History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: 14th century Penrith Castle
There was a Roman fort called Voreda here, on the road between Carlisle and Manchester; the major Roman route north into Scotland. In the 9th century, Penrith became the capital of Cumbria, which formed part of the Scottish kingdom of Strathclyde until AD 1070.
St Andrews Church
Penrith's parish church was built from 1720 in the Grecian style, retaining the 13th-century tower from an earlier church on the same spot. In the churchyard are the remains of several Norse hogback gravestones and ancient crosses, known respectively as the 'Giant's Grave' and 'Giant's Thumb'. The cross dates to AD 920.
There was a pele tower here in the earlier medieval period, but the real story of Penrith Castle began in 1399 when a stone curtain wall was linked to the tower. During the 15th century the castle was enlarged and strengthened, and eventually became a royal fortress under Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later to become King Richard III). The castle is now a ruin, cared for by English Heritage.
The Penrith Museum is housed in an Elizabethan building later used as a school. The museum has exhibits on the rich history and geology of the Eden Valley.
South of the town are the prehistoric sites of Mayburgh Henge and King Arthur's Seat. South east at Brougham are the ruins of a Roman fort and beside it, medieval Brougham Castle.
Address: Penrith, Cumbria, England
Attraction Type: Town
Location: On the A6, just off the M6 at J40
Photo Credit: Kenneth Allen, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Penrith Castle - 0.1 miles (Castle)
Penrith, St Andrew's Church - 0.5 miles (Historic Church)
Mayburgh Henge - 0.9 miles (Prehistoric Site)
King Arthur's Round Table - 1.1 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Brougham Hall - 1.2 miles (Historic Building)
Brougham Castle - 1.5 miles (Castle)
Clifton Hall - 2 miles (Historic Building)
The Countess Pillar - 2.1 miles (Historic Building)
Nearest Accommodation to Penrith: