erkhamsted Castle was an important castle during the Medieval period. It was at Berkampstead that William the Conqueror accepted the submission of the Saxon leaders before moving to London to be crowned King of England. The castle at Berkampstead was built by William the Conqueror's half-brother Robert, the count of Mortain. This first castle would have been a wooden motte and bailey type. The castle was improved greatly over the centuries being replaced by stone. The castle was defended by a series of moats and walls with gate houses and drawbridges. In 1216 the English barons who opposed King John requested help from Prince Louis of France. Louis invaded England and besieged the castle which surrendered to him within a few weeks. The castle was recaptured in the following year. Although the castle remained mainly in royal ownership it was given to Thomas Becket by Henry II and later it was given to Piers Gaveston by Edward II. Edward the Black Prince was given ownership of the castle by his father Edward III as part of the duchy or Cornwall and it is here that the Prince imprisoned King John II of France after the French defeat at the Battle of Poitiers. The end of the castle came in around 1580 when it was granted to Sir Edward Cary, the Keeper of the Jewels, who is thought to have used masonary from the castle to build Berkhampstead Place, a house that overlooks the castle from a hill.
Because so much of the stone was removed only a few remains of the castle can still be seen. These include the motte with the foundations of a shell keep, the moat and several low sections of the curtain wall that surrounded the bailey.
Prince Louis of France besieged the castle at Berkhamsted. It fell to his army within a few weeks.
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