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.

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