Berkhamsted

Berkhamsted ( /ˈbɜrkəmstɛd/) is a historic town in England which is situated in the west of Hertfordshire, between the towns of Tring and Hemel Hempstead. It is also a civil parish with a designated Town Council within the administrative district (and borough since 1984) of Dacorum.

The town's most prominent role in national affairs took place in early December 1066. Duke William of Normandy, having defeated the English army at Hastings, then crossing the River Thames at Wallingford. In Berkhamsted he was met by a delegation of the English establishment. He accepted the surrender of the English led by Aetheling Edgar (the heir to King Harold II's English claim to the throne), Archbishop Aldred, Earl Edwin, Earl Morcar and the chief men of London who swore loyalty to William in return for good government. He was offered the crown there but instead said he would accept the keys to London in Berkhamsted but would accept the crown of England in London. Thus, in Berkhamsted, William of Normandy, William the Bastard, became William the Conqueror. On Christmas Day 1066 William was crowned William I of England in Westminster Abbey. A traditional local legend refers to Berkhamsted as the real capital of England (if only for a few minutes).

Berkhamsted today is most well known for its castle, now in ruins but once a popular country retreat of the Norman and Plantagenet kings. Berkhamsted is also the home of the British Film Institute's BFI National Archive at King's Hill, one of the largest film and television archives in the world, which was generously endowed by John Paul Getty.

The name of the town has been spelt in a variety of ways over the years, and the present spelling was adopted in 1937. Earlier spellings included Berkhampstead, Muche Barkhamstede, Berkhamsted Magna, Great Berkhamsted and Berkhamstead. The earliest recorded form of the name is the Old English Beorhoanstadde. Historian Percy Birtchnell identified over 50 different spellings and epithets since the Domesday Book. It is believed the original refers to homestead amongst the hills (Saxon – bergs). The town is known locally and affectionately as "Berko".

Read more about Berkhamsted:  History, Geography, Castle, Canal, Other Notable Buildings, Famous People, Twin Towns, Transport, Sport, Gallery

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Richard Mabey - Education
... Mabey was educated at three independent schools, all in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire ... The first was at Rothesay School, followed by Berkhamsted Preparatory School and then Berkhamsted School ...
Berkhamsted Castle
... Berkhamsted Castle is a Norman motte-and-bailey castle at Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, England ... The future town of Berkhamsted grew up alongside it ... In the late-15th century, Berkhamsted Castle became increasingly unfashionable and was left to fall into decline ...
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... As an exception within the district, in Berkhamsted there operates a three-tier school system, comprising 6 first schools (ages 5–9), 2 middle schools (9–13) and an ... was founded in 1864 as a national school in the Northchurch part of Berkhamsted ... First and Nursery School, serves the parishes of Berkhamsted and Tring ...
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Percy Birtchnell
... Percy Birtchnell was born in Berkhamsted in 1910 and is considered the doyen of West Hertfordshire historians ... His publications include "A History of Berkhamsted" and "Bygone Berkhamsted" both published by Clunberry ... He was a regular contributor to the Berkhamsted Review from 1942 until his death in the 1980s ...