Friday, 26 July 2013

River Bulbourne - Berkhamsted

River Bulbourne
The Bulbourne continues to flow south eastwards
SP 99204 08193

Area of this Hertfordshire town around the medieval castle and the station in the valley of the Bulborne, Steep streets go up to the hills above the town to the north.

Post to the west Gossoms
Post to the south Berkhamsted


Berkhampstead Castle. This is on the northern slope of Bulbourne valley and near Akeman Street – strategically guarding the Tring gap.  After the battle of Hastings, William marched northwest to the Thames at Wallingford, and Edgar, with London leaders came to Berkhampstead to surrender. The Conqueror gave the castle to his half- brother Robert, Count of Mortain, who probably built the existing earthworks. His son William lost Berkhamsted in 1104, after a failed rebellion and Henry I gave it his Chancellor, Randulph and it later reverted to the Crown. 1155- 1165 Thomas Becket held it as Chancellor, and the oldest masonry probably dates from then. In 1216 it was besieged in a dispute with Queen Isabel.  King John’s son, Richard, built a tower and and a palace complex in 1254 and it was used as a prison for King John of France. It later became part of the Duchy of Cornwall. Edward IV’s mother Cicely, Duchess of York, lived there. In 1580 it was leased to Sir Edward Carey who built Berkhamsted Place. After the Civil War it was sold, but it remained in the Duchy of Cornwall. It stands on the slope of a chalk hill, with springs, and a wet ditch and a bank and ditch surround the inner earthworks. The railway and the road have breached these outer defences and the ditches are now dry. A third bank may have been platform for siege engines. The motte and bailey remain and there are the remains of a circular keep, with a well and part of a staircase and a fireplace. 
Ley line – it is supposed that there is a ley line on Akeman Street, that another ley goes on via a moat at Chesham to a camp at West Wickham and then via Stoke to the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park. 

Castle Hill
Berkhamsted Place. The manor of Berkhamsted was given by Elizabeth to her Sir Edward Carey. The castle was by then ruined and he built mansion house on the hill overlooking the castle using some of the castle stone. The house was in the shape of an E and a lime avenue led to it up the hill. By 1548 the house was being leased out to various members of the Carey family and in 1612 it was bought by Henry Prince of Wales and on his death it passed to his brother Charles. It became the home of the Murray family and in the Civil War was taken over by a Cromwellian soldier who was later hunt. In 1660 the house was badly damaged in a fire and a great deal of it was rebuilt. The house then passed through the ownership of several aristocratic families and by 1937 by Granville Ram was a parliamentary counsel to the treasury. In 1950 it was sold and converted to flats – one resident being sculptor Reg Butler. By 1963 it was unoccupied and derelict. It was demolished in 1967.
Castle Hill Farm. The farm is on a site with several yards including cattle sheds, stables, hen house, cart shed and a Dutch barn. There is a 16th timber framed barn built on the scale of a tithe barn to house produce from the estate for the big house – it has however been reduced in size
Berkhamsted Cricket Club. The club dates from the 1880s or earlier. The site is called Kitchener’s Fields.

Grand Union Canal
Berkhamsted Top Lock No 53. Also known as: Broadwater Lock
Lower King's Road Bridge. Built in the late 19th
Berkhamsted Bridge No 141 Castle Street Bridge

Lower Kings Road
This was a new road built in 1895 to provide access to the station
Corby, Palmer and Stewart Ltd. Mantle factory. Corby took over the factory in 1919 and made ladies' coats and dresses in 1919. During the Second World War they made army uniforms and parts for Mosquito aircraft
Berkhamsted Station. The station is on the London Midland West coast line with trains going to London and Northampton. Berkhampstead station was built in in 1838 and was to the south-east of the current building near the bridge onto Castle Street. It was in a Tudor style. It was replaced in 1875 when the line was widened. At the same time new sidings replacing an earlier goods yard nearer to Gravel Path. It was originally on Robert Stephenson’s London and Birmingham Railway and was the centre of railway construction for the line. In 1834 a high brick embankment was built on top of the ruined barbican and moat of Berkhamsted castle.  The first passenger train passed through Berkhamsted on 16 October 1837.
Broadwater Sports Ground
Canal Fields – at the western end playground and skate park

Station Road
The Crystal Palace.

Sources
Archaeology Data Service. Web site
Berkhamsted Castle. Web site
Berkhamsted Cricket Club. Web site
Berkhamsted Place. Wikipedia. Web site
Canalplan. Web site
Mee. Hertfordshire
Ministry of Works. Berkhamsted Castle
Watkin. The Old Straight Track

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