Brougham Castle - Cumbria
This medieval castle in Cumbria is just a stately ruin now - but it was a Border Castle for centuries, a bastion against the wild Scots to the North. At least that's how the English Heritage signs put it, sprinkled around the ruins of the castle to talk about it's history.
I have to admit I bristled quite a bit reading about it there and the obvious slant the historical panels describe - I'm not denying the Scots came down and raided northern England for centuries... but what they got for it was just incommensurate in every way. People should really be more angry with those old English for their treatment of the Scots and Irish... is it really any wonder or surprise that they treated the Native Americans the *exact* same way when they colonized here? Bah! It is what it is, now. Can't change the past.
This castle is situated quite nicely right on the river Eamont. It has spectacular ruins.
Everytime I visit a castle I always wish I could find one that's still intact, but as it was during the medieval or renaissance time. Thus far I had not been very lucky - there are many hundreds of castles in England that are open for visitors, most are in ruins like this one. The rest have either been built up as a dwelling into modern times and so while they retain their outward appearance of a medieval castle, the interiors have been lost to the needs of people residing within. (Quite understandably and yet I still and wistful) The last few (The Tower of London and Warwick Castle) have been turned into gigantic tourist attractions and museums, that have nearly lost all historical feeling from them at all, despite the stones themselves being centuries old and dynamic stories happening right within their walls. It takes a monumental amount of imagination in those places to get a feeling of the past. It is possible... it just isn't what I'm seeking.
Brougham was a wonderful later afternoon stopover. Quiet and empty, we had the whole grounds to ourselves. We wandered around the ruins, exploring and climbing the Tower, treating to gorgeous views of the Cumbrian countryside and the castle demense.