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Monday, 10 December 2018

Talk by Jon Cannon, Keeper of the Fabric, Bristol Cathedral
9 December 2018


Over fifty of the Friends were fascinated to hear about the Augustinian abbey founded by 
Robert Fitzharding who became first Lord Berkeley.  That abbey is the basis of what is now Bristol Cathedral.   
The lands of the Berkeley estate had been granted to Robert Fitzharding by Henry II in 1153 and 
he established the abbey on his land adjacent to Bristol. 
The connection between the Berkeley family and the building continued for centuries.

This was a most informative and engaging talk by an expert on 
the Medieval art, architecture and history of the Cathedral.

The festive spirit at the Castle was enhanced by the mulled wine, mince pies and fruit cake, 
freshly baked by Berkeley WI.


Monday, 19 November 2018

Sunday 18th November
Philip Taubenheim - Antiques Afternoon in the Great Hall


A very interesting and entertaining Friends event.  Philip Taubenheim of Wotton Auction Rooms spoke about his background 
and work as an auctioneer, with stories of various finds, plus developments in the operations 
of auction houses arising from increased use of the internet and a more global reach.

In speaking about some of the interesting objects brought along by Friends, 
Philip provided an insight into what is in fashion and what is now difficult to sell.

More information in February's Berkeley Buttress.






Scrumptious Afternoon Tea in the Long Drawing Room. 
Thank you to Berkeley W.I.
We also had the opportunity to admire the wonderful tapestries which are looking so much better 
as a result of the fundraising activities of the Friends of Berkeley Castle.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Talk by Dr Stuart Prior on the University of Bristol's 
Archaeological Project at Berkeley Castle

The Friends were delighted to welcome back Dr Stuart Prior to update us on
the findings and developments in uncovering the extraordinary history of the area around the Castle.
The project is in its fifteenth year and continues to fascinate.

Dr Prior's specialist areas are Medieval Archaeology, Castle Studies and Archaeological Practice
 and, as ever, his insights were enlightening and entertaining.
A brief report will appear in February 2019's edition of The Berkeley Buttress.




Thursday, 11 October 2018

FoBC at Frampton Country Fair
Sunday 9th September 2018

The Fair was a great success again, without the rain that marred last year's event.
Committee members and Friends helped to man the stand and welcomed a steady stream of visitors,
 some of whom had fun with the chain mail helmet, the Tudor headdress 
and even tried their hand at stringing the longbow.  
An early morning view from the FoBC stand.
                                     Events at the Arena were popular, photos below.  Do come along next year, it is a great day out!




Monday, 10 September 2018

Private FoBC visit to Worcester College, Oxford

on Thursday 6th September.

Hosted by former Fellow and Bursar of the College  

Andrew Jardine,

who was previously Agent of the Berkeley & Spetchley Estates.

Andrew Jardine, together with the Head of Gardens & Grounds Simon Bagnall, 
gave a Members-only group of Friends a fascinating insight into the truly impressive history and 
developments of this significant College, its diverse buildings and its attractive and extensive grounds with award winning gardens.
We admired the beautiful Chapel, strikingly redecorated by William Burgess, and the Hall, 
more recently restored sympathetically to its James Wyatt heritage, 
before seeing other areas and enjoying refreshments in the modern lecture hall.











A full report will appear in the FoBC Berkeley Buttress in February 2019

FoBC Summer Party - Sunday 19th August

Some photos shown below of our annual Summer Party, held this year in the Great Hall.  
The event was hosted by Charles and Daisy Berkeley, ably assisted by daughter Mary 
who helped members of the Friends Committee serve the excellent canap├ęs.





Tuesday, 7 August 2018

 The Berkeley Buttress 

Latest edition due shortly.

The editor is currently collating articles and photographs
for the August 2018 edition of FoBC's Berkeley Buttress
and this will be dispatched by the end of August.

Information on the remaining FoBC events taking place in 2018 
will be in the centre pages and look out for
the FoBC Events order form included in the envelope.



Join us at Frampton Country Fair
on Sunday 9th September


The Friends of Berkeley Castle will again be welcoming members and visitors 
to our stall at the varied and justly ever popular Frampton Country Fair 
(www.framptoncountryfair.co.uk).

Please consider joining the FoBC team (free entry) on the stall 
and help to welcome visitors for a short while on a rota.  
Please contact:  friends@berkeley-castle.com




Friends of Berkeley Castle on Facebook

For latest please see 


Wednesday, 18 July 2018

FoBC Event - Thursday 12 July 2018 

Visit to the 18th Century Folly and the Whitcliff Deer Park
led by Roly Brown, Estates Director, 
Berkeley & Spetchley Estates


We had a wonderful early evening treat, being provided with an insight into the history, 
management and conservation of the 400 acre deer park with its Red and Fallow Deer 
and we also enjoyed amazing views from the early nineteenth century Folly.




The Doomsday Oak, believed to be 1,000 years old.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

FoBC Event:  Sunday 10th June
AMICI
IN CONCERT

The "a cappella" concert by the famous Suffolk choir on a West Country Tour 
was stunning, and a great success.   
The filming at the Castle that necessitated moving the concert from 
the Great Hall to St Mary's Church was a blessing in disguise 
and the church was a superb setting, with the added benefit of a wonderfully sunny evening.

We were treated to a range of music from the 1500s up to recent times with many favourites, 
ending with some spiritual songs that rocked the aisles and ending with the evocative Blue Moon.
We experienced a real treat.

And a huge thank you to the FoBC Committee members who produced
the much appreciated Bucks Fizz and other refreshments.

FoBC deputy chair Diana Merrett thanking Amici choir director Adrian Knott
and the choir for a wonderful concert.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

400th Anniversary celebration of the establishment of 

the Berkeley Settlement on the east coast of America:  

1 - 9 November 2019 

Places are filling up fast for FoBC's  tailor-made trip to Virginia in November 2019.
Friends have been sent details and the deadline of  Saturday 30th June 2018 is fast approaching. 

When Professor Mark Horton spoke to the Friends last year he probably did not expect 
his passing comments about joining in the celebrations to be so enthusiastically taken up.
Don't miss this incredible opportunity.
For details contact:    friends@berkeley-castle.com



Adventures in Archives - a talk to FoBC by Karen Davidson, Berkeley & Spetchley Estates Archivist 

Karen has had the unenviable task of following in the footsteps of David Smith 
who was Berkeley Castle Archivist for very many years.  
Karen's story of how her career developed following a Masters degree 
in Archives and Records Management was fascinating and highly entertaining.  
An enquiring mind and a propensity for hard work have resulted in a rewarding career.  
The Friends look forward to hearing more about Karen's research and her intriguing stories, 
together with her plans for interpretational material in the future.
Full report in the August edition of The Berkeley Buttress.
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FoBC AGM - Thursday 26th April 2018 

Another successful year for the Friends 

Despite major outgoings in the last year on items including 
the new Sundial, Painting conservation and further significant work on the Castle Tapestries, 
there is a significant balance available for planned projects, some of which 
were outlined in FoBC chairman Paul Walkden's comprehensive report.

FoBC President Charles Berkeley expressed sincere thanks for what has been achieved 
and also hoped that Friends continue to enjoy the events and other benefits of membership.
Charles Berkeley with Paul Walkden (right) and secretary Jane Handoll.

FoBC Project Update 
Return of the Dutch painting of a Church Interior 

The Friends undertook to pay for the repair, cleaning and conservation of 
the 17th century Dutch painting and frame that hangs in the Housekeeper's Room. 
(See October 2017 blog and photo showing damage.)   
This work was completed over the winter and the painting 
has now been returned to its home by the fireplace.

Detail from the painting.
.

FoBC implementation of new Data Protection regulations 

Friends have been asked to complete a form indicating their willingness to 
be contacted under the General Data Protection Regulation 2018.  
If you have not yet completed a form please contact the FoBC Admin Team.
The FoBC Statement of Current Practice is available via a link at the foot of the home page.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Lovely photo

A wintry tale


All members should by now have received the February 2018 edition of 
The Berkeley Buttress, together with an FoBC Events application form 
and a form for completion so that communications with members 
complies with forthcoming data protection regulations.

The Friends-only visit to Worcester College, Oxford, is limited to 40 members 
so please do not delay applying if you wish to join us in September.

The talk by Bristol Cathedral's Keeper of the Fabric 
in December starts at 2pm
and gates open at 1.45pm, not as printed in The Buttress.

An application form for FoBC events 
in October, November and December will be included 
in the August edition of The Berkeley Buttress.

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