More attractions (1)

Penrith and Eden Museum. This small museum is housed in the former Robinson’s School (founded in 1670) and exhibits a range of material relating to the history, geology, archaeology, natural history, art and culture of Penrith and the surrounding area.
It includes the town’s medieval seal, a hoard of Roman coins found near Shap, a gallery dedicated to exploring the Neolithic age in the Eden Valley, old market measures, paintings by 19th century artists Jacob Thompson and Edward Hobley and mementos from a trooper in the Crimean War.
Another display features the Monocled Mutineer, Percy Toplis, the army deserter and suspected murderer who was shot dead on the A6 at Plumpton, north of Penrith, in 1921. Penrith and Eden Museum, Middlegate, Penrith CA11 7PT: 01768 865105. Tourist information centre, shop. Wheelchair access: access to ground floor galleries.

Countess Pillar, near Brougham. This is a poignant monument, erected by Lady Anne Clifford in 1654, to commemorate the last parting from her mother, Margaret, Countess of Cumberland, 38 years before. The pillar stands on a slightly elevated site on the south side of the A66, just past Brougham Castle outside Penrith (CA10 2AB).  

St Ninian’s Church, Brougham. You’ll have to walk about a mile (1.6km) across fields to get here but it’s certainly worth it. Almost totally unchanged since Lady Anne Clifford rebuilt an earlier church in 1660, St Ninian’s (Ninekirks) was once the parish church of Brougham. 
No longer in regular use, it’s in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust with only three or four services held a year. There are box pews, a pulpit with an adjoining reading desk, a medieval oak chest, a font dated 1662 and Jacobean panelling.
Directions: almost one mile (1.6km) after the end of the dual carriageway on the A66 - heading east from Penrith - is a small car park on the left hand side, opposite Whinfell Park farm. The path follows the River Eamont.

Brougham Hall. What began life as a 14th century fortified house later turned into a grand and handsome mansion, the Windsor of the North, as the Victorians called it. 
In the 1830s Brougham Hall belonged to Henry, the first Lord Brougham and Vaux, Lord Chancellor from 1830-34. He spent much of his later life in the south of France where he was instrumental in making the Riviera fashionable. 
Royalty used to visit but the mansion was partially demolished in the 1930s, then rescued from dereliction in 1985. While restoration work goes on, it’s home to a number of businesses. There’s a café here too. Brougham Hall, Brougham, near Penrith CA10 2DE: 01768 868184. Directions: Brougham Hall is about one mile (1.6km) south of Penrith on the B6262 (CA10 2DE).

St Wilfrid’s Chapel, Brougham. Even without the Brougham Triptych - which is now in Carlisle Cathedral - St Wilfrid’s still manages to amaze. Rebuilt by Lady Anne Clifford in 1659, it was the 2nd Lord Brougham and Vaux, occupant of Brougham Hall across the bridge, who in the 1840s gave the building its remarkable interior. 
Having purchased furnishings from the continent he asked local craftsmen to make them fit the specifications of the chapel. It was DIY on a grand scale. 
The pillared screen towards the west end is a case in point, made up, as it is said to be, of bishops’ stalls and four poster beds. The chapel’s own longitudinal stalls are 15th century and French (the floor had to be lowered to accommodate them), the organ case with its panels of gilded carvings is of similar age and the pulpit is 16th century. 
Lady Anne is not forgotten. An altar frontal bears her initials and is used twice a year in her memory. Very limited opening indeed.


Stay connected

Keep up to date with all the latest news from the LAKE DISTRICT travel guide.