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The High Cross
outside the castle gates

Appleby's importance further increased when the town was made into a Royal Borough and shortly after granted another Charter, all this in the late C12th. The Scots regarded Appleby as a rich prize when they carried out their frequent raids. The town was almost destroyed when towards the end of the 1300s the Scots launched a savage raid into Cumbria.

Just under three hundred years later after the end of the English Civil War, around 1650-60 the remarkable Lady Anne Clifford began her great work of restoring her estate. Appleby benefited hugely from this inspired undertaking and re-building work began on the castle. An almshouse was built to house the poor women and widows of the town: it still stands and you can walk into the courtyard. Lady Anne and her mother are buried in the fine church of St Lawrence at the bottom of Boroughgate and her tomb is of very good quality. You should visit The Moot Hall, a fine old building in Boroughgate and home to the town council and Tourist Information Centre for the town. It dates from 1596.

So far I have mentioned only the attractions of the west side of the town. The east side of the town over the River Eden is known as the Sands and is in fact older. There are numerous buildings of interest and the railway station is found here. Appleby has another attribute, it is on the famed Settle and Carlisle railway line, which passes through truly spectacular countryside and is popular to the extent that the 'Orient Express' has travelled the line.

Appleby is a wonderful old market town and should be on any itinerary.





Copyright EDGE 1997