Brough Castle dates from around 1100AD and was built to provide protection of routes from the North across land that had only recently been taken from the Scots. Scottish Kings made several attempts to re-capture Cumberland and Westmorland until 1237.
The Gatehouse section of Brough Castle was probably built some time after 1203 when the castle was given to Robert de Vieuxpont.
The present Keep was built in the late 12th Century along with other improvements to the castle structure but the castle was described as “decayed” by 1284. The Keep that can be seen today is built on earlier Norman foundations and it is believed that the original structure was composed of stone and wood.
The interior of the Keep at Brough Castle has several interesting features that are visible from the ground such as doorways and fireplace settings that were for the upper floors. There is also some remaining structures such as stairs and passageways within the walls that are now inaccessible behind a locked gate.
Some internal passageways still exist within the walls of Brough Castle, in the upper floor areas around the site of the 14th Century Great Hall.
There was a posh double latrine in the North curtain wall of Brough Castle.
There is a garderobe or toilet, still reasonable intact. The garderobe waste chute leads to a hole that can be seen in the outside wall of the castle at ground level.
Built as a residence for Robert Clifford when he took over the castle in 1268, Clifford’s Tower as it is known is notable as it’s structure is markedly less defensive than earlier parts of the castle. Although the walls are still very thick, the addition of windows on all floors that are distinctly stylish, show that the function of the castle was changing from it’s previous defensive purpose. Although the castle was attacked several times by the Scots.