Tuesday, 3 December 2019

FoBC Thanksgiving Supper in The Great Hall  - Thursday 28th November 2019

An excellent evening with a classic American menu was enjoyed by almost 100 guests,
some of whom had joined the trip to Virginia earlier in the month (see the post below).

Appreciation for the organiser of the FoBC trip to Virginia.

Diners joined some members of the Berkeley Nightingales for a rendition of  "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square".

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Virginia Thanksgiving Festival:  400th Anniversary of America's first official English Thanksgiving, at Berkeley Hundred on the James River, in 1619

A selection of photographs from FoBC members' trip to the Berkeley Plantation in November 2019:


The week long trip, based in Williamsburg, included visits to Yorktown, Jamestown and Richmond.
Full report in the Spring 2020 Buttress.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Thanksgiving Supper - Thursday 28 November 2019
The Great Hall, Berkeley Castle

29 Friends are shortly heading for Virginia to participate in the 400th Anniversary celebrations and visit the Berkeley Plantation Mansion.  
The fascinating and sad story of the Berkeley Settlement and the first official English Thanksgiving on American soil will be explored.   
Stories will be shared at the Castle on 28th November.   

For details of the traditional two course meal see the Autumn edition of The Berkeley Buttress. 
Tickets £30 for members (non-members £34).  Pre-booking essential.
The Berkeley Company's ship The Margaret and settlers from Gloucestershire giving thanks after arriving in Virginia in November 1619.

The stones of Berkeley Castle.  Talk by Arthur Price, building stone archaeology specialist on Thursday 17th October

A group of almost 50 enjoyed a fascinating tour to hear about the hugely varied ages and sources of the stones that the Castle has been built from.
Full report in the Spring edition of The Berkeley Buttress.

One of the Eighth Earl's additions from France.

An incredibly interesting insight.

FoBC Summer Party in the Castle's Picture Gallery - September 2019

Pimms and delicious canapés were enjoyed by all.  
It was a pleasure to also welcome new FoBC members and Friends.

Honorary President Charles Berkeley with one of the many raffle prizes. Thanks to all those who contributed prizes and purchased tickets..

Charles Berkeley with longstanding supporters of FoBC who were raffle prize double winners.

Drawing the next raffle prize winner.
Huge appreciation to Diana, FoBC deputy chair and our regular raffle organiser.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Tracy Borman, Joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces, talk to the Friends on 12 September 2019.

A packed Great Hall was the venue for our latest talk, this time on the fascinating story of Henrietta Howard, a lively intellectual and unsung heroine of the Georgian Age, having been Countess of Suffolk, a royal mistress and then wife of George Berkeley.

Full report in the next edition of The Berkeley Buttress.

Tracy Borman with FoBC Chairman David Bowd-Exworth.

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Thursday 17th October, at 3pm

The Stones of Berkeley Castle

A guided tour of Berkeley Castle exterior by Arthur Price,
 followed by Afternoon Tea in the Castle

Arthur Price specialises in building stone archaeology. 
He is a noted author and expert on Gloucestershire building stones having an in-depth knowledge of likely sources, with experience of working on ancient buildings and monuments such as Gloucester Cathedral including King Edward II’s tomb, Tewkesbury Abbey, Cirencester Church and 
many other buildings in the county.

Arthur has previously undertaken an inspection of the Castle. 
He will lead us on a walk around the walls, revealing a fascinating and often surprising story, 
both geological and historical, behind the building stones of Berkeley Castle;  
stones that mirrored the hopes and aspirations of a long line of careful owners.

Tickets £12 for FoBC members (£15 for non-members).  Booking essential.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

The Berkeley Buttress - Autumn edition.

This has now been dispatched to members, with news of Friends activities and details of 
forthcoming Friends events in September, October, November and December.

Details are also on the Events page of this website.
The Events order form is available for download on the Friends home page.

A highlight will be the American Thanksgiving Supper taking place on THURSDAY 28 November, 
when we will hear from those who are joining the FoBC trip to Virginia for the 400th Anniversary, earlier in November.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Thursday 12 September:  Date for your diaries.

