Bristol and Avon Archaeological Society

THE LESLIE GRINSELL MEMORIAL LECTURE: Berkeley Castle and the Bristol Connection

On Wednesday February 17, 2016
Professor Mark Horton, University of Bristol.

Since 2005 the University of Bristol has been excavating in and around Berkeley Castle. The castle was acquired by Robert Fitzharding, the most significant Bristol merchant of his generation around 1154 and our work has revealed interesting and significant parallels between Bristol and ‘Little Bristol’ as Fitzharding and his successors attempted to create a stronghold on the banks of the Little Avon at Berkeley. The lecture will place Berkeley into a long history of the site, which extends from Roman occupation to a major Anglo-Saxon Minster, and into the classic Medieval Town and Castle relationship.  Like Bristol, Berkeley also played an important role in the colonisation of North America and underwent a major siege during the English Civil War. The parallel history of the two towns provides a useful insight into the formation of identity, and the nature of relationships through some 1500 years of British and English history.