Bewcastle in North Cumbria is an isolated village steeped in Roman and Border history. The church, farm, and castle occupy the site of a Roman out post fort which guarded the Maiden Way, the main Roman road north from Birdoswald on Hadrian’s Wall some 10km (6 miles) to the south.

The fort was dedicated to a local deity, Cocidius, and is unusual in having six sides, rather than the more usual rectangle or square. The fort was probably built around 122AD and occupied until AD 343. Bewcastle Cross is said to be the finest Anglican Cross in Europe. Dating from the 7th century, it is dedicated to Alcfrith, son of Oswiu,King of Northumberland who ruled from 641 – 670 AD

The stone castle was constructed between 1340 and 1360 using much material from the old Roman fort. During the 15th and 16th century it provided sanctuary for locals during Scottish raids. This area was much fought over by the Border Reivers; feuding, lawless, local families who raided each others farms taking livestock, goods, and possessions.

To protect themselves families built peel towers and Bastle houses. The old reiver family names survive today: Armstrong, Graham, Elliot, Musgrave and Nixon.

Click here to visit the Bewcastle Museum