Tracy Borman

Thanks to the Friends of Berkeley Castle from The Trustees of the Berkeley Castle Charitable Trust:

Extracts from a recent letter from the Chairman of the Trustees:  

"I think it is now quite noticeable what impact the cumulative work of the Friends has had on the Castle and its contents.  
In most rooms there is an item or items that have benefited from the generosity of the Friends and this, 
of course, extends outside of the main Castle building too.  

"In addition to the financial donations made towards tapestries, paintings, the sundial, gun carriages and other chattels, we are also enormously grateful for the voluntary work (undertaken by Friends) .......

"So much progress has been made in so many areas with Berkeley Castle in recent years and we Trustees are indebted to you, your committee and your members for the part that the Friends have played in that.   Please pass on my thanks."

Sunday, 7 July 2019

FoBC Members-only visit to Frampton Court: Thursday 4th July

Almost fifty FoBC members enjoyed a warm, sunny afternoon at Grade I listed Frampton Court, 
an early C18 house in the Baroque and Palladian styles, by kind permission of Mr & Mrs Rollo Clifford.

We were first shown round the grounds, which include a fantastical Gothick orangery and a contemporary dovecote.  
Inside, the house was a mixture of formal architecture, Country Chippendale and  ‘mouseman’ furniture and family photos. 
The afternoon was rounded off with a delicious tea in the Grade I listed Wool Barn.

Photographs by David Bowd-Exworth

Visit to the Bristol University Archaeological Site in Berkeley

The 6th June FoBC visit to the Dig site in the Paddock was hosted by Professor Mark Horton 
who updated us on their discoveries:

a very deep ditch was found, possibly 4 metres deep and running north/south, 
which raises the issue of whether there was a Roman fort here, possibly 1st Century AD;
a sump or well that is probably 13th Century plus a rubbish tip from the same era 
in the south west corner of the site;
a “D” shaped buckle of indeterminate age;
a die made of bone that is possibly Tudor;
the vertebra of a porpoise, which was a high class example of Anglo-Saxon food.

This is the last year that Bristol University’s Archaeological team 
will be researching the Berkeley dig.

With thanks to Adam Waller for the photographs of Professor Mark Horton and team in action.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

FoBC Projects:   Portrait of an Unknown Lady

The latest painting to have significantly benefited from funding raised by the Friends, 
recently returned from the restoration specialist and currently hanging near the foot of the Grand Staircase:

Portrait detail

Talk by Karen Davidson, Castle Archivist, 
on The Photography of Ellen Willmott.

Although famous as a horticulturalist, Charles Berkeley's great, great-aunt Ellen Willmott was also an enthusiastic photographer
and Karen gave us an intriguing insight into Miss Willmott's fascinating life.
The audience were particularly interested in the photographs showing before and after shots 
of the many changes to the Castle made by the eighth Earl.
Full report in the Autumn edition of the Berkeley Buttress.

Friends of Berkeley Castle - Annual General Meeting

Tuesday 30th April 2019

Developments since the last AGM were explained, the finances are in a healthy position, and plans for the future were outlined.  
 Two new members joined the Committee (having been co-opted during the year), other committee members coming up for re-election were happy to stand again, and the chairman, Paul Walkden, retired after six years.   
David Bowd-Exworth was elected chairman, and welcomed back to the role.
Full report in the Autumn edition of the Berkeley Buttress.
FoBC President Charles Berkeley with Paul Walkden and secretary Jane Handoll.

Charles Berkeley presenting the Committee's gift to the retiring Chairman.

Monday, 8 April 2019

Following the AGM on Tuesday 30 April:   "Miss Willmott's Ghosts"

Talk by Castle Archivist Karen Davidson about Charles Berkeley's great-great aunt Miss Ellen Willmott (owner and designer of gardens in England, France and Italy, sponsor of plant-hunting expeditions and keen photographer) and Berkeley Castle.
Cash bar from 7pm.    Tickets £9 (non-members £12).

Sunday, 3 March 2019



TUESDAY 30th APRIL 2019 - 7.30pm


See the Spring edition of the Berkeley Buttress.

Spring 2019 edition of The Berkeley Buttress coming soon.

Latest news, reports of past events, stories from the archives and 
details of 2019 Friends events are included.

Membership cards and complimentary tickets for those who paid by
standing order on 14th February are included in the envelopes.

Membership renewal forms and events order forms are also in the mailing.

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