Great Berkhampstead(both: bûrk`əmstĕd, bärk`–), town (1991 pop. 15,382), Hertfordshire, central England. Berkhamstead is mainly residential but has clothing, timber, and chemical industries. It is the site of an 11th-century royal castle in which Edgar AthelingEdgar Atheling
[O.E. ætheling,=son of the king], 1060?–1125?, English prince, grandson of Edmund Ironside. After the death of King Harold at the battle of Hastings in 1066, Edgar was chosen king, but he submitted to William I in the same year.
..... Click the link for more information. , a claimant to the throne, submitted to William the Conqueror; Thomas à Becket lived in the castle, and Henry II held court there. John II of France was briefly imprisoned in the castle after the battle of Poitiers (1356) in the Hundred Years War. The poet William CowperCowper, William
, 1731–1800, English poet. Physically and emotionally unfit for the professional life, he was admitted to the bar but never practiced. After a battle with insanity, Cowper retired to the country, taking refuge with the family of Mrs.
..... Click the link for more information. was born in Berkhamstead. The town has a remaining 16th-century grammar school.