A location in the much disputed border territory between England and Scotland gives Bewcastle an interesting history including Romans, Reivers, Anglo-Saxons and Normans.
The remains of the Roman Fort here are unusual as it is six sided rather than rectangular like most others. Probably named Fanum Cocidii after the local pagan god Cocidius, it was originally built from turf and timber and garrisoned by the First Nervan Cohort of Germans. It was later rebuilt in stone, and then the stone reused to build a Norman castle. A Roman road, the Maiden Way, runs between Bewcastle and Birdoswald fort.
In Bewcastle churchyard there is also the famous late 7th/early 8th century Bewcastle Cross, considered to be one of the finest surviving examples from Anglo-Saxon Britain.
A free exhibition – Bewcastle: Past and Present - covers the village’s sometimes turbulent border history, the wildlife and the landscape. It is in a converted building in the churchyard and is open every day during daylight hours.