Around three miles from Hadrian's Wall, Brampton is a small market town and civil parish which, in the past, was a strategically important area for the Romans even before the wall was in place. The town is located about 9 miles from Carlisle but is said to be located within the City of Carlisle. Although St Ninian established missionary settlements here around the 5th century, the current town area was in fact set up by Anglians in the 7th century. The present town still has a partly cobbled marketplace in a rather irregular shape. The octagonal Moot Hall, which was built by the Earl of Carlisle in 1817, stands in the centre which now serves as the town's Tourist Information Centre.
Despite being the quaint market town it is now, Brampton didn't gain that status until 1252, this was after Henry III granted the town a market charter. However, this did not help the town with its border raids as it suffered for many years because of it. In fact in 1745, during the Jacobite Rebellion, Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed in the place now called Prince Charlie's House in High Cross Street which is marked by a plaque on the wall outside, he stayed there for one night and is guessed to have wrote the terms of surrender for Carlisle as he had captured it with his Jacobite army. Brampton is also the place he gained the keys to Carlisle and then rode there triumphantly. Like many of the historic buildings in Brampton and even across Cumbria, it is built from the local red sandstone. However, Brampton was also the place six of Charlie's loyal followers were hanged after the Battle of Culloden, the final battle of the Jacobites which ended their rebellion. They were hanged on the Capon Tree, which is south of the town and is marked by monument.
The town's church is St Martin's Church which was built on the site of a late 17th century hospital and was later rebuilt in 1878. The church was designed by Phillip Webb, an architect of the Pre-Raphaelites Brotherhood and sometimes considered the Father of Arts and Crafts Architecture. The church is the only church designed by Webb and even collaborated with William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones to provide a vast five-panelled east window as a memorial to the late Charles Howard MP, the 8th Earl of Carlisle. The window boasts a vast array of colours and portrays many figures in Christianity from the St Mary the Virgin to the national saint of St George. It also demonstrates self-sacrifice under the symbol of a pelican feeding its young.
Brampton is also a designated Fairtrade status town which was given to them on 6th January 2005. Brampton Primary school was awarded the status in 2007 and the nearby RAF base Spadeadam became the first British military base to sign up to the scheme. The town also achieved the 'Walkers are Welcome' status in 2011, a scheme devised to make towns more 'hiker-friendly.'
Another notable thing about Brampton is that the William Howard School there used to be the host of 'Brampton Live' an ever-growing music festival which attracted many bands and artists such as the Levellers, the Waterboys, Richard Thompson, Suzanne Vega, Tommy Emmanuel and many others. The festival was then replaced in 2012 by 'Stepping Stones', after the last performance in 2009, which is now held in early May at the Brampton Community Centre.
Brampton is also home to the oldest 10 mile road race known as the Brampton to Carlisle 10 Mile Road Race organised by the Border Harriers and Athletic Club. The first race was won in 1952 and has been won by Steve Cram and Ron Hill in the past.
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