Even before the Romans built villas in and around Northchurch in AD60, the Saxons had a route through here called Akeman Street.
In December 1066 the Anglo Saxons surrendered here to the Normans following Harold's defeat at Hastings. Why Berkhamsted castle was selected is unknown. What is known is that the Normans had been unable to reach London from the south due to resistance and marched round to the west of the city.
The castle has other claims to fame: it passed through the hands of three of Henry VIII's wives and was the private home of Elizabeth during the reign of her sister Mary.
|173 High St - oldest extant jettied building in UK|
According to English Heritage, this unremarkable building in the High Street of Berkhamsted is the oldest extant jettied building in Britain.
A less well-known contribution to English history was made on this day 150 years ago - the Battle of Berkhamsted Common when supporters of the Open Space Society (forerunner of National Trust) broke down a three mile fence which Lord Brownlowe had erected around the Common . The OSS organised a train load of navvies from London to break down the fence on the night of 6th March 1866. It was never enclosed again and remains a common.
It is time for another Battle of Berkhamsted as the natives have asked C&RT to restrict canal boats mooring in the town to 48hours. They claim that boaters are rowdy. I have no doubt that there are rowdy residents of Berkhamsted too. Are these to be curfewed or bannished to Hemel Hempstead after 48 hours of residence?