SP 995-082 Hertfordshire England
Berkhamsted Castle is an 11th century earthwork motte and bailey fortress, founded by Robert, Count of Mortain. This exceptional castle was once defended by a complicated arrangement of triple wet ditches and huge counterscarp banks, which unusually support earthwork cavaliers. After the civil war in the reign of King Stephen, Thomas Becket founded the stone castle but after 1495 it ceased to be inhabited. The large motte supports the foundations of a round tower, a rectangular forebuilding and wing-walls. The bailey is divided into two wards, with a small inner ward at the base of the motte and the impressive West Tower, in the large outer ward. Both baileys are still encased by the remains of there curtain walls, flanking towers and gatehouses but to the south and west the earthworks and the barbican, with its rectangular gatehouse have been lost. 4 miles south-west is Hawridge Court and 15 miles north is Toddington Castle.
Berkhamsted Castle is located in the town centre, off Brownlow Road. 12 miles south-west of Luton, on the M1-A414.
The site is owned by English Heritage and is open daily, April to September 10:00-6:00pm, October to March 10:00-4:00pm.
Car parking is by the side of the road.