Representative Map of the Area

(Produced by students of Prior Pursglove College)

                 Genealogical Diagram of the de brus family  - 1070 to 1300


                                                  Robert de Brus I  =  Agnes                                 William, Prior of Guisborough                                                      Peter

                                                       (died 1142)


                                                                    I                                          I                                                         I                                                    I

                                Agnes d'Aumale  =  Adam I                           Robert II  =  Euphemia                            Agatha  = Ralph fitz-Ribald                       Hugh

                                                           (died 1143)                      (died c1194)

                                                  ______I________________                            I__________________________________________________

                                                   I                                    I                                    I                                  I                                                       I

                       Juetta de Arches  =  Adam II              William                Isabel  =  Robert III                  William  = Christina                        Bernard

                                                   (died c1198)                                                (died before 1191)

                                                    I                                                                                                                             I

                                                ______________________                                                                                            _______________________________   

                                              I                                          I                                                                                                  I                          I                    I

                                        Peter I  =  Joan                   Isobel = Henry de Percy                              Isabel of Huntingdon = Robert IV             John           William

                                     (died 1222)                                                                                                      (died 1252)        (died c1230)

                                                     I                                                                                                                                      I

                                                     I                                                                                                  _______________________________________________                                                                                                                   

                                                     I                                                                                                      I                                                                                I

                                        Peter II = Helewise of Lancaster                              Christina of Ireby = Robert V (The Competitor) = Isabel de Clare              Bernard

                                         (died 1240)                                                                                                    (died 1295)


                                                     I                                                                                      ____________________________________________________

                                                     I                                                                                      I                                                                                                      I

                                        Peter III = Hilaria de Maulay                                                  Robert VI = Marjorie, Countess of Carrick                                        Richard

                                      (died 1273)                                                                               (died 1304)                             I                                                     (died 1287)


                                                                                                                                             King Robert  the Bruce  of Scotland


The de brus cenotaph

Located in Guisborough Parish Church

(Photograph courtesy of Dennis Weller)


Welcome to the de Brus website, initially produced by a group of students from Prior Pursglove College based in Guisborough, North Yorkshire. Development of the website is now in the hands of the Guisborough de Brus Group. The aim of the group is to increase awareness of the de Brus family who ruled much of northern England and southern Scotland in medieval times and whose unique cenotaph is located in St Nicholas Parish Church in Guisborough and to use this history to promote interest in Guisborough and the surrounding area as a place to visit.

Skelton  - Home of their fortress, Skelton Castle, thought to have been built by Robert de Brus I in 1140.

Castleton and Danby  - Robert de Brus is thought to have erected his first wooden castle at Castleton and was given the manor of Danby by King Henry I.

Staithes - Delivers another key player in the de Brus tale.

Places of interest

Hartlepool. - The home of St Hilda's Church, said to have been built , in part at least, by Robert de Brus IV.

Yarm  - Site of the first stone church built by the de Brus family in the latter half of the 12th century.

Guisborough  - Priory founded by Robert de Brus I as the spiritual home of the de Brus dynasty. The de Brus Cenotaph is located in the Parish Church.

Centuries of Intrigue

Visit the North East of England to explore the cross border history of the de Brus family.


This a story about the de Brus family in what is now the North East of England, over the period from when they came from Normandy at the end of the 11th century through to the establishment of Robert the Bruce as King of Scotland.They established themselves firstly in Castleton, which is now in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. There is little to be seen of the first establishment other than the high ground on which the first fortification stood.

It is a story of knights, battles, betrayals and conquest.


In North Yorkshire, Skelton was their fortress with Guisborough their spiritual heart. Robert de Brus I was given land in south west Scotland  by his friend King David I and from these Annandale Bruces came the legendary King Robert the Bruce of Scotland whose name is synonymous with Scottish Independence, yet his grandfather, Robert the Competitor who died in Lochmaben, near Dumfries in Scotland, chose to be buried in Gisborough Priory with his ancestors.

Follow this fascinating tale over more than two centuries. The history of the de Brus family is centered on Guisborough's forgotten past.

Gisborough Priory

Spiritual home of the de Brus family.

(Photograph courtesy of Dennis Weller)