's Tower (Plate 84) is of semi-circular form with a three-stage plinth. It is perhaps of the 13th century largely reconstructed by the Countess Anne. The ground stage is entered by a doorway altered in the 17th century; there is an original loop towards the S.W., but the three other windows are all of the 17th century, formerly of two lights with square heads and moulded labels; all the mullions are missing and the head of the middle window with the whole of the walling above it. On the N. side are remains of a fireplace. The second and third stages each retain a 17th-century window similar to those below and the second stage has remains of an original loop towards the S.W., destroyed by a 17th-century window, and traces of a second loop towards the N.E. The triangular room at the back of this tower has a loop-light in the S. wall. The room against the E. curtain to the N. has a 13th-century W. wall and remains of a fireplace in the E. wall; the N. wall is probably of the 15th century and forms part of the range restored by the Countess Anne on the inner face of the S.E. or hall-block. This range has remains of a plinth probably of the 15th century; it is standing to no great height and the openings are much ruined; in the third chamber from the W. is the lower part of the 17th-century staircase leading up to the hall. Part of the E. curtain, adjoining the S.E. tower, stands to a considerable height and is much reddened as though by the action of fire. The N. curtain stands from 8–10 ft. high, but has been stripped of much of its external facing. In the core of the eastern part is a considerable stretch of masonry set herring-bone fashion; this is probably of earlier date than the rest of the walling, and if so must have been ruined before the later facing was added. The various projections for buttresses and garde-robes are sufficiently indicated on the plan. The curtain N.W. of the keep retains remains of a staircase. The Kitchen, bake and brew houses, built by the Countess Anne against the N. curtain, now stand little above the foundations. The kitchen on the E. had a large fireplace in the E. wall and a fireplace or furnace in the W. wall with an oven at the back. The Courtyard is unevenly paved with rough sandstone, set out in large squares and rectangles bounded by straight bands of stone.

The Earthworks are an adaptation of the defences of the Roman station (q.v.), probably deepened and widened. The actual castle has been further defended by a ditch cut across the enclosure immediately S. of the S. wall and having an irregular outer bank. To the E. of the castle is a roughly triangular enclosure with a ditch on the E. and S. and a square sinking in the middle. To the W. of the castle are two enclosures formed by banks and ditches carried across the crest of the spur on which the castle stands.

Condition—In charge of H.M. Office of Works and carefully preserved.

(4). Market Cross, on the S. side of Upper Market Street about 150 yards E. of the Kirkby Stephen road, consists of a mediæval octagonal to square stone base on three steps and an 18th-century shaft, capping and ball-finial. The shaft has the initials and date B.M.C. 1331, also of the 18th century.


(5). Old Hall, on the S. side of Market Street, 150 yards W. of the Kirkby Stephen road, is of two storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. It was built probably early in the 17th century and retains some original stone windows. The doorway has moulded jambs and square head with a drip-stone. Inside the building is a fireplace with a moulded cornice or shelf. The outbuilding W. of the house is probably also of the 17th century.


(6). House, 25 yards E.S.E. of (5), is practically modern but incorporates a doorway with cusped shoulders to the lintel and a carved wreath above with the initials and date I.P. 1675. Inside the building is an enriched 17th-century panel, probably of plaster.


(7). House, 50 yards E.S.E. of (6), is modern but incorporates a panel with the initials and date I. and D.B. 1699.


(8). Cottage, formerly the Grapes Inn, on the W. side of Kirkby Stephen road, just S. of the main street, is probably modern, but incorporates an enriched door-head (Plate 30) with two arched panels and the initials and date G.M. 1687.


(9). Rumney House, in Upper Market Street, 30 yards S.E. of the bridge, is modern, but incorporated in an outbuilding are two stones, (a) carved with two much weathered shields, probably Clifford quartering Vipont and Blenkinsop quartering Salkeld, Vaux and Hellbeck, with defaced letters below; the stone was formerly on the Court House and dates probably from the 16th century; (b) a door-lintel with the initials and date I.K. 1676 A.K.

(10). Cottage, formerly the Bridge Inn, 250 yards N.N.E. of the church, is probably modern, but incor porated in an outbuilding is a doorway with the initials and date R.W. 1691 (9 reversed) on the lintel.



(11). Lynchets, E. of the Hillbeck road and 1,000 yards N. of the church, are four in number and extend for about 235 yards along a S. slope.