A Litholint of Berkeley Castle © F.W. Hulme
Berkeley is a perfectly preserved 840-year-old castle with a keep, dungeon, and splendid staterooms with original tapestries, furniture, and silver. The castle was most famously the scene of King Edward II's gruesome murder in 1327. It is believed that Edward was deposed by his French consort, Queen Isabella, and her paramour, the Earl of Mortimer. The castle also played an important role in the English Civil War (1642-1649). The oldest part of the castle was built in 1153 by Roger De Berkeley, a Norman knight, and has remained in the family ever since. The surrounding meadows, now the setting for pleasant Elizabethan-style gardens, were once flooded to make a formidable moat.