Explore what the town has to offer...
Start your day with a stroll around the town's historic monuments
The Moot Hall
Our suggested route begins right in the heart of the town, at the 19th century Moot Hall. Built in 1817 for the Earl of Carlisle, it was originally an open marketplace underneath, before being later enclosed. The Moot Hall currently serves as a focal point for the town, as well as housing the town’s clock and the Tourist Information office.
Close by is a plaque dedicated to the local poet Peter Burn, who wrote the poem “Kindness” –
“Speak kindly to other,
And wealth shall be yours,
The magic of story still lives in kind words;
Let them be spoken,
And hearts will fly open—
Kind words are ever more mighty than swords.”
The Moot Hall is the perfect place to start a tour, giving a flavour of the history of the area.
St Martin’s Church
Also right there in the heart of Brampton is the beautiful St Martin’s Church. An active Anglican parish church, St Martin’s is the only church designed by Pre-Raphaelite architect Philip Webb, and features glorious stained glass windows from the William Morris studio by Sir Edward Burne-Jones. The church is a glorious example of the architectural movement, and has an unusual square floor plan that sets it apart from most other buildings of its type. The church represents an important landmark of the town, and as well as its huge value as a piece of architecture, it is also an important community hub and symbol of the town.
The church was originally built in the 1800s to replace the much older Brampton Old Church, on which more below…
Brampton Old Church
Sitting on the site of the Uxellodunum Roman fort, Brampton Old Church has hundreds of years of history. The old Roman road Stanegate passed through the site, giving it a vital strategic location and partly accounting for its colourful history. The church building itself can be traced all the way back to the 12th century, and actually features stone taken from Hadrian’s Wall itself. The chapel itself also features beautiful windows, possibly dating from the Norman period, as well as some later additions over the intervening centuries. It is even possible that the town of Brampton was once situated here, and was later moved!
Located about a mile north-west of town, it is an easy walk through beautiful countryside, or a very quick drive.
Explore Ancient & Medieval History Amongst The Cumbrian Countryside
Spend the afternoon walking amongst sites steeped in history
Turning north-east, you will find the beautiful and peaceful ruins of Lanercost Priory. Established by the Augustinian order in 1169, and then dissolved by Henry VIII during the reformation, the priory’s history has been intertwined with that of England and Scotland, being a target for Scottish raids. Now protected by English Heritage, the abbey makes for a wonderful place for quiet reflection, as well as a fascinating piece of European history. The priory also features embroidery work by none other than William Morris, whose place in the Arts & Crafts movement made him and his work world-famous. From the middle ages to the present day, Lanercost Priory’s history has been a fascinating one, and makes for a memorable visit.
Lanercost Priory is about 45 minutes walk out of Brampton, in the direction of our next attraction –
Continue north-east and you will find what is certainly the most famous historic site in the local area – Hadrian’s Wall. The world-famous Roman fortification passes just north of Brampton, and roots the town in thousands of years of history.
Begun in the 2nd century AD at the instruction of the Roman emperor Hadrian, the wall was constructed to separate what was then Brittania and Caledonia, or modern-day England and Scotland. The wall is a UNESCO world heritage site, and is one of the most famous pieces of Roman architecture in the world, as well as a British cultural icon. You can really imagine the invading tribes from the north meeting fortifications of nervous Roman soldiers all those thousands of years ago, and the atmosphere of the decaying fortifications against the dramatic landscape really makes for a memorable trip!
Hare Hill is a good starting point, just north-east of Brampton, from which you can follow the National Trail east to Banks Turret and the Birdoswald Fort, two well-preserved examples of the mileforts located along the wall, along with the longest continuous stretch of the wall itself.
You can walk or cycle the length of the wall from coast to coast along the Hadrian’s Wall path, though be advised that the wall itself is a little way from Brampton town, and a drive would certainly be the quickest way to reach Hare Hill to begin your journey. Have a look around this beautiful landscape with its fascinating past, and explore a world-class historical attraction.