The Castle's Keep was finished in the late 12th Century by the first of the Berkeleys, one Robert Fitzharding, a wealthy provost of Bristol who was awarded the Castle by Henry II, the then Duke of Anjou.

Since that time there is not much of Britain 's history that has passed Berkeley Castle by.



Did You Know Berkeley Has Connections With the Following?

Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream was written for a Berkeley family wedding.

The murder of King Edward II notoriously took place here in 1327.

The Barons of the West gathered at Berkeley before setting out to the momentous meeting with King John at Runnymede at which the Magna Carta was signed.

During the English Civil War, the Royalists surrendered the Castle to the Parliamentarians after a siege.

The very first American Thanksgiving was held by Berkeley men.

Yale and the University of California both benefited from the legacy of Bishop George Berkeley of Cloyne in the 18th Century.

The battles of Agincourt , Crecy , Poitiers , Flodden , Culloden, and many more.

Edward Jenner, the son of the vicar of the town of Berkeley, developed the smallpox vaccination.

The last court jester in England died here in the Castle when he tumbled from the minstrel's gallery in the Great Hall (did he fall, or was he pushed?).

The Castle has many links with the monarchs of England: most notably King John, Henry VII, Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I, Charles I, George I, the Prince Regent - to name but a few.

Francis Drake, Queen Elizabeth's most famous sea captain, was a regular visitor to Berkeley.



Berkeley Connections All Over The World

Having been such a long-living and prolific family means that there are Berkeley connections all over the world, from Berkeley Square in London to the North of America and Australia in the South.

The stories are endless, and there is not enough room on this site to feature even a handful of them. You must visit the Castle for yourself.


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Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire, GL13 9BQ


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