Grahams and Brackenhill
Brackenhill is one of the key locations associated with the Graham
clan and provides a unique opportunity to interpret reiving history.
Brackenhill became the most southerly outpost of the true Border
Reivers. It is likely that Fergus Graham of Mote acquired Brackenhill
after 1561. He purchased it from Sir Thomas Dacre and settled the
property on to his third son, Richard (Ritchie) around 1580's.
Tower is four and a half miles east of Longtown and stood perilously
between the Debateable lands and the Bewcastle Wastes.
Tower was home to the Graham clan when they first arrived in the
border area. The Grahams were banished from Scotland around 1516
due to their various misdemeanours. They were mercenaries, fighting
men who earned their living on the battlefield and when they weren't
soldiers, would make a living by robbery. The then head of the Graham
clan, Lang Will Graham, fled to the English side of the border near
Longtown in the early years of the 16th century.
and his sons began to build a power base, which would become feared
and virtually impregnable for almost a century. The Grahams held
13 towers, which were homes for the extended Graham clan family.
chief seat of the family was Netherby (initially a fortified pele
tower, later a grand stately pile was built on the site). One of
Lang Will's sons, Fergus Graham of the Moat bought Brackenhill Tower
from Sir Thomas Dacre and settled the property on his third son
Richard (Richie) Graham who built the main tower house in 1584.