Berkhamsted Castle is a place of great historical importance. When William the conqueror beat Harold in the Battle Of Hastings in 1066, he marched through Britain. He was met by the court in Berkhamsted and they offered him the English crown. He accepted and was crowned King William I on Christmas Day 1066.
The Castle was important because it was on the route that invaders would take to get to London. The soldiers there were defending the Capital City.
At one point King Louis of France attacked the castle. He was invited to do so by the barons of England because they opposed the new king. He fired rocks at them and eventually they had to surrender.
In 1155 the castle was given to Thomas Beckett. He was the king’s chancellor and right hand man. He rebuilt the castle and was responsible for the huge stone curtain wall.
In 1162 Beckett was made the first Archbishop of Canterbury.
In 1164 he had an argument with the king and was accused of stealing money. The castle was taken from him.
He was murdered in 1170.
We really enjoyed our visit, walking around the crumbling flint walls, climbing up to the summit of the keep, playing battle games and learning lots of cool facts. We actually had a competition for who could find the most interesting and unusual piece of information. Irys won because she thought out of the box and was creative. She counted the 65 steps to the top of the keep.