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Berkeley Castle

A Grade I Listed Building in Berkeley, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.6887 / 51°41'19"N

Longitude: -2.4569 / 2°27'24"W

OS Eastings: 368514

OS Northings: 198984

OS Grid: ST685989

Mapcode National: GBR JX.4W43

Mapcode Global: VH87K.CTJ9

Plus Code: 9C3VMGQV+F7

Entry Name: Berkeley Castle

Listing Date: 21 October 1952

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1340692

English Heritage Legacy ID: 132188

ID on this website: 101340692

Location: Berkeley, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL13

County: Gloucestershire

District: Stroud

Civil Parish: Berkeley

Built-Up Area: Berkeley

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Berkeley St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

Tagged with: Historic house museum Castle History museum

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This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 11/05/2020

ST 69 NE

Berkeley Castle


Castle keep, with curtain wall and inner bailey. Late C11 altered mid C12 and mid C14. Original circular keep to north west begun c1067 by Fitz Osborn, Earl of Hereford, with base of shell keep remaining of this period. Shell keep enlarged 1153, Curtain wall to east and south built 1160-1190, including walls of Great Hall, and altered to south west in C14.

The whole castle is in an original and good state of preservation and retains most original features down to doors, arrow slits and windows, iron catches etc. Interior completely remodelled 1340-1350 by Thomas, Lord Berkeley, although the work of this period only survives in the inner bailey. Remained largely unaltered until 1920s when 8th Earl of Berkeley modernised and altered the interior and installed many artefacts from elsewhere, for example fireplaces, stained glass.

Local pink, grey and yellow Severn sandstone, roofs mainly in Cotswold stone slate or lead, scattered ashlar flues, singly and in groups, cylindrical or polygonal. Scattered fenestration, mostly stone mullion and transoms, some latticed. Keep retains cell said to have been site of murder of Edward II in 1327, and semi-circular dungeon about 11m deep.

Wall breached to north west in 1645 during siege by Cromwell's troops. Curtain wall includes the following main rooms: Great Hall, with mid C14 ceiling of eight bays and tiered windbracing, wooden screen of C15 brought from Wales in 1920s and retaining original painted decoration, C15 stone fireplace said to have come from Wanswell Court (q.v.), very fine examples of linen-fold panelling on oak doors, and several examples of the "Berkeley Arch" - polygonal with four or more straight sides enclosing a cusped inner arch. Hall said to have been site of meeting of West Country Barons before going to Runnymede to sign Magna Carta. Screens passage at east end has three Berkeley arches and leads to service area retaining hexagonal kitchen with three fireplaces and original medieval star timber roof, and Bakehouse spanned by two large flat stone arches; upstairs the Morning Room, former Chapel of St. Mary until 1923, has cusped arcades and retains painted ceiling decoration of John Trevisa's 1387 translation of Book of Revelation; Long Drawing Room, containing C15 wooden gallery originally in Chapel with projecting bay carved with arms of Henry VII; Little Drawing Room, originally accessible from Long Drawing Room only via projecting octagonal lobby on inner wall, has very fine ceiling of many closely set large chamfered cambered beams. Private apartments of Berkeley family beyond, round to gatehouse adjoining Keep on west side.

Listing NGR: ST6845899091

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