Location: Hertfordshire, England
Ticket Prices: -
D Caton, 53, from Midwest wrote:
Berkhamstead Castle is/was an early motte & bailey castle built as a direct result of the Norman Conquest. It was built to control a major route through the Chiltern Hills, that originally was laid out by the Romans, and now traversed by the A41.The Grand Junction Canal was dug through this gap in the 17th cent. and the railway in the 19th. The castle was undoubtedly of wooden construction, as the Chilterns are chalk hills which yield no stone suitable for building, though the area cottages & other later buildings are made from flint, found in abundance in the chalk.) When the land was pacified the opportunity to re-build in stone was taken. However time has not been kind to Berkhamstead, much of the walls are gone, pillaged for stone for other edifices, the remaining walls are well worn, the mounds that formed the motte and most likely supported supplementary towers are very noticeable, but are of little assistance in determining the trace. The Castle, or at least the grounds, are open to the public. However, there is a private residence in the grounds, if you visit the castle please respect their privacy. For anyone thinking of visiting, the castle is hidden away from the main road; follow the signs for the railway station, go under the tracks and its on the right. I was able to park along side the railway embankment, but that was 10-15yr ago and things are always in a state of flux. Do not expect to find a guide book or any such printed info., it didn't exist when I was there, but things change. One claim to fame for Berkhamstead, the earliest example of an English longbow was discovered there during a dig many, many years back.