Berkeley Castle In The Cotswold Town Of Berkeley.
Berkeley Castle historically sometimes spelt Berkley Castle or Barkley Castle is a castle in the town of Berkeley, Gloucestershire, UK. The castle’s origins date back to the 11th century and it has been designated by English Heritage as a grade I listed building.
The castle has remained within the Berkeley family since they reconstructed it in the 12th century, except for a period of royal ownership by the Tudors. It is traditionally believed to be the scene of the murder of King Edward II in 1327.
The first castle at Berkeley was a motte-and-bailey, built around 1067 by William FitzOsbern shortly after the Conquest. This was subsequently held by three generations of the first Berkeley family, all called Roger de Berkeley, and rebuilt by them in the first half of the 12th century. The last Roger de Berkeley was dispossessed in 1152 for withholding his allegiance from the House of Plantagenet during the conflict of The Anarchy, and the feudal barony of Berkeley was then granted to Robert Fitzharding, a wealthy burgess of Bristol and supporter of the Plantagenets. He was the founder of the Berkeley family which still holds the castle.
In 1153–54, Fitzharding received a royal charter from King Henry II giving him permission to rebuild the castle. Fitzharding built the circular shell keep during 1153–56, probably on the site of the former motte. The building of the curtain wall followed, probably during 1160–90 by Robert and then by his son Maurice.
Much of the rest of the castle is 14th century and was built for Thomas de Berkeley, 3rd Baron Berkeley: Thorpe’s Tower, to the north of the keep, the inner gatehouse to its southwest, and other buildings of the inner bailey.
The castle was ransacked in 1326 by the forces of Hugh Despenser, the favourite of Edward II. Then in 1327, Edward was deposed by his wife Queen Isabella and her ally Roger Mortimer, and placed in the joint custody of Mortimer’s son-in-law, Thomas de Berkeley, and de Berkeley‘s brother-in-law, John Maltravers. They brought Edward to Berkeley Castle, and held him there for five months from April to September. During that time a band of Edward’s supporters attacked, entered the castle and rescued him, only for him to be recaptured soon afterwards. It is possible that his captors then moved him around between several castles to make further rescue more difficult, before returning him to Berkeley Castle in September. Some commentators have claimed that Edward’s escape was actually successful, and that someone else was later murdered in his place.
The castle was used for many scenes for the first televised version of The Other Boleyn Girl. More recently the castle and grounds have been used for Galavant, Poldark, TheWhite Princess and The Spanish Princess.
The castle is featured on an episode in the 2017 season of the genealogy documentary television series Who Do You Think You Are?, with American actress Courteney Cox looking into her ancestry. Cox learns that she is a 21-generation direct descendant of Thomas de Berkeley, 3rd Baron Berkeley and 22-generation descendant of de Berkeley’s father-in-law, Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March – also learning of their parts in the murder of King Edward II of England at Berkeley Castle in 1327.
Cinematic (Sting) by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Brandenburg Concerto No4-1 BWV1049 – Classical Whimsical by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)