Welcome to Little Berkhamsted - its Place in History
The Little Berkhamsted St Andrews Church Guide, published in 1972, states:
“So the years rolled by, Kings came to stay in Hertford Castle, armies marched from London along Ermin Street to the North, Queen Elisabeth lived under house arrest in Hatfield House, but Little Berkhamsted, tucked away off the beaten track, planted firmly on the top of a hill, hemmed in by thick forest, does not emerge to make even a ripple on the pages of history.”
Well, Little Berkhamsted may be an insignificant little village now but it most certainly did make very much more than “a ripple on the pages of history” - truly momentous events took place here, the most significant taking place exactly 950 years ago this year, 2016, an event which would determine the future course of British Society, up to the present time.
It was here, in November or early December 1066, “when the Normans came within sight of London” (“statim ot Londonia conspectui pate bat” - William of Poitiers, Duke William’s personal Chaplain), that the remnants of the Anglo-Saxon leadership left their refuge in London, to meet the Norman Duke William, and eventually to acknowledge that the death of the English King Harold and the decisive defeat of his army near Hastings, on 15 October, meant that the Normans, the descendants of the heathen Viking raiders who had terrorized Christian England since the end of the 8th Century, when the first Viking raiders had attacked the Priory on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, burned the buildings, stolen the treasures and murdered the monks, had finally conquered England.