Brampton, Cumberland

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A6071 river bridge. - - 128086.jpg
Bridge at Brampton
Grid reference: NY530609
Location: 54°56’27"N, 2°43’58"W
Population: 4,001
Post town: Brampton
Postcode: CA8
Dialling code: 016977
Local Government
Council: City of Carlisle
Penrith and The Border

Brampton is a small market town in Cumberland known for its cobbled street, historic sandstone houses and its distinctive market square and church.

The Brampton Beck runs through Brampton with the River Irthing close by and its tributary, the jaunty River Gelt. The town lies some 9 miles east of Carlisle and 2 miles south of Hadrian's Wall. It is a popular base for exploring the country round Hadrian’s Wall.

The town's main street is half-cobbled and runs up to the Market Place full of character, with several historic buildigs along its length. There in the market place is the Moot Hall, the town's most distinctive landmark.

Brampton received a royal charter from King Henry III in 1252 entitling the town to a market, which is held in the market square.

Brampton is bypassed by the A69 road and by the railway; the town's station lying about a mile outside the town itself, on the Newcastle and Carlisle line.

Landmarks and buildings

The Moot Hall stands in the market place. It is an octagonal building incorporating a clock tower. Its entrance is in an upper storey, reached by a staircase running up the outside. The Moot Hall was built by the Earl of Carlisle in 1817 and is now where one may find the tourist information centre.

Memory of its days as a thriving weaving town, Brampton still has rows of old cotton weavers' cottages. The White Lion and the Scotch Arms public houses date back to the eighteenth century. The Scotch Arms was once an old coaching inn. Eden House and the Howard Arms are of the early 19th century.

East of the town stands a high motte, about 135 feet high, on which stands an impressive statue of George William Frederick Howard, the 7th Earl of Carlisle. The mound is possibly the site of an old castle, of which no trace otherwise remains.

Parish church

St Martin's Church

St Martin's Church is famous as the only church designed by the Pre-Raphaelite architect Philip Webb, and contains one of the most exquisite sets of stained glass windows designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, and executed in the William Morris studio.

Parks around the town

Rickerby Park stands on the banks of the River Eden. It was laid out in the Victorian period.

Gelt Woods are found some two miles to the south. The River Gelt passes through the woods. The river takes its name from the Old Norse language, meaning apparently "mad river", no inappropriately. Several lovely walking paths wander through the wood, a haven for wildlife including red squirrels, almost gone elsewhere. Within the woods is evidence of very early appreciation of the land; a rock known locally as "the written rock of Gelt" bears an inscription once carved by a Roman soldier of the third century.

Talkin Tarn Country Park to the east of the town contains the Talkin Tarn, a pretty mountain lake formed by ancient glaciers, over a mile in around its edge. A boathouse and a café stand on the shore. The Park itself stretches over 120 acres containing farms and woods.


Statue of the Emperor Hadrian, whose wall stands two miles to the north

The town was founded by incoming English settlers in the 7th century.[1] Its name is thought to refer to brambles which grew thick in the area.

In 1252 King Henry III granted Brampton a royal charter permitting it to hold a market, and markets have been held ever since. In 1606 King James I granted a new charter, a copy of which is at the Moot Hall. In addition to the markets, four annual fairs were held.

During the Jacobite Rising of 1745, the Young Pretender ("Bonnie Prince Charlie") stayed in the town for one night, something marked by a plaque on the wall of the building (a shoe shop) now occupying the location. Here the Young Pretender received the Mayor of Carlisle who had ridden to Brampton to surrender the city to the Prince. The rebels withdrew from Cumberland the next year. The Capon Tree Monument outside the town centre was the scene of the 1746 hanging of six of the Young Pretender's supporters.[2]

In 1817 the Earl of Carlisle built the octagonal Moot Hall, which is in the centre of Brampton and houses the Tourist Information Centre. It replaced a 1648 building which was once used by Oliver Cromwell to house prisoners.[3]


William Howard School is host to "Brampton Live" every summer, an ever-growing music festival that has, since its first appearance in 1995, become the largest folk/roots/world music festival in the North of England, with major artists appearing.


Outside links