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Berkeley Castle

Berkeley Castle is a beautiful and historic Castle, begun in 1117 and still remains the home of the Berkeley family. It is a great day-out for all the family, hosting special events on bank holidays and during school holidays

The Castle is steeped in nearly 1000 years of British history and is best known as the scene of the brutal murder of Edward II in 1327 and for being besieged by Cromwell’s troops in 1645. Over 24 generations of Berkeley’s have gradually transformed a Norman fortress into the lovely home it is today.

The state apartments contain magnificent collections of furniture, rare paintings by primarily English and Dutch masters, and tapestries. Some of the world famous Berkeley silver is on display in the Dining Room and many other rooms including the Great Hall, Morning Room and kitchens are available to view.

The Castle is open to visitors from April – October, on selected days, and is surrounded by lovely terraced Elizabethan Gardens with a lily pond, Elizabeth I’s bowling green and sweeping lawns. During June, July and August the tour also includes the tropical Butterfly House located in the Walled Garden, which is a tranquil environment for over twenty-five different species of tropical butterflies.

The Tea Room serves lovely cream teas with homemade scones, in fact all of the cakes are homemade by the Tea Room staff. Visitors can join a guided tour of the Castle with one of the experienced Tour Guide which last just over an hour, depending on the number of questions asked!

The Castle is open all year round for events and private hires. In 2008 the Castle obtained a civil wedding licence for several rooms within the public areas; and hosts weddings within the Great Hall and Long Drawing Room. Summer-time events often start with drinks on the Gun Terrace overlooking the gardens, where as in the winter the fires are lit inside the Castle for a more intimate atmosphere in a unique historic setting.

The Castle, its surrounding grounds and Meadow are used throughout the year for special events such as Plays in the Gardens, English Strings Orchestra Concerts, The Berkeley Skirmish, Ghost Hunts, Lister Tyndale Steam Rally, Castle by Candlelight and Carol Concerts.

Also during the summer, since 2005, the University of Bristol undertake an archaeological dig in Nelme’s Paddock within the Castle Grounds. Overseen by Dr. Stuart Prior (Channel 4’s Time Team) and Prof. Mark Horton (BBC TV’s Coast), the dig has proved fascinating and has now grown to include areas within the Edward Jenner Museum Garden, St. Mary’s churchyard and the beer garden of the Berkeley Arms!

The Castle has also been used on many occasions for filming and has been involved in TV dramas such as The Other Boleyn Girl, Nostradamus and Robin of Sherwood. In addition Berkeley Castle has been used for documentaries such as Princes in Waiting, Great Country Houses, Dead Famous and Horse & Country TV’s Berkeley – An English Country Estate.

Berkeley Castle is located in the historic town of Berkeley which is located just off the A38 between Bristol & Gloucester on the edge of the Cotswolds.

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