Thursday, 1 March 2018

Lovely photo

A wintry tale

All members should by now have received the February 2018 edition of 
The Berkeley Buttress, together with an FoBC Events application form 
and a form for completion so that communications with members 
complies with forthcoming data protection regulations.

The Friends-only visit to Worcester College, Oxford, is limited to 40 members 
so please do not delay applying if you wish to join us in September.

The talk by Bristol Cathedral's Keeper of the Fabric 
in December starts at 2pm
and gates open at 1.45pm, not as printed in The Buttress.

An application form for FoBC events 
in October, November and December will be included 
in the August edition of The Berkeley Buttress.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Tales from the Archives

Berkeley Castle surrenders to the Parliamentarians

The Civil Wars (1642-46) were a troubled time for the Castle.  
Its strategic position made its possession important to both sides and it changed hands five times.  

A notable occasion occurred when a Parliamentary force attacked the King’s forces 
which had held the Castle from August 1643:  the churchyard was captured 
following a cavalry charge up the slope from the High Street and once 
artillery had been brought into the churchyard, the Castle was forced to surrender.
As the Parliamentary troops were then urgently needed elsewhere, 
the officers commandeered the Castle chattels 
and sold them to pay each man five shillings in lieu of plunder.  

In August 1646 Parliament ordered that the Castle be slighted, 
resulting in the gap in the Keep wall, still visible today.

The Berkeley Buttress - February 2018

Latest edition due soon - The Berkeley Buttress

Committee members will be assembling the six-monthly mail-out  over the coming weekend, 
so Friends should expect the envelope through their letterbox before long.   

Included in the mailing will be membership renewal information, 
details of new data protection requirements, 
and an advance booking form for FoBC Events taking place 
over the next few months, featured in the centre pages.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Mulled Wine & Music
FoBC Drinks Party - Sunday 10th December 2017

Those who were able to brave the snowy weather had an enjoyable evening
with an ample supply of mulled wine, mince pies, sweets and savouries, 
while Sarah Dalrymple-Smith played the piano.
The Castle Christmas Tree and a flickering log fire added to the cozy festive atmosphere.

The promised musicians, Shepherds Crook, were unable to get through the snow 
from Winchcombe so we entertained each other with charades 
and finished the evening by singing The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

The Beauchamp Chapel, Church of St Mary, Warwick, 

and the Berkeley connection.

Talk to the Friends on Sunday 19th November

Henry Phythian-Adams gave his fellow Friends another fascinating illustrated talk, the subject this time being the Beauchamp Chapel in Warwick Collegiate Church.   
Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, was the husband of Elizabeth Berkeley and he founded the lavishly decorated chapel in 1439 as a Chantry Chapel, where priests would pray for the souls of himself and other members of his family. 

Henry shared his photographs of the family tombs and the incredibly detailed iconography, in both carvings and stained glass.  The clothes on some carvings were copied from medieval Mystery Plays and angels in stained glass hold pages of authentic music.
It is in this richly detailed chapel that the well-known Bear & Ragged Staff symbol of the Beauchamp family was depicted for only the second time:  this can be seen in the stained glass window in the Great Hall at Berkeley Castle.

The Beauchamp Chapel, courtesy of

Henry Phythian Adams with Charles Berkeley, at an earlier talk.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Mulled Wine and Music 

FoBC Drinks Party on Sunday 10th December

An entertaining couple of hours with drinks and light refreshments to look forward to
before Christmas, with musicians including the group Shepherd's Crook. 
Details in the August edition of the Friends' magazine The Berkeley Buttress
(accessible via the FoBC homepage)
FoBC's 10th Anniversary Dinner last year in The Great Hall.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

R J G Berkeley

It is with great sadness that the Committee of the Friends of Berkeley Castle
has to advise you that Mr Berkeley died on Thursday 2nd November 2017.
Thankfully he died peacefully at home surrounded by his family.

There will be a private funeral.
Details of a Requiem to be held in the New Year will be advised in due course.

Mr Berkeley with Charles Berkeley at a recent event at the Castle Yurt.