Brougham Hall near Penrith is a unique cultural venue that is aiming high with new ambitions for 2024 and beyond as it announces plans for theatre and events, all circled around its pretty courtyard and existing shops. 

The grounds of this magnificent 14th century medieval building are set to play host to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on July 24.

The comedy open-air theatre production by The HandleBards will be all the more dramatic and impressive thanks to the unique setting.

From May 10-12, Brougham Hall will be transformed into a Second World War style village, with military displays, vehicles and stalls showcasing authentic Allied living history as part of the Brougham Hall Wartime Weekend.

The event commemorates the hall’s part in the war, when it was commandeered by Sir Winston Churchill as home of the 79th Armoured Division for the development of a top secret weapon.

However, there is no need to wait for the events to visit Brougham Hall, which was rescued from dereliction in the 1980s and continues as an ongoing restoration project.

Every day visitors are welcome to explore the impressive array of artisans and makers creating everything from ceramics and jewellery to ironmongery and wood turning. There is also a vintage collectables shop and a gin distillery.

Workshops, classes and tours are available.

Also not to be missed is a walk around the grounds to admire the spectacular façade, much of which was renovated after the hall was purchased by Lady Anne Clifford in 1651.

She also designed and rebuilt St Wilfrid’s Chapel, which is currently undergoing a major facelift with the work of the Churches Conservation Trust and is due to open in 2026.

The onsite coffee house, which opened in November 2023, serves up delicious homemade treats year-round. A log-burner in winter makes it a cosy spot to hide away in, while in summer, benches spill out into the courtyard.

With a semi-enclosed space for kids and dogs to run around, the hall is a welcoming heritage, arts and cultural venue for everyone. Brougham Hall is just one of the venues being highlighted by the Let’s Go Culture project, which has received £175,908 from the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and is being supported by Westmorland & Furness Council.

Brougham Hall is open daily from 11am – 4pm in winter/spring, and from 10am – 5pm in summer. It is free to enter but welcomes donations. Visit, or for more inspiration.