The Border Reivers Trail (in Cumbria)

The Border Reivers Trail (in Cumbria)

From the 14th to the 17th Century, the western end of the border between Scotland and England was a turbulent and lawless place. In these ‘Debatable Lands’ to the north of Carlisle, the line of the border was not clearly defined. Many lives were lost as local families, like the Armstrongs, Elliots and Grahams, fought to uphold their honour and to expand their property and possessions in this remote land.
The border ‘Reivers’ (an old name for robber or bandit) carried out raids in which their victims lost their cattle, and sometimes their lives. Carlisle was frequently attacked.
Many of the places listed below contain a pele tower. These were small stone buildings with walls from 3 to 10 feet thick, square or oblong in shape, which were designed to withstand short sieges.

The Border Reivers Trail leaflet
The Border Reivers Trail leaflet

In Tullie House Museum is an audio-visual presentation of the story of the Reivers, and the museum shop stocks much material on this subject.
A leaflet has been published ‘In search of the Border Reivers’, listing many sites in Cumbria, Dumfries and Galloway, and Northumbria, that are of historical importance, and which are accessible to visitors.
Below are listed those in Cumbria.

Border Reivers Trail around Cumbria
Holm Cultram AbbeyAbbeytown
Bewcastle CastleBewcastle
St Cuthbert’s ChurchBewcastle
Lanercost PrioryBrampton
Sizergh CastleKendal
Carlisle Castle Carlisle
Carlisle CathedralCarlisle
Tullie House MuseumCarlisle
Rose CastleDalston
St Cuthbert’s ChurchGreat Salkeld
St Oswald’s ChurchKirkoswald
Kirkoswald CastleKirkoswald
Levens HallLevens
Muncaster CastleMuncaster
Penrith CastlePenrith
Penrith BeaconPenrith
Brougham Castle Penrith

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