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Showing posts from July, 2017

Berkhamsted Castle

Back in May, we travelled to Hertfordshire to visit Berkhamsted's Norman motte-and-bailey castle.



Originally a motte-and-bailey then, this was thrown up after the battle of Hastings in order to monitor the route from the Midlands to London - serving as a strategic fortification for William I. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, mentions Berkhamsted as the place where the archbishop of York, Edgar aetheling, earl Edwin and earl Morcar, surrendered to William (they probably didn't have any choice):

'He (William) went up with all the army that was left to him, and those who had since come over the sea, and ravaged all the parts he went over, until he came to Berkhamsted. There he was met by archbishop Aldred, child Edgar, eorl Edwin, eorl Morkere and all the best men of London'

So was Berkhamsted castle thrown up before or after the men surrendered? Well, before it was held by Robert of Mortain (William's younger half-brother), Domesday Book reveals that the town was held by Ea…