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This is the place to search for places and things of interest to visit in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse. It is a growing directory – 700+ entries as of October 2019. Most entries have links for further information.
The tiny church of St Nicholas at Bramber was originally the chapel of Bramber Castle, built by William de Braose in 1073 and eventually becoming Bramber's parish church. It is reputedly the oldest Norman church in the county. It was originally cruciform, but the transepts have long gone. There is a lovely 11th century chancel arch with decorated capitals and several other medieval features, including a 13th century font.
The Battle of Lewes took place on 14 May 1264, the first major battle of the Second Barons' War. The prelude to this was widespread dissatisfaction with the manner of King Henry III's reign, particularly over issues such as taxation and inheritance. Matters came to a head and a rebel baronial faction led by Simon de Montfort, the Earl of Leicester, took up arms against the king. De Montfort's force of about 5,000 approached Lewes, a royal stronghold with about 10,000 troops, from the downland to the north. The King's son, Prince Edward (later Edward I), rode out from Lewes Castle with heavy cavalry, engaged de Montfort's inexperienced left flank and chased it from the field. De Montfort, meanwhile, charged downhill at Henry's main army in the vicinity of Landport Bottom and won a decisive victory. Most of the fighting took place there, around the Black Horse pub on Western road, now a residential area and on the High Street. The king took refuge in Lewes Priory and was forced to surrender to de Monfort. Edward too was held captive - though later escaped. There is a link to a battlefield walk below. The address is for the Black Horse pub; walk from there up Spital Road, past the prison, and up onto the downs.
The circle is in fact an oval approximately 360 feet (100 metres) by 305 feet (93 metres) and consists of 59 or 69 stones, depending which account you believe. Of course, one of the legends associated with Long Meg and Her Daughters is that the stones cannot be counted. Long Meg herself stands about 20 feet 6.1 metres) apart from Her Daughters (the circle stones) and is around 12 feet (3.6 metres) high with prehistoric artwork on her circle-facing side. It is thought that the stones were placed during the Late Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age, c2400 - 1000 BC and were likely to have been used as a meeting place or for some type of ritual (which covers most bases, I suppose). Long Meg is made of local red sandstone, whereas the daughters are glacial erratics and a type of granite, rhyolite.
The most famous of the many legends associated with the stones is that they were a 13th century coven of witches who were turned to stone by Michael Scot, a wizard from Scotland. If you actually manage to count the stones twice and come to the same total, the spell will be broken. If Meg is shattered, she will run with blood. If you walk round the circle, count the correct number of stones and put your ear to Long Meg, you will hear her whisper.
Post code is for Little Salkeld. Park in Little Salkeld, walk up the Glassonby Road and follow a track to the left about 0.25 miles out of the village.
Interesting monument erected in 1656 by the redoubtable Lady Anne Clifford to commemorate her final parting with her mother in 1616. There's an adjacent stone where money was left for the poor on each anniversary.
The monument is on the west-bound carriageway of the A66 where it is impossible to stop. Take the turning off the A66 to Brougham Castle, park on an unused section of old road and walk east along a path.
‘Ninekirks’ is more properly St Ninian’s, Brougham. It is a remote church accessible only by foot, along a track to a bend in the River Eamont to where the church nestles in the middle of a field inside a walled enclosure. It is a lonely, beautiful and evocative spot. The present church was built in 1660 by Lady Anne Clifford on the site of an earlier one and is a rare example of a 17th church. It is very simple – most of the fittings, including the box pews, date from this time. The completion date, 1660, is carved over the simple altar. However, this was a medieval site, possibly Roman. There was a Celtic monastic settlement here, by tradition founded by St Ninian, at the end of the 4th C. It is felt a settlement grew from this, but had been abandoned (or moved closer to Brougham) by the end of the 13th C. The church was dilapidated by the 17th C. Though the church is redundant, services are still occasionally held in it.
Post code is approximate. To get there – locate a small car park on the north side (eastbound) of the A66 more or less opposite Whinfell Park. It’s easy to miss – heading east from Penrith, start looking on your left ahead after the turn for Brougham Castle (on your right).
At first glance, the village of Eamont Bridge seems a little uninspiring. It is situated close to Penrith, on the A6 - which used to be the main road leading to Scotland. In the 11th century, the River Eamont here marked the border between England and Scotland. Even further back, and Eamont Bridge stood on the border of the old Welsh kingdom of Strathclyde and was where, on 12 July 927 AD, a great council took place and all the kings and leaders of Britain paid homage to the first king of all the English, Athelstan, grandson of King Alfred the Great. Furthermore, Eamont Bridge boasts at least two prehistoric monuments - King Arthur's Round Table and Mayburgh Henge.
A Neolithic earthwork henge dating from c2500BC, once believed to be King Arthur's jousting area. This is a site for the enthusiast, because there is little to see; however, Mayburgh Henge nearby is more impressive. King Arthur's Round Table is located at the southern end of the historic village of Eamont Bridge (the War Memorial is a landmark) and consists of a low circular earth platform surrounded by a wide ditch and earthen bank, a layout characteristic of prehistoric henges. Part of the henge was destroyed when the road was built. Two standing stones once stood at one of the entrances.
A large Neolithic henge with high banks constructed of pebbles from the nearby River Eamont - an unusual form of construction. A single standing stone is near the centre of the henge. There were once more stones. The size and construction of the henge suggests that Mayburgh was a significant place - and it is fairly impressive. It's an easy walk from Eamont Bridge.
A commercial plant nursery that combines plant sales with planted borders, walls, statues and other features, which gives a feeling of visiting a very pleasant garden that coincidentally happens to sell plants. There is an Italian feel to the place, also reflected in a very acceptable bistro-type restaurant, La Casa Verde. A high-end gift shop and art gallery is also on site, plus a private chapel open on specified days. Melkinthorpe is a tiny hamlet - there is only one road to it.
Often incorrectly described as a pele tower, this is a 15th C fortified tower that is the only surviving part of the manor house of the Wybergh family. It was plundered by Jacobites in 1745 before the Battle of Clifton Moor, the last battle fought on English soil. You can see where other parts of the building once joined the tower. there are no upper floors, but a spiral staircase leads to a gallery so that you can see the construction. The tower is in the middle of a working farm; park in the village, not on or over the farm access road.