Ruins Restored

During all the long months when Chris could only hobble around I longed to visit some ruins. We've talked about our love of ruins before or "ruin lust" and somehow life without ruins is a life lived in the shadows!

There's a wonderful Anglo-Saxon poem which beautifully describes the impact of ruins:

Lady Ann Clifford
Wondrous the stone of these ancient walls, shattered by fate.
The districts of the city have crumbled.
The work of giants of old lies decayed.
Roofs are long tumbled down,
The lofty towers are in ruins.
Frost covers the mortar,
Tiles weathered and fallen, undermined by age.

So, Saturday saw us heading north to Brough Castle and then onto Appleby and then, finally, Pendragon Castle. All three castles were restored by Lady Anne Clifford in the Seventeenth Century. Born at Skipton Castle she moved back to the north after the Civil War, in 1649, when she was 60 years old. She spent the next 26 years of her life restoring the mostly ruinous family castles to their former glory (Skipton, Pendragon, Appleby, Brough and Brougham Castles). She also built some almshouses for poor widows in Appleby and restored several churches in the area.
Brough Castle with its round Clifford Tower in the foreground

Some of the remains of Brough Castle
We were unable to visit Appleby Castle as it was closed but did enjoy the Church and Almshouses and the town of Appleby is also a little gem.
Pendragon Castle
Our tour finished at Pendragon Castle in the Vale of Mallerstang near Outhgill in Cumbria along the banks of the River Eden. Its location on a raised hill consists of a single ruinous tower. While legends link this castle to Uther Pendragon, father of King Arthur, the structure was built in the 12th century, more than 500 years after the time of King Arthur.
Pendragon's setting, deep in the Yorkshire Dales, is breathtaking
The ruins are romantic and it would be very easy to imagine the Arthurian legends having their beginnings here. There is a local ditty which claims that Uther tried to divert the course of the River Eden in order to build the castle:

Let Uther Pendragon do what he can
Eden will run where Eden ran

We had a wonderful day and Chris didn't stumble once!