7th October 2018
Berkhamsted Castle is a Norman motte-and-bailey castle in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. Now a ruin in the care of English Heritage. Entry is free of charge.
The castle was built to obtain control of a key route between London and the Midlands during the Norman conquest of England in the 11th century.
Robert of Mortain, William the Conqueror's half brother, was probably responsible for managing its construction, after which he became the castle's owner. Subsequent kings granted the castle to their chancellors including later one Thomas Becket, now more usually associated with Canterbury.
The castle is conveniently located next to the railway station if you wanted to visit using public transport. Had the railway taken it's original planned route it would in fact have run straight through the castle site but the Act of Parliament of 1833 sanctioning the building of the London to Birmingham Railway specifically protected the castle making it the first building in the to receive statutory protection from development in this way.
Anyway, it's a nice place to wander about in the autumn sunshine with a camera and despite its urban location fairly peaceful, passing trains and noisy kids notwithstanding.