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The town developed in two halves: Church Brough and Market Brough. A Norman castle dominates Church Brough, and Market Brough became an important stopover for stagecoach journeys over the Pennines. Today, Brough's economy is based on farming and agriculture.
The ancient market town and royal borough of Appleby, in the heart of the Eden Valley, is the focal point for many outlying villages and hamlets.
A landscape rich in myths and legends, in prehistoric settlements and burial mounds, strategic Roman forts and defensive Norman castles.
The rich agricultural land yielded produce for sale in the market towns of Brough and Kirkby Stephen. Drovers' roads brought livestock for sale, and packhorse routes carried goods across the Pennines and down the Eden Valley and beyond. Today, they have left a rich legacy of public footpaths, bridleways and quiet lanes radiating throughout the whole area.
Kirkby Stephen, an ancient market town at the head of the Eden Valley, possesses an air of historical intrigue. A fine church and busy market square lie at its heart. Narrow, twisting passageways await exploration and underground passages once provided refuge during Scottish raids and to smuggle in beer to the ale-houses to avoid paying taxes.
For many years Brough was the principal town in the area, as it lay on an important cross-Pennine trading route through the Stainmore Pass. The town developed in two halves: Church Brough and Market Brough.
A Norman castle dominates Church Brough, built upon an earlier fort that once guarded the Roman road to York. Market Brough later became an important stopover for stagecoach journeys over the Pennines.
Today, Brough's economy is based on farming and agriculture. A thriving farmers' market is held every month, the annual Brough Show showcases the best in agricultural products and Brough Hill Fair is an annual gathering for the trading of horses and other livestock.
Around these two towns are a number of attractive villages - Musgrave and Wharton with their prehistoric cultivation terraces (some of the best in the country), Warcop and its narrow medieval bridge, Winton, Brough Sowerby, Kaber, Hartley and Nateby.
The Mallerstang Valley, which follows the River Eden upstream to its source at Hell Gill oozes history with a wealth of prehistoric remains, ancient pele towers, medieval halls, and old drovers' and packhorse ways. Mallerstang was once noted for its cheese, similar in taste and appearance to Wensleydale.