Originally a Saxon castle on a motte. After the Battle of Hastings William the Conqueror led his troops a circuitous route to Berkhamsted. It was here that the Archbishop of York surrendered to William and he probably ordered the construction of the castle before proceeding south to London. The Conqueror gave Berkhamsted to his half brother, Robert Count of Mortain who built, it is said, a strong keep.

In the 12th and 13th centuries the two acre bailey was enclosed by stone walls, interspersed

with half circular towers.

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