Lady Anne Clifford in CumbriaAnne Clifford was born at Skipton Castle on 30 January 1590, during the reign of Elizabeth I. She was the third and only surviving child of George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, and his wife Margaret Russell.
Lady Anne Clifford (left) portrait by John Bracken at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal.
When she was 15, her father died. She was upset to find she did not inherit her father’s vast estate, his brother got it instead. The Earl of Cumberland had not recognised the strength and determination of his only child. From that moment Anne’s mission in life was to regain her inheritance. She married and had five children, but her husband was obstructive to her claim for the inheritance.
Six years later he died, and she married Philip Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, who did support her claim. He provided her with two things of importance. He employed Inigo Jones to restore the family home, and gave Anne inspiration for her later building efforts. Also, he provided the name she used thereafter, Anne Pembroke. The initials AP can be seen written large on many of the buildings she restored or built.
Eventually she did inherit the estate in 1643. With the Civil War raging, it was in 1649 that she came north. Her husband had died and there was nothing to keep her enthusiasm in check. Lady Anne was now 60 years old. She spent the next 26 years rebuilding churches and castles. Skipton, Pendragon, Appleby, Brough and Brougham Castles were restored to their former glory. As a devout Christian she built and restored churches and almshouses. She finally died on 22 March 1676, when she was 86. She died at Brougham Castle in the room where her father had been born.
Eden Tourism produce a leaflet ‘The Anne Clifford Trail’, describing a route you may take from Skipton to Brougham, and detailing all the Anne Clifford connections on the way.
Lady Anne’s Way is a 100 mile walk through places associated with Lady Anne Clifford. It starts at her birth place, Skipton, goes through Wharfedale and Wensleydale and finishes in Cumbria at Brougham Castle near Penrith, where she died.
The ‘Great Picture’ of the Clifford family, was commissioned by Anne at about age fifty-six, when she came into her inheritance. The artist, probably Jan van Belcamp, had to paint much of it from earlier portraits.The Great Picture hung in Appleby Castle for over three hundred years, and was purchased in 1981 by the Lakeland Arts Trust.
The left and right panel’s are on display at the Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal, and they are hoping to display the centre panel in the summer of 2011.
The center panel of the triptych presents Anne’s father, mother, and the two brothers who died, leaving her Clifford’s only living child. The left side picture is Anne aged 15, the right side picture is Anne aged 56.
See more information sbout the ‘Great Picture’.
There is a painting (see top of page) by John Bracken of Lady Anne Clifford at the Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal. A similar painting is at Dalemain, near Penrith.
The Lady Anne Clifford Westmorland Heritage Trail will guide visitors from her former home at Appleby Castle to Kirkby Stephen. The trail has been produced jointly by Appleby Chamber of Trade and Community Association, Kirkby Stephen Town Forum, English Heritage, Eden District Council, Neighbourhood Forum, Julian Thurgood, Simon Ledingham and www.visitcumbria.com.
Download a copy of the booklet here.
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