Makers of Appleby

Pageant type


Entry researched by David Lowis.

Jump to Summary


Place: Appleby Public Hall (Appleby-in-Westmorland) (Appleby-In-Westmorland, Westmorland, England)

Year: 1980

Indoors/outdoors: Indoors

Number of performances: 1



Name of pageant master and other named staff

Names of executive committee or equivalent


Names of script-writer(s) and other credited author(s)

  • Holmes, Martin


Martin Holmes also provided most of the costumes.

Names of composers


Numbers of performers


Judging by the cast list (see summary), there appears to have been about 45 performers

Financial information


Object of any funds raised

Proceeds donated to the Appleby Festival Fund.

Linked occasion

Audience information

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest


Associated events


Pageant outline

Episode 1: The Roads of Rome

Eden sees the establishment of a Roman outpost on the hill overlooking the ford.

Episode 2: Emperor Arthur

Artorius Caesar [i.e. King Arthur], the third post-Roman Emperor of Britain, defies discord and rallies the small kingdoms to combine against invaders.

Episode 3: Birth of a Town

Establishment of a town and castle under the Norman knight Ranulf de Briquessart.

Episode 4: The Morville Marriage

Hugh de Morville, Ranulf’s kinsman, gives his sister Maud in marriage to William de Vipont and entrusts his castle to Gospatric, son of Orm

Episode 5: Murder and Forfeiture

For his part in the Becket murder and a subsequent rebellion, Hugh’s Westmorland property is declared forfeit to the Crown.

Episode 6: Invasion

The Scots attempt to add Cumberland and Westmorland to their kingdom, and persuade Gospatric to yield up the castle.


Episode 7: King Henry’s Town

The Scots retire from Appleby after their defeat at Alnwick, but then burn the town before they go. The King verbally grants Appleby its independence as a Borough.

Episode 8: The Written Charter

Five years later the townsmen apply for, and obtain, written confirmation of their privileges.

Episode 9: The Arms upon the Seal

Roger de Clifford marries the last heiress of the Viponts and attempts to exercise manorial rights over the town. This is successfully opposed in the Courts, and the Town Seal bears the Royal Arms as a sign that the feudal overlord is the King.

Episode 10: The Antiquaries

This point is forgotten by 1600, when the two famous antiquaries William Camden and Robert Cotton visit the town.

Episode 11: Dispossession

Young Lady Anne Clifford laments her father’s action in leaving the Westmorland property to his brother and nephew in disregard of its entailment upon her.

Episode 12: Restoration

Late in life, she comes into her inheritance, rebuilding churches and castles, founding an almshouse, defying the Roundhead commander of the Castle garrison and living to proclaim the coronation of King Charles II.

Key historical figures mentioned

  • Arthur (supp. fl. in or before 6th cent.) legendary warrior and supposed king of Britain [also known as Artorius ?]
  • Morville, Hugh de (d. 1173/4) one of the murderers of Thomas Becket
  • Camden, William (1551–1623) historian and herald
  • Cotton, Sir Robert Bruce, first baronet (1571–1631) antiquary and politician
  • Henry III (1207–1272) king of England and lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitaine
  • Clifford, Anne [known as Lady Anne Clifford] countess of Pembroke, Dorset, and Montgomery (1590–1676), noblewoman and diarist

Musical production


Newspaper coverage of pageant

Cumberland and Westmorland Herald,19 July 1980 p. 4f 
Cumberland and Westmorland Herald, 8 August 1981 p. 13a

Book of words


Other primary published materials


References in secondary literature


Archival holdings connected to pageant

  • Text of the pageant and accompanying photograph album held by Appleby in Westmorland Society.

Sources used in preparation of pageant



The Makers of Appleby historical pageant was first staged in Appleby Public Hall in 1980. Held in aid of the Appleby Festival Fund, it told the story of the town and its locality from Roman times to the later seventeenth century. The focus on the distant past is unusual for a late twentieth-century pageant, most of which featured episodes dealing with modern history. The pageant was performed again in 1981, this time being staged at Castle Bank as well. The pageant was written by Martin Holmes (1905-1997), who also provided most of the costumes.

The names of the cast were: Stephen Atkinson, Fiona Bainbridge,  Irene Balfour, Elizabeth Bolger, Dawn Burns, Scott Chandler, Richard Clarkson, A.N. Connell, Beata Connell, Gary Cross, Alastair Davis, Leslie Dowson, F.L. Ellis, Reg Folder, Linda Graham, Michael Graham, David Gray, Jean Gray, Canon R. Grayson, Mark Grayson, Lesley Guy, Derek Jackson, Charmaine Joscelyn, Martin Holmes, Margaret Hook, Alice Loughlin, Albert Lowis, David Lowis, Trevor Lowis, Wendy Lowis, Vicky Lowthian, Tim McGuffog, Ian Marsh, Stuart Marsh, Lynn Miller, Herbert Moore, Keith Morgan, John Pearson, Walter Plinge, Joseph Reynolds, David Rooke, David Shaw, Irene Shaw, Margaret Swift, Simon Thomas, Peter Whitehouse, Samantha Yare.

Entry researched by David Lowis


How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘Makers of Appleby’, The Redress of the Past